site.btaBelgium's Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman Pays Official Visit to Bulgaria

Belgium's Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman Pays Official Visit to Bulgaria
Belgium's Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman Pays Official Visit to Bulgaria
Bulgarian Chief of Defence Admiral Eftim Eftimov (in white, left) and Belgium's Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman (in white, right) (BTA Photo)

Belgium's Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman arrived on an official two-day visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Admiral Emil Eftimov, the Defence Ministry said Monday. The two discussed security in the Black Sea, the measures of NATO Member States in the region (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkiye) to counter the mining threat to the freedom of navigation, as well as the deepening of military cooperation between the two countries.

Eftimov stressed the key importance of the military partnership with Belgium, which has been ongoing for more than two decades.

Later on Monday, Hofman was awarded Bulgarian Defence Ministry's honorary badge "St. Georgi" I degree for outstanding contribution to bilateral and allied defence cooperation between Belgium and Bulgaria.

"As NATO and EU Member States, Bulgaria and Belgium share the same values," pointed out Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov at the ceremony which took place in his Ministry. "We need to maintain and deepen our cooperation to guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of the countries of the Euro-Atlantic community in the context of a complex security environment," he added.

"In recent years, military cooperation between our two countries has received a new development," said Eftimov. "On the one hand, this is due to our strong commitment to work together on the common defence policy priorities of the alliances to which we belong. On the other hand, the enhanced interaction is in the interest of bilateral military-technical cooperation, our traditional partnership in the field of maritime security and naval cooperation, military training and education, as well as the development of the operational capabilities of our Armed Forces," he noted and highlighted Hofman's active participation in supporting one of the most important modernization projects of the Bulgarian Navy - the acquisition of minehunters and second-hand frigates. "I hope that these opportunities are not exhausted especially in terms of mine countermeasures vessels," Eftimov said. 

Admiral Hofman expressed gratitude for the honour bestowed on him and stressed that the award is recognition not only for his contribution, but also for the efforts of all those who have contributed to the development of bilateral relations between the Armed Forces of Bulgaria and Belgium.

Hofman is expected to visit Varna. He is scheduled to visit the crew of the Bulgarian frigate Gordi, which he commanded before her acquisition by the Bulgarian Navy, the Defence Ministry said.

/RY/

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By 05:05 on 18.07.2024 Today`s news

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