Bulgaria's President, PM Confer with Visiting Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir

Sofia, February 21 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva conferred here on Wednesday with visiting Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.

The President's press secretariat reported that the meeting between Radev and the guest focused on the achievement of long-term stability in the Middle East and encouraging political dialogue and understanding in the region. The following potential areas in which bilateral cooperation can be deepened were identified: the fight against terrorism and extremism, regarding which practical steps have already been taken, the sectors of defence, security, energy, communication technology, agriculture and tourism.

Radev noted the huge untapped potential for joint projects between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia in science and education.

The Government Information Service said that PM Borissov and the Saudi Foreign Minister noted an invigoration of bilateral relations, as well as strengthening of the economic and political dialogue following the high-level talks held during the Bulgarian Prime Minister's visit to Riyadh in late November 2017.

Borissov noted that his country has already provided the institutions in Riyadh with information about Bulgaria's economy and investment environment, as well as with proposals for investment projects. According to him, there is potential for bilateral cooperation in agriculture, business parks, industrial zones, infrastructure, tourism and transport.

Borissov said he expects specific agreements to be reached during the forthcoming visit to Bulgaria of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Security, migration and the fight against terrorism were also discussed.

Potential joint projects in the economy, especially in the construction of infrastructure, IT, agriculture, the energy sector and robotics, were also discussed at the guest's meeting with Foreign Minister Zaharieva.

Zaharieva told the press that Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia are part of the global coalition against Daesh and that the two sides also discussed cooperation in fighting terrorism and in eradicating its root causes.

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said they talked about the challenges in the region, the situation in Syria,Yemen and Iran, the peace process and the situation in Africa.

Asked to comment on the situation in Afrin after the Turkish operation and the intervention by the Assad regime, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said that his country's position on Syria is that the conflict should be resolved based on the Geneva-1 communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254 endorsing a road map for peace in Syria and setting a timetable for talks. He also said that Saudi Arabia supports the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria and providing humanitarian aid in them; has discussed with its allies and friends, including Turkey, the steps that need to be taken; and is trying to propose a formula for defeating Daesh in Syria. He also said that the ceasefire should be implemented for the political process to resume.

Zaharieva said that, regrettably, tension is escalating in Afrin and in three of the areas that were supposed to be demilitarized and have a ceasefire. She added that clear de-escalation zones and a start of the political process were needed for Syria's reconstruction to begin and the international community to commit funding for it.

Bulgaria's chief diplomat also said that all efforts should focus on fighting Daesh through coordinated actions with the partners and the allies in the global coalition.

Source: Sofia