by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on receiving the "Stara Planina" order, Bulgaria's highest order, presented by President Rosen Plevneliev in Sofia today
I am very honoured to receive the Stara Planina order at the time when we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Bulgaria's accession to NATO.
As Prime Minister of Denmark, it was my privilege to play a part in your accession to our Alliance, and to the European Union. And as Secretary General, it has been my privilege to work closely with Bulgaria since then.
I see this order as a strong symbol of both Bulgaria's and NATO's success. The success of Bulgaria's aspiration for freedom and integration into the democratic Euro-Atlantic family. And the success of the Alliance in embracing sovereign states who made their free choice to promote our shared security. Together, we have helped erase the dividing lines of the past.
I accept this honour, Mr. President, also with a great sense of responsibility: to further work with Bulgaria and the other Allies to keep NATO robust, ready and resolute. And to continue to promote the vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace.