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120th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Bulgaria and the USA



On July 3, on the eve of the US national holiday, July 4, Independence Day, the University of Library Science and Information Technology in partnership with the State Agency "Archives", the State Cultural Institute under the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Bulgarian National Television held a Round Table dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the USA.

Prof. Stoyan Denchev, long-time rector of the University of Library Science and Information Technology and currently chairman of the Board of Trustees, as well as a member of IFLA - International Federation of Library Associations, ALA - American Library Association and many others. etc. was the host of the event. The celebration dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the USA began with the song "The Library", written by Prof. Denchev.

Library memory of the world!


Prof. Denchev emphasized the content of the song "A librarian with an aura has a great public recognition throughout the world!". After thanking the State Agency "Archives", which provided copies of documents proving 120 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the USA, Prof. Denchev gave the floor to Associate Professor Vasil Zagorov to present the exhibits with which the participants of the event had the honor to get to know each other. Interest was caused by the fact that the exhibits predate the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries by almost a century. They are in the field of religious and scientific cooperation.



In his introductory speech, Prof. Denchev emphasized, "this anniversary is key for our country, because it marks the beginning of Bulgaria's real relations with the most powerful democratic country in the world!". After making a historical overview of the development of Bulgarian-American diplomatic relations, Prof. Denchev shared his personal attitude towards the USA:

Personally, I am grateful to America because in the distant year 1988, as a visiting associate professor and senior researcher at one of the most prestigious universities in the world - the University of California, Berkeley, I was able to see the values of true democracy and a free-market economy and try to apply them in my country!
Prof. Stoyan Denchev

Prof. Denchev continued with the presentation of the greeting of H.E. Kenneth Merten on the occasion of the exhibition "Discovering America", dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the USA, opened on June 28, 2023, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

One of the reasons our relationship is so strong is that we value family, freedom, and also our countries and peace equally!
H.E. Kenneth Merten

After the anthems of the two countries were played, Prof. Denchev gave the floor to Prof. Irena Peteva, Rector of the University of Library Science and Information Technology to open the round table. Prof. Peteva also thanked the partners of the event, after which he emphasized the cultural and spiritual cooperation between the two nations.


When we talk about diplomatic relations between two nations, we must emphasize the fact that cultural relations are the positive precondition for good contacts at the international level. Bulgarian-American relations date back long before the modern Bulgarian state appeared!
The USA and Bulgaria knew each other thanks to the universal language of books and libraries. Their cultural ties are stable over time and are the basis of the relations between the Bulgarian and American nations!
Prof. Irena Peteva

Highlights from the roundtable discussion:


Prof. Mihail Gruev, Chairman of the State Agency "Archives" presented the exhibition "Discovering America". He explained that the purpose of the exhibition is not only to show the development of official diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the USA, but the mutual influence in everyday life with the implementation of cultural exchange between the two peoples.

Personalities like Aleko Konstantinov and Dan Kolov from the end of the 19th century left their mark on the American and world cultural and sports heritage.
We must express our gratitude to all the American foundations that supported the Bulgarian cause at the beginning of the 20th century!
Prof. Mihail Gruev

Snezhana Yoneva, director of the State Cultural Institute under the Minister of Foreign Affairs, shared some emblematic examples of the institute's promotion of various cultural projects of the Bulgarian missions in the USA.

The "EU Open Day" project was presented in Washington with the photographic exhibition "Aromas from Bulgaria" as well as the documentary film "The Way of Light", promoting the civilizational contribution of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius... On the initiative of the Bulgarian Consulate General in Los Angeles for the first time, May 24 was declared the Day of Bulgarian Culture and Cultural Heritage in Las Vegas by Karen Bass, Mayor of Los Angeles.
Snezhana Yoneva

H. E. Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (2002-2012) shared about the exchanged visits with US President George Bush.



It was a period of strengthening strategic cooperation with the US, we maintained a fruitful dialogue and received support for our accession to the EU...
“Bulgaria – a leader in the Balkans!”, said by President Bush.
At that time, the first ladies of Bulgaria, the United States, the United Kingdom and Austria started a dialogue about books and reading, which lasted for 4 years. This is a civilized example of how to maintain intercultural dialogue!
Science as an engine for dialogue between the two countries!
H. E. Georgi Parvanov

Prof. Denchev left the last speech to Tiveriopolis Bishop Tikhon to bless the two peoples.

