Bulgaria Reaffirms Interest in Closer Economic Cooperation with Iran

Sofia, February 28 (BTA) - Meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Rumen Radev Wednesday said the deepening of economic and energy partnership with Iran is in the interest of Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe and the EU. As the holder of the EU Presidency, Bulgaria will work to promote political dialogue seeking concrete results of mutual benefit, Radev's press secretariat said.

The sides concurred that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear programme and Tehran's implementation of its commitments open up opportunities for the development of EU-Iran relations and of Bulgaria's traditