Syrian National Council Delegation Visits Bulgaria
A delegation from the Syrian National Council (SNC) headed by Dr. Burhan Ghalioun, and including members Abd al-Baset Sida, Abd al-Ahad Steifo, and Natheer al-Hakim, visited Sofia, Bulgaria on December 2, in response to a formal invitation by Nikolay Mladenov, Buglaria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. The delegation met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister and senior staff members in a session of official talks, through which the Minister expressed the appreciation and support of his government to the Syrian people and their demands for a pluralistic democratic civil society, and condemnation of the oppression and torture to which the Syrian people are subjected. The Minister also declared his government’s desire to provide assistance in various ways to the Syrian people, based on the historic ties of friendship between the people of Syria and Bulgaria, stressing that the Bulgarian government considers the SNC the main legitimate representative of the will of the Syrian people. On his part, Dr. Ghalioun expressed his gratitude to Minister Mladenov for the invitation, hoping that the visit would be the beginning of joint work between the Bulgarian government and the SNC in order to achieve the goals of the Syrian Revolution, a revolution for freedom, dignity, and social justice.
The delegation also met on the same evening with a delegation from the Syrian community in Bulgaria, during which the SNC delegation explained its points of view on different issues raised. The Syrian-Bulgarian delegation also confirmed that it stands by the SNC and that it is committed to the Syrian Revolution and its noble objectives.
The following morning, December 3, the SNC delegation attended the opening session of the Transitional Justice Conference, which the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry had organized. During the session, each of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, former Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister, and a representative from the Libyan National Transitional Council spoke. Dr. Ghalioun, the president of the SNC, also spoke at length about the reasons behind the Syrian Revolution and its visions. He also stressed the importance of distinguishing between human rights to which laws at different levels adhere, and transitional justice that is committed primarily to national interests. Dr. Ghalioun called for providing all forms of support and expertise to the Syrian people to limit the difficulties during the transitional period.
At the conclusion of the visit, the SNC delegation met with Mr. Boyko Borisov, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, who confirmed his government’s support of the will of the Syrian people and their legitimate demands.