Wed, May 22 2013
TWO non-government organisations, one from Bulgaria and the other from Libya, have agreed in principle on the setting up of an international fund to assist HIV-positive children in Libya.
A demand for "compensation" for the children and their families has emerged in recent months as key to the fate of a group of Bulgarian medics and a Palestinian doctor who last year were sentenced to death for allegedly deliberately infecting the children.
Libya's supreme court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on an appeal by the medics at the end of January, but in the meantime diplomatic and non-governmental efforts to secure the release of the medics are continuing.
In the Libyan capital of Tripoli in December, the outcome was announced of a meeting between a Bulgarian NGO and a Libyan organisation, the Association of the Families of Children Infected with HIV (AFCIA).
AFCIA chairman had talks with the Bulgarian delegation, which included Plovdiv mayor Dr Ivan Chomakov (who formerly worked as a medic in Libya) and Maxim Minchev, director-general of state-owned Bulgarian news agency BTA.
Also present at the meeting was Mark Pierini, head of the European Commission delegation in Libya. The Gaddafi charity foundationm which is chaired by Seif al-Islam, son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, also participated in the meeting.
The meeting was aimed at discussing medical, social and psychological problems of the children infected with AIDS in Benghazi and their families.
According to a statement, the two sides reached an agreement in principle to establish an international financial mechanism for providing a just solution to the infected children. The goal of such a mechanism is to satisfy all parties in the issue and in assisting in medical attention and care for the children and their families in Libya and abroad.
The two sides agreed to meet again in order to achieve a permanent solution to all questions related to the issue.
In a media statement on December 13 released during his visit to Ireland, Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov welcomed the outcome of the meeting.
"I appreciate this contact and believe it to be useful in attempts to establish a common international fund".
The fund would be most likely dominated by Europe but it will not remain closed.
"It could predispose the parents to express a stance, which would be of great importance for the court's final decision. I definitely believe 2006 to be decisive for the positive outcome of this case," he said.
Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern assured Purvanov of Ireland's willingness to help Bulgaria morally and politically as well as to provide aid to the families of the infected children.
According to a report in Libya Today newspaper, David Welch, the US assistant secretary at the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, held talks on the case with Libyan prime minister Shokri Ghanem.
A positive outcome to the trial of the medics was an essential part of US-Libyan relations, the newspaper quoted Welch as saying.
Meanwhile, in the past week, the medics also received further support from within Bulgaria.
Children from the south-eastern town of Nessebar on December 12 launched a "You are not alone" campaign in support of the medics. The children sent a box full of sand from Bulgaria's Black Sea coast as a Christmas gift for the nurses.
Foreign support also continued. Dublin-based newspaper the Irish Examiner appealed to its readers to send Christmas cards to the Bulgarian nurses via the internet, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The funding is provided under the foreign military sales programme of the US army's Program Executive Office of Simulation, Training and Instrumentation.
The UK nationals were arrested after throwing beer bottles at people after being refused entry to a restaurant that had closed for the night.
Restoration and development projects include Madara Horseman, Arbanassi fortress, Magura cave.
Simeon Saxe-Coburg and his spouse Margarita opened a new heating and insulation system at the Tsar Ferdinand Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases in Iskrets, a project implemented thanks to the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Sofia and the Nando Peretti Foundation.
According to the law's provisions, the commission will have the power to investigate individuals without prior notification and would not require a criminal conviction in order to launch an investigation.