Bulgarian, French Defence Ministers Discuss Security Challenges in the Balkans

Paris/Sofia, October 12 (BTA) - On Wednesday, the second day of an official visit to France, Bulgarian Defence MInister Krassimir Karakachanov met with the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, Karakachanov's Ministry said. The two sides agreed that the recent Bulgarian visit of French President Emmanuel Macron energized bilateral relations. The security challenges in the Balkans were in the highlights of the visit.

Karakachanov briefed his host on the priorities in the three key areas of the defence policy of the present government: modernization and rearmament of the Armed Forces, improving the social status of the service personnel and contributing to the defence capabilities of NATO and the EU. He said that the government is determined to deal with the problems in the defence sector.

Karakachanov said that the security challenges in the Western Balkans are among the top priorities of Bulgaria during its Presidency of the EU Council in 2018. He outlined the key groups of issues: territorial, ethnic and religious.

The Bulgarian Defence Minister said that Bulgaria has made a step in enhancing stability in the Balkans by signing a Goodneighbourliness Treaty with Macedonia, and will continue to support the Euro-Atlantic integration of its neighbours to the West and the other countries in the region.

Parly expressed satisfaction with the efforts Bulgaria is making and vowed his country's support in the defence sector during the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU. She said that Bulgaria gets a major role to play in pushing through the regulatory groundwork for the future common European defence. France is determined to stand close to Bulgaria so as to step up the processes and ensure maximum mobilization of the defence resources of the EU.

Source: Paris/Sofia