Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov held an official ceremony on Tuesday at the site of the terrorist attack in Burgas last week.
The ceremony was attended by senior members of the Bulgarian Government, including Bulgaria's Minister of Tourism, the governor of Burgas, the mayor, leaders of the Bulgarian Jewish community and members of the Israeli delegation which includes senior representatives from the Israeli tourism industry.
The ceremony opened with a memorial prayer and the recital of Kaddish. The Minister also laid a wreath on behalf of the State of Israel.
During his speech, Misezhnikov thanked on behalf of the Government of Israel the local rescue forces and Bulgarian authorities, for their devoted and efficient care and the contribution of the Bulgarian Government to the care of those injured and the investigation of the terror attack.
“The important message that I have come here to send out on behalf of the State of Israel is not to let terrorism disrupt our lives,” he said. “We cannot allow terrorists that have tried to destroy relationships between countries to succeed in their evil intentions and the answer to the terrorism needs to be the strengthening of relationships in all areas. Bulgaria was and remains a friendly nation for us and I thank the Bulgarian Government for their devoted care.”
Immediately following the ceremony, the Minister toured the vacation sites frequented by Israelis in the area of Sunny Beach, the destination of the targeted tourist bus. The Minister spoke with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria who expressed their concerns.
Misezhnikov later went to Varna, where he met with the governor and mayor and toured other popular tourist destinations.
On Monday, Minister Misezhnikov held a press conference in Sofia together with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, during which they announced that Bulgaria and Israel will strengthen their strategic cooperation in security and tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism noted in a statement that as part of the strengthening of the diplomatic and tourism ties between the countries, in September 2012 the governments of Israel and Bulgaria will meet in Jerusalem in order to discuss continued cooperation between the two countries. In October, Bulgarian President Plevneliev will come on an official visit to Israel.