"We need to join our forces in counteracting terrorism and terrorist propaganda. Bulgaria, as a member of NATO and the EU, and as an external border of the Union, is making enormous efforts to counteract the spread of radical ideas." This was stated by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the 18th Annual World Conference of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya Pituach.
Prime Minister Borissov highlighted that the measures by our country to stop the movement of members of terrorist organizations to Europe are not only special but also turn out to be successful. The Bulgarian Prime Minister said that during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union concrete practical measures have been identified to counteract foreign fighters. "In the context of the geographical location and the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries, the measures will also have a positive impact on the countries of the region," added Prime Minister Borissov. He recalled that the report by the European Commission Expert Group on Radicalization, published 18 May 2018, foresees measures to improve cooperation between the various institutions and for swift and effective exchange of information.
"Improving the overall level of security in the European Union will also have a positive impact on neighboring regions, such as the Western Balkans and the Middle East," said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during the forum. He pointed out that the Bulgarian EU Presidency attached great importance to the deepening of regional cooperation and reminded that all Member States strongly supported enhancing the partnership with the countries of the Western Balkans, which were identified as strategic partners in the field of security. "If we can manage the risks and react in a meaningful way, we will limit terrorists' access to the EU, and that will have a broader geopolitical impact," Prime Minister Borissov added.
In his speech during the conference in Herzliya Pituach the Bulgarian Prime Minister said that the intelligence and security services of Bulgaria and the State of Israel have attained an exceptional level of synergy in their cooperation. "Moreover, according to the chiefs of the Bulgarian services, professional contacts with their Israeli counterparts are at a strategic level," Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said.
Speaking to the participants at the international conference, Boyko Borissov reminded that the Israeli and the Bulgarian peoples together experienced the bombing in Burgas in the summer of 2012. "It took place on Bulgarian territory but against Israeli citizens and showed that the terrorist threat does not recognize statehood and state boundaries. This tragic event brought to the fore the need to further strengthen the capacity of and coordination among institutions, as well as to enhance the interaction with all international partners, especially with Israel," said the Bulgarian Prime Minister. Boyko Borissov added that each country is obliged to follow the social processes underway so as to be able to know best how and when to intervene in a timely counteraction to any attempts for dispersal of destructive factors or ideas.