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Mariya Gabriel: Cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey enables responses to regional challenges

30 January 2024 News

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Gabriel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Hakan Fidan paid an official visit to Bulgaria today.

‘Bulgaria and Turkey are friends, allies and strategic partners. Our countries maintain an active bilateral dialogue centred on good neighbourliness, mutual respect and common interests. We share a common responsibility for peace, stability and security in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region’, Mariya Gabriel said. She also thanked for the invitation extended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for an official visit to Turkey after March.

As NATO allies, Bulgaria and Turkey are developing their partnership in strategic areas. Examples are the establishment of the Joint Mine Clearance Task Force in the Black Sea between Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the airspace security within the NATO Integrated System. The Deputy Prime Minister also stressed the importance of cooperation in the field of migration. ‘The good and active cooperation in the fight against illegal migration, the rapid exchange of information and the protection of our common border will continue in the future.’

Mariya Gabriel said that Bulgaria has supported and will continue to support Turkey's European path and that our country welcomes the joint proposal of the European Commission and the EU High Representative to intensify EU-Turkey relations.

An important outcome of the meeting of the two foreign ministers was the establishment of an expert group on energy and climate. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Turkey will coordinate the agenda and joint work.

The Deputy Prime Minister also welcomed Turkey's intention to submit a multinational dossier on the ‘Yoghurt Culture’ within the framework of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. She said that Bulgaria, for its part, would appreciate Turkey's support for the establishment of a Regional Centre for Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Black Sea based in our country.

‘We will continue to build on our joint work in the areas of economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, transport, innovation and culture. By investing in innovative enterprises, we can contribute to the development of regions and support the next generation of innovators. Today's visit is a message of the will to build on our achievements and provide a common response to regional and global challenges. We can turn common challenges into opportunities for people, the economy and business’, Mariya Gabriel further commented.

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