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Mariya Gabriel attends the 50th edition of the Gymnich Foreign Ministers' Meeting

04 February 2024 News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel attended the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU Member States — ‘Gymnich’ This is a format for open dialogue between ministers, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. The main topics of the discussion were the war in Ukraine, EU —Turkey and EU — Africa relations.

‘It is of strategic importance that the EU supports Ukraine. Bulgaria supports the establishment of the Ukraine Assistance Fund, which envisages joint procurement of European defence industry and provision of training through EUMAM. We also support investment in the defence industry, including the proposal for joint procurement of equipment. Another significant moment was the agreement reached by EU leaders on an additional aid package for Ukraine worth EUR 50 billion within the EU budget’, Mariya Gabriel said.

On the topic of EU — Turkey relations, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan to Bulgaria as a clear message that good relations between Bulgaria and Turkey can contribute to a positive agenda at the European level as well.

‘Turkey is our strategic ally within NATO and together we defend the geostrategic importance of the Black Sea. On the issue of migration, which is also important at European level, again the good cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey contributes to giving solutions, protecting the external border of the Union and fighting illegal migration. Beyond security and migration, the issue of energy security and connectivity also has the potential for EU — Turkey cooperation to provide solutions to regional challenges. The high-level dialogues should also be restored, especially regarding Turkey's participation in European programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs further said.

Among the other topics at the EU foreign ministers' meeting were EU — Africa relations and the situation in the Middle East.

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