Bulgaria and Great Britain established diplomatic relations in July 1879.
The bilateral relations have gone through ups and downs in the course of history; relations were severed during the two world wars. Today’s relations between Bulgaria and the UK are free of unresolved problems and the two countries are close partners and allies within NATO and the EU.
The two countries have signed a consular convention, an agreement relaxing the visa requirements, an agreement on business, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation, on avoidance of double taxation, on promotion and protection of investment, on cooperation between the two defence ministries, on cultural cooperation and on cooperation in the health sector.
The recent years have seen a number of visits at various levels.
Early History of Bulgarian Diplomatic Mission to London
Even before the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman domination Great Britain opened its Vice Consulates in Bourgas, Varna and Ruse. In 1853 England opened its consulate in Varna, the largest seaport city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, appointing O’Neal as Consul. Seven years later, in 1860 an English Consulate was opened in another port city, Ruse on the Danube River, which provided a direct link of Bulgaria with Central and Western Europe. Robert Deilil was appointed Consul in Ruse, succeeded by Meyer in 1864.
The Bulgarian Principality established diplomatic relations with Great Britain immediately after the Liberation and the signing of the Berlin Treaty. On July 23, 1879 the first British diplomatic agent and Consul General in Sofia Lord William Palgrave solemnly handed his letters of credence to the Bulgarian Prince Alexander Batenberg.
In 1898 the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made its first approaches for establishment of a Bulgarian diplomatic agency in Great Britain. Bulgaria opened its diplomatic agency in London in 1903. On September 27, 1903 the first Bulgarian diplomatic agent Dimiter Tsokov was appointed. He was succeeded by Dimiter Stanchov who handed his letters of credence in January 1908.
When on March 14, 1909 Great Britain recognised Bulgaria’s independence, proclaimed on September 22, 1908, the Bulgarian diplomatic agent Pancho Hadjimishev took steps for raising the rank of the diplomatic representations. In the same year 1909 the Bulgarian diplomatic agency in London and the British diplomatic agency in Sofia were raised to the rank of legations and the diplomatic agents into ministers plenipotentiary.
Diplomatic Agent as of September 1903
Diplomatic Agent as of January 1908
Diplomatic Representative as of July 1908
Charge d’Affaires as of August 1909
Minister Plenipotentiary as of January 1911
Minister Plenipotentiary as of August 1913
Minister Plenipotentiary as of October 1914
Charge d’Affaires a. i. as of September 1920
Minister Plenipotentiary as of December 1920
Minister Plenipotentiary as of October 1924
Minister Plenipotentiary as of August 1935
Minister Plenipotentiary as of April 1938
Minister Plenipotentiary as of December 1947
Minister Plenipotentiary as of June 1950
Minister Plenipotentiary as of July 1954
Minister Plenipotentiary as of October 1957
Minister Plenipotentiary as of November 1958
Minister Plenipotentiary as of February 1962
Ambassador as of February 1964
Ambassador as of July 1966
Ambassador as of January 1969
Ambassador as of March 1972
Ambassador as of July 1976
Ambassador as of November 1980
Ambassador as of February 1987
Ambassador as of 1991
Ambassador as of 1995
Ambassador as of 1998
Ambassador as of 2005
Ambassador as of 2009
Ambassador as of 2012