Does the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs support the Israeli civilians?
I express my full solidarity with the people of Israel. My thoughts are with the victims of these attacks. I condemn terrorism in all its forms.the position of acad. Nikolay Denkov – Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria
Is prime minister Denkov sincere? Or is Bulgaria pursuing a dual policy towards Israel?
When a few months ago we wrote about the ridiculous attitude of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards a Ukrainian citizen, mother of two children and wife of a Bulgarian, we thought that the peak of bureaucratic hypocrisy had been reached. We were wrong! Because the duplicity of officials has reached new heights. Today, all the declarations of the authorities and the government that Bulgaria supports the citizens of Israel flew out of the chimney.
Do Bulgarian ministers know what their subordinates are doing?
Does the Bulgarian Prime Minister know what is going on in the Foreign Ministry? And does Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel realise what is the attitude of the ministry entrusted to her towards a citizen of Israel? They will soon find out. But will it change anything? Is the declared official support for Israel’s peaceful citizens an expression of hypocrisy? Or will some rank-and-file official “burn” to protect his superiors? It remains to be seen.
Why does the Foreign Ministry want an Israeli citizen to travel back from Bulgaria to Israel?
When citizens from all over the world are evacuated from Israel, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry sends an Israeli from Bulgaria to Israel – under the bombs and rockets of Hamas. He might get away with death, so what. In fact, Bulgarian government aircraft also evacuated Bulgarian and Israeli citizens from Tel Aviv. And all this under the watchful eye of Maria Gabriel, while the evacuation operation is under the spotlight. And when the lights go out, the Foreign Ministry acts in a completely different way.
What actually happened?
Recently, a client of ours, an Israeli citizen and senior executive in a huge corporation in Bulgaria, applied for a D visa at the Bulgarian embassy in Tel Aviv. Shortly thereafter, while the visa procedure was underway, under the sound of sirens due to the war in Israel, our client somehow managed to get to Bulgaria, where his future workplace is. Thanks to the visa-free regime between Bulgaria (EU) and Israel, the Israeli citizen enters the country legally, waiting for his work visa (D visa) to be issued.
Enslaved by a “sticker”
Due to the emergency situation and the situation in Israel, our client wants his approved D visa to be placed in his passport not by our embassy in Israel, but by a Bulgarian embassy in another country. Nothing more logical than that. Bulgaria Air flights from Sofia to Tel Aviv have been cancelled and the Foreign Ministry has urged Bulgarians to refrain from travel to Israel. Indeed, to travel to Israel at a time of the escalating conflict seems foolish. Not for the Foreign Ministry, however. Maria Gabriel’s subordinates believe that everything is normal in Israel. Just as it was normal in Ukraine (see our previous post).
The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuses an Israeli citizen to get his visa from another country and sends him back to Tel Aviv to have his visa sticker… affixed. Scandalous? Certainly. And very dangerous, but the Foreign Ministry officials don’t think so.
Who is lying? The Foreign Ministry or… the Foreign Ministry?
But who is lying? What is going on? Why does the official position of the Foreign Ministry differ so diametrically from what the Foreign Ministry actually does? Let’s compare the Foreign Ministry’s official position published on its website and what the Director of Consular Relations wrote to our client.
The official position of the Foreign Ministry on the situation in Israel
On the Foreign Ministry website we read the following:
Level 4: Warning to suspend travel nationwide (except in case of extreme necessity)
In view of the situation, the Consular Service of the Bulgarian Embassy in Tel Aviv is suspending its work on regular matters such as citizenship documents and notary services (except for emergency ones). The Consular Service remains at the disposal of citizens for matters such as the current situation, the issuance of temporary passports, etc.
The Foreign Ministry’s refusal to allow our client, an Israeli citizen, to obtain his visa sticker outside Israel
In total contradiction with the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our client is advised that… the Directorate of Consular Relations – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, objects to your request for permission to affix a visa sticker for a visa type “D” in a diplomatic mission other than the one in which the application for the issuance of the latter was submitted.
In connection with the above, it should be noted that the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tel Aviv continues to process visa applications and currently provides various consular services to Israeli citizens on a daily basis. There are no hostilities in the area of the diplomatic mission and flights to the Israeli capital have not been suspended. (See the letter of the Foreign Ministry)
What is happening, gentlemen diplomats? Are we supporting the citizens of Israel? Are we helping peaceful Israeli citizens who have the right to reside in Bulgaria to save themselves from the war in the region? Or is all this being declared in words, but the officials, with or without the approval of their ministers, are sending Israeli citizens to possible death where rockets are flying?
Our questions to Nikolay Denkov and Maria Gabriel
We of course won’t leave it at that. We will ask questions, many of them difficult, to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. If their subordinates are found to have acted ‘on their own head’, contrary to the political will of Bulgaria, we will demand disciplinary action and resignations. We will also refer the matter to the EU authorities, because in this case, things went too far.
But as they say “even the deaf will hear about this incident”. MORE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW…