The chief diplomats of Bulgaria and Serbia – Ekaterina Zaharieva and Ivica Dacic agreed to work together towards stimulating business relations between the two countries. First step towards this objective will be the organization of a bilateral economic forum in Nish or another Southern Serbia city.
The two ministers met during Zaharieva’s two-day visit to the Republic of Serbia, which marks the beginning of her round of visits to Balkan countries.
“I hope that by the end of this year or early next year will be announced the tender for the construction of the Sofia-Kalotina highway, so that construction works can begin in the first half of 2018”, said the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva.
“The roads, the infrastructure and the interconnector with Bulgaria are our priorities. I am glad that Bulgaria holds the second place with regards to number of tourists visiting our country”, responded the Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic.
The two parties discussed various topics related to the bilateral relations and the international agenda. A memorandum for European integration between the foreign ministries of Bulgaria and Serbia is also in the pipeline.
“You have the firm support of Prime Minister Borissov. I would like to invite you in October together with President Vucic to attend the common session of the Bulgarian and the Romanian governments in Bulgaria, and I count on your participation in the “Gymnich” informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers during our presidencyof the Council of the EU”, Zaharieva added.
“This is my fifth meeting with my friend Ekaterina this month. There is great trust between us – same as between Prime Minister Borissov and President Vucic. My State Secretary Ivica Toncev is Bulgarian”, stated Dacic.
The foreign ministers discussed the problems of the Bulgarian national minority in Serbia and agreed to solve the problem with textbooks in Bulgarian and mother tongue broadcasts, considering options for financing such broadcast in Serbia or including Bulgarian TV programs in the local cable operator packages. It was also discussed how to stimulate economic development in border areas.
Bulgaria offered Serbia assistance for the accession negotiation process and during its upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU will continue to insist for a clear European perspective for the Western Balkans countries.