The Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva conferred in Berlin with Vice Chancellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel.
“The Federal Republic of Germany has always been a strategic partner, ally and friend of Bulgaria. Bilateral relations between our countries are excellent,” Zaharieva emphasised. “I would like to thank Germany for supporting the judicial reform which we are carrying out for the Bulgarian citizens. We will also be counting on interaction with Germany in reference with the forthcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council.”
Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel stressed that relations between Bulgaria and Germany are very close, citing as an example the 7,000 Bulgarian students who attend universities in the Federal Republic and the 5,000 German entrepreneurs who pursue business in Bulgaria.
He said he was pleased to welcome in Berlin Mrs Zaharieva, with whom he has already cooperated in finding solutions to important issues in the sphere of bilateral economic relations. Gabriel wished the third Cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov success in pressing ahead with the reforms in Bulgaria and declared Germany’s readiness to continue to render support.
Zaharieva highlighted Bulgaria’s contribution to the protection of the external borders of the European Union. Entry into the Schengen area will enable our country to be even more effective. The Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister thanked Germany for the substantial assistance provided in coping with the migration pressure, as well as for Bulgaria’s inclusion in the EU Visa Information System.
Zaharieva pointed out that last year Bulgarian-German trade reached a record 6,600 million euro. She thanked Minister Gabriel for the expert assistance that the Federal Republic will render to Bulgaria during the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Zaharieva and Gabriel considered a number of issues on the international agenda, including current developments in the Western Balkans and EU common foreign and security policy topics. Both expressed the opinion that stability in the Balkans is crucial for the entire European Union. The relations of the European Union with Russia and Turkey were discussed during the meeting as well.
In honour of the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister, an exhibition of documents illustrating the development of diplomatic relations between the two countries was presented at the German Federal Foreign Office.