On October 6, 2015, Bulgaria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit “Pro Merito Melitensi” of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, the Foreign Ministry reported on its official site.

The Order was bestowed by Alberto Leoncini-Bartoli, diplomatic adviser, Ambassador to the Holy See and special envoy for the ceremony of Fra’ Matthew FESTING, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Посланик Леончини-Бартоли (вдясно) връчва орден на министър Даниел Митов

Ambassador Leoncini-Bertoli (right) bestows the Order to Minister Daniel Mitov

This is, indeed, a long list of names and titles. However, there is а small fact and “that’s where the dog lies buried” -the daughter of His Excellency Leoncini Bartoli is the Head of Staff of UNESCO Director-General and Bulgarian nomination to lead the United Nations, Irina Bokova, and is one of her most trusted people. Paola Leoncini-Bartoli (pictured right) is always by Irina Bokova’s side during her numerous trips abroad (see here, here and here.

The ceremony, during which “just Mitov” became Daniel Mitov, Grand Officier pro Merito Melitensi, was attended by selected high society, including then-Deputy Prime Minister Ivaylo Kalfin, Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva, the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense, the papal nuncio, ambassadors, priests from various religions and even banker Levon Hampartzumyan, we learn from socialite reports in Bulgarian and English.

Four months later, Daniel Mitov nominated Irina Bokova for the Bulgarian candidacy for the post of Secretary General of the UN, citing a decision of the previous government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment by Bivol whether this might be a case of trading influence.


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