We started with spirituality and ended with it!
Prof. Stoyan Denchev
"Despite all the cataclysms, deep ties exist between our two nations!...
Freedom is not given by anyone! Freedom must be won back in our hearts for ourselves!
Without spirituality, which mobilizes our hearts and will and mobilizes us to understand that there is NO democracy without protection of personal and foreign dignity!
I wish both nations to be confident in themselves!
May Bulgarian spirituality and wisdom be at the service of the new generation and America!
God bless Bulgaria and the USA!".
Bishop Tikhon of Tiveriopolis

Prof. Denchev closed the event with the words:

Today we celebrated the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States - a great economic power and democracy and Bulgaria - a culturally great country!

Prof. Peteva donated the book "Bulgarians and Americans" to Mrs. Maria Gabriel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and to Prof. Todor Tagarev, Minister of Defense, and the book "American Poets" was presented to H.E. Georgi Parvanov, President of R. Bulgaria (2002-2012), Emil Koshlukov, director of BNT, Daniel Parushev, chairman of National assembly of Students` Councils of Bulgaria, Associate Professor Mihail Gruev, chairman of the State Agency "Archives" and Mrs. Yanka Takeva, chairman of the Bulgarian Teachers' Union.


Official guests at the event:


H.E. Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (2002-2012)

Chief Commissioner Anton Zlatanov, Director of Border Police Directorate, Ministry of Internal Affairs

Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Prof. Mihail Gruev, Chairman of the State Agency "Archives"

Snezhana Yoneva, Director of the State Cultural Institute under the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nina Konstantinova - Embassy of the United Kingdom

H.E. Kostadin Kudjabashev, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Holy See, Vatican

Major General Todor Dochev, Commander of the Georgi Stoykov Rakovski Military Academy

Dr. Vanya Avramova, Deputy director of the National Library

Associate Professor Aneta Doncheva, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Library Information Association

Spaska Tarandova, Executive Director of the Global Libraries Foundation, Bulgaria

Valeria Veleva, top Bulgarian journalist and owner of Epicenter, Institute for Research and Analysis

Dr. Zornitsa Mladenova, the Foundation for Global Community Health, Las Vegas, USA

Georgi Kostov, Executive Director GMComsortium

Eng. Plamen Kolev, Executive Director of Highlife Media

Roman Stoyanov, President of Bulgarian-Jewish Cultural Institute

Yanka Takeva, Chairman of the Bulgarian Teachers' Union

Albena Simova, Director of "Za Bukvite" publishing house

His Eminence Bishop Tikhon of Tiveriopolis

Daniel Parushev, Chairman of National Assembly of Students` Councils of Bulgaria

Assoc. Prof. Arkadi Ivanov, MD, Executive Director of "IV MBAL-Sofia" EAD

Dr. Vasil Vassilev, Manager of 12 DCC

Fikret Shabanov, former MP in the National Assembly

Yana Pascaleva, Metropolitan Municipality

H. E. Iva Mihailova, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Order of Malta in Bulgaria

Polly Karastoyanova, Executive Director of the National Tourism Board

Prof. Maria Vodenska, Sofia University

Gorica Grancharova, Audit Chamber of the Republic of Bulgaria

Zdravko Popov, prominent public figure

Galabin Galabov, Executive Director of Bulgarian Export Insurance Agency EAD (BAEZ)

Sublieutenant Eng. Petar Velchev, Chairman "Union of War Disabled and War Victims"

Ognyan Stoichkov, Member of the National Specialized Intelligence Means Control Bureau

Mina Konstantinova

Mariana Pecheyan, Representative of the Bulgarian-American Chamber of Commerce

Kaloyan Pargov, Bulgarian Socialist Party activist


Congratulatory letters for the event were received from:


H.E. Rosen Zhelyazkov, Speaker of the National Assembly

Prof. Todor Tagarev, Minister of Defence

Prof. Galin Tsokov, Minister of Education and Science

Major General Todor Dochev, Commander of the Georgi Stoykov Rakovski Military Academy


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