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On July 19, 1879, Prince Alexander Battenberg issued a decree appointing the first Bulgarian diplomatic agents abroad.

These were the three great Bulgarians - Dragan Tsankov, Evlogi Georgiev and Dimitar Kirovich, sent to represent our country in Turkey, Romania and Serbia.

Since 1999, this date has been celebrated as a professional day of the Bulgarian diplomatic service.

How did it happen? After the Liberation in 1878, an Office for General Affairs and Diplomatic Relations was established under the administration of the Provisional Russian Government in Bulgaria, headed by Prince Alexander Dondukov-Korsakov. After the adoption of the Tarnovo Constitution /May 25, 1879/, it was renamed to Department of Foreign Affairs. In addition to maintaining relations with foreign representatives in the Principality, part of its duties is to prepare Bulgarian staff for work in the future Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Bulgaria.

On April 17, 1879, the First Grand National Assembly was called and Alexander Battenberg was elected as Prince of the Principality of Bulgaria. On July 5, the first Bulgarian government headed by Todor Burmov was formed. By Decree 1 of the same day, Marko Balabanov was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Denominations. In Sofia, declared as capital of the Principality, foreign diplomatic representatives - consuls of the Great Powers presented their credentials. They were called diplomatic agents and consuls general.

On July 17, 1879, on the grounds of art.161 of the Tarnovo Constitution,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established (by Decree № 23) as a central state institution responsible for organizing, leading and conducting the foreign policy of Bulgaria through diplomatic missions abroad (agencies, consulates, legations). This is the time when the first ones have being opened and our first diplomatic agents and consuls abroad have being appointed. After Dragan Tsankov, Evlogi Georgiev and Dimitar Kirovich, dozens more will be sent around the world... The Modern Bulgarian diplomacy started writing its history. And for 141 years now it has been defending the Bulgarian national interests around the world.

More about the first steps in our diplomatic relations can be found HERE.

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs