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Political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Azerbaijan

01 December 2023 News

On 01 December 2023, political consultations were held in Sofia between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Azerbaijan at the level of Deputy Ministers. The Bulgarian delegation was led by Deputy Minister Tihomir Stoychev and the Azerbaijani delegation by Deputy Minister Yalchin Rafiyev. The main objective of the consultations was to maintain the intensity of the bilateral political dialogue and to identify common interests for cooperation in sectoral policies. The consultations were also aimed at contributing to the preparation of the agreed official visit of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel to Baku in late January 2024, at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov, within the framework of which the third session of the Bulgaria — Azerbaijan Strategic Dialogue is to be held.

In the course of the consultations, both sides expressed their satisfaction with the active political dialogue at high and top level, which is developing steadily in a spirit of strategic partnership. In view of the new geopolitical and economic realities, as well as the developments in bilateral relations, the intentions to update the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan, signed in 2015, were discussed.

The interlocutors shared the particular importance of cooperation in the field of energy, which is at the heart of our strategic dialogue and is of key importance not only in the framework of our bilateral relations, but also in the context of the efforts of our region and Europe as a whole to improve energy security by achieving diversification of energy supplies.

The two sides agreed on the need to expand the areas of bilateral cooperation and on the significant potential for deepening cooperation in trade and investment, as well as connectivity in all its dimensions — transport, digital, energy, including green energy. The Bulgarian side expressed interest in participating in the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor, also known as the ‘Middle Corridor’, which in the current geopolitical situation provides opportunities for increasing trade between Europe and Asia through the Caspian and Black Seas. The Middle Corridor holds significant potential for boosting bilateral trade as well as for implementing joint projects aimed at the production and transmission of green energy.

An overview was made of trade and economic relations and investments, as well as cooperation in the fields of energy, innovation and artificial intelligence, high added value technologies, agriculture, construction, science and education, culture, tourism, consular relations and others. The two sides expressed their expectation to hold in Baku the next, sixth meeting of the joint Bulgarian-Azerbaijani Economic Cooperation Commission, which will make a concrete contribution to the development of the joint initiatives and projects discussed.

Views were also exchanged on a wide range of issues on the international and regional agenda, including regional and global security challenges, particularly in the wider Black Sea region, EU-Azerbaijan relations, etc. The excellent multilateral cooperation between the two countries and the valuable mutual support for the candidacies of both countries within international organisations was also highlighted.

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