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Mariya Gabriel: Freedom, peace and stability are not a given, but must be defended every day

04 April 2024 News

A special ceremony in Brussels marked NATO's 75th anniversary.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel attended the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the NATO Allies. The official NATO 75th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony was the highlight of the meeting held on 3-4 April in Brussels.

"For Bulgaria, joining NATO was not only a strategic foreign policy goal, but also a cause. Membership in NATO is joining the values of democracy, freedom and peace. It is also a commitment - to contribute to collective security and share experience. Joining the Alliance is also an inspiration for several generations of Bulgarians and an incentive to implement important reforms", said Mariya Gabriel.

The ceremony also marked the anniversaries of the countries that joined the Alliance in the last three enlargement rounds - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004; Albania and Croatia in 2009.

"Freedom, peace and stability are not a given but must be defended every day. I would like to thank all representatives of governments, military forces and civil society for their contribution to Bulgaria's membership of the Alliance. Thank you for remaining united. Together we are stronger. Together we are NATO," Mariya Gabriel concluded.

The Foreign Ministers' meeting was divided into three sessions for debates on key issues for the Alliance. The first session was aimed at providing basic political guidance on the priorities for the NATO Summit in Washington in 2024. The second session included an important meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC) announced at the Vilnius Summit. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba gave an update on what is happening in the country and shared what Ukraine needed. The third session focused on cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners (Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Japan).

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