UN Candidacy of Bulgarian UNESCO Chief Turned into National Security Problem

Secret cable of the Foreign Ministry leaked in the media. Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov alerted the National Security Agency.

A cable from Paris with favorable information about the nomination of current Bulgarian Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova for Head of the United Nations (UN), leaked to the media. The document is classified and the Foreign Ministry has immediately alerted the State Agency for National Security (DANS) about a leak of classified information, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bettina Joteva, confirmed for Bivol. According to her, this is a serious breach that is currently under investigation.

Bulgarian 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily published yesterday a recap of the cable, whereby H. E. Mr Michael Worbs, Ambassador of Germany to UNESCO and Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO had stressed strongly on the need to elect a new Director-General of UNESCO. According to the publication in the newspaper, the delay of Bulgaria’s official nomination was impeding the normal functioning of UNESCO, while the support of member countries of the United Nations Security Council for Irina Bokova was unanimous.

According to Ambassador Worbs, if nominated, Ms. Irina Bokova would be elected as there was very clearly expressed support from member countries before the Executive Board for her election as UN Secretary General, the publication of 24 Hours declares.

However, the text of 24 Hours includes a blatant manipulation of facts, a quick research of Bivol showed. According to the newspaper, the cable has been sent by the team of the international organization.

In fact, the cable is signed by Bulgarian Ambassador in Paris Angel Cholakov, who also represents Bulgaria in UNESCO, and has been prepared by the diplomat in charge of UNESCO, Zornitca Grekova, Bivol learned. She has attended that meeting of the UNESCO Executive Board, which was held on January 21 at the organization’s headquarters in Paris.

Bivol send questions to UNESCO’s Executive Board, asking whether quotes of Ambassador Michael Worbs in the publication are correct.

The publication of 24 Hours provides a new culmination of the talking points and the pressure on the government in favor of Bokova’s candidacy. They are mainly disseminated by the media of controversial lawmaker and businessman Delyan Peevski, but also by other media, gravitating around the “gateway” to Russia, announced by Ahmed Dogan, former leader and lifetime honorary chairman of Peevski’s party Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

To date, we have witnessed political maneuvers and pressure from the left-wing party ABV, which threatens to bring down the government. However, the leak of the classified cable is a blow to national security, while the damages to the international and diplomatic reputation of the country may end up being lasting and serious.

According to diplomatic sources of Bivol, the nomination of Irina Bokova is not standing a chance in the Security Council, as it will be rejected by the United Kingdom and the United States.

(Expect further details)



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