Today, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva conferred in Brussels with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, and with the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and of Ireland, Charles Flanagan.
Zaharieva and Mogherini considered topical issues on the international agenda, including the situations in Ukraine and in the Republic of Macedonia. The two were unanimous on the need of EU unity in its messages to all political factors in Skopje about overcoming the political crisis in line with the effective constitutional procedure.
During the meeting, Zaharieva familiarised Mogherini with the progress on the preparations for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Bulgarian side was assured that the European External Action Service will work in close cooperation with the Bulgarian institutions during the Presidency.
The Bulgarian Presidency was also discussed at Deputy Prime Minister Zaharieva’s session with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. On the subject of the Western Balkans, an emphasis was laid on the situation in the Republic of Macedonia. Good-neighbourly relations and regional cooperation remain among the key factors of progress along the road of that country’s European integration. The importance of resolving the political crisis was stressed during the conversation, as this would make it possible to send a positive signal to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia so that the country could resume the pursuit of its European perspective.
The Deputy Prime Minister also conferred with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The two discussed Brexit, the situation in Syria, Ukraine, as well as a number of questions concerning bilateral relations. Johnson noted that, back when he was Mayor of London, he appreciated the significant economic and cultural contribution of Bulgarian citizens resident in the United Kingdom. The sides concurred that the rights that Bulgarian citizens have acquired in Britain so far must remain unaffected. Zaharieva invited Johnson to visit Bulgaria. The UK Foreign Secretary pointed out that Bulgaria remains attractive to Britons as a holiday destination and a place to invest in vacation properties.
Brexit was the centrepiece of Zaharieva’s session with Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan. The sides agreed that a uniform European approach should be followed and that the United Kingdom will remain a very important partner. Ireland expressed readiness to assist Bulgaria in coping with the forthcoming Presidency of the EU Council.