Government Approves Nominee for Position of National Security Agency Chairman

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Government Approves Nominee for Position of National Security Agency Chairman

President Georgi Purvanov decreed the appointment of the nomination of Petko Sertov, who was security adviser with the President's administration, for the position of chairman of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) for a five-year period.

Sertov, who was nominated for the position by Government, has an economics degree from the Sofia University of World and National Economy, and has also been trained at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Police in Lyons. He served at the Interior Ministry between 1984 and 1997, and currently holds the position of chairman of the National Security Council with the Government.

Announcing Sertov's nomination at a news conference, Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said that he trusts that in their cooperation, the Interior Ministry and SANS will complement each other in achieving their common goal of national security in all its dimentions.

Stanishev stated his opinion that the law needs to be amended in order to give the Interior Ministry wider powers.

Taking a reporter's question, the Prime Minister said that the principle of lustration is a vicious one and he has fought to keep it from being implemented in this agency, as this would have meant the dismissal of fifty per cent of those employed there.
At the news conference in the Government building, Sertov said that in January he will announce his nominations for his deputies: the current heads of the National Security Agency (NSA) Ivan Drashkov and of the Security, Military Police and Counterintelligence Agency - Brigadeer General Nikolai Nikolov.

Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Roumen Petkov presented Drashkov with an award for exceptional merit both in stabilizing Bulgaria as a country with effective rule of law, and in his achievements towards national and European security.

The NSA's achievements are testimony to successful Interior Ministry reforms, with which it has won international recognition, Minister Petkov stated during the ceremony. He announced his confidence in the men's future successes as part of SANS, and in the Agency's close future cooperation with his Ministry.

SANS is due to become operational in early 2008, and will be the legal successor of the Interior Ministry's National Security Service and of its Protection of Communications Directorate, of the Defence Ministry's Military Counterintelligence Service and of the Financial Intelligence Agency.

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