Bulgaria proposes former minister for NATO chief

SOFIA: Bulgaria named former foreign minister Solomon Passy as its official candidate for the post of the head of NATO, the government announced yesterday.

“The government took a decision to officially support the candidature of Solomon Passy for NATO Secretary General,” Sofia said in a statement.

NATO’s current head, Dutchman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, is scheduled to step down in May. His successor is expected to be named at the alliance’s summit on April 3-4. 

Passy is the first declared contender. He is expected to face stiff competition from others such as Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay who have not yet officially thrown their hats into the ring.

Passy, 42, served as Bulgarian foreign minister between 2001 and 2005, overseeing the country’s EU and NATO accession talks.

In 2004, he was also the Chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Currently serving his third term as a parliamentary lawmaker, the 42-year-old mathematician and his gray Trabant have come to symbolise Bulgaria’s aspirations to join NATO.

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