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Bulgaria and the Middle East

08 December 2010 News

In the last year the Bulgarian government has committed itself with the implementation of a program to restore its relations with our partners from the Middle East and with opening up of new opportunities for cooperation with countries in the region, with which Bulgaria had no active collaboration to date. Efforts in this direction are necessary, given the lengthy period of inconsistent actions deprived of a clear conception of what and with whom we want to achieve in the political and economic sphere. This is about the full commitment of our policy towards the countries in that region with national priorities, while we are aware of the place we occupy in the international relations’ system and our actual capabilities.

In the context of this new policy, the MFA launched various initiatives, targeted to restore the political and economic dialogue with the Middle East countries, through the prism of the national interest and our commitments,arising from our full membership in NATO and the EU. An important condition which we fulfilled to this moment is the transition to a specific and pragmatic dialogue.

Within the EU, Bulgaria is actively participating and supporting policies towards the Middle East countries, such as the dialogue between the EU and its Mediterranean partners.

Our cooperation with Syria is in this direction, when discussing the country’s relation with the European Union.
In this sense are today’s talks between the Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria and Egypt- Nickolay Mladenov and Ahmed Aboul Gheit. This discussion is essential for the activation of the Bulgarian-Egyptian relations, for finding specific ways to cooperate, which can bring specific economic results to both countries. Egypt has an important place in the Middle East region, and is one of our key partners in the Arab world.

„There are no open political issues between Bulgaria and Egypt”

This was stated today by the Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov after signing with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit the Memorandum for agreement between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Minister Gheit is in Sofia at the invitation of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister.

Minister Mladenov focused on the traditionally good political and economic relations between the two countries, but emphasized on the need to increase the exchange particularly in the areas of commerce, tourism and agriculture.

„Egypt plays an important role in the Middle East region”, said Minister Mladenov and pointed out the close views of both countries towards important Middle East issues. He focused on the need for an active dialogue between the European Union and other countries with Egypt in the interest of resolving the conflicts in the region, as well as providing a greater access to goods to the Gaza Strip in order to improve the plight of its people.

Minister Mladenov informed about the forthcoming in the next year visit to Egypt of the Prime-Minister Boyko Borisov, which the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit rated as essential for activating the economic exchange between Bulgaria and Egypt.

Minister Gheit particularly stressed the importance of the Bulgarian contribution in resolving the conflicts in the Middle East region and for establishing peace and stability.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister underlined the opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture and food industry, tourism and commerce, as well as in the field of energy supplies. He expressed hope that his visit in Sofia will open the way for more Egyptian investments in the Bulgarian economy.

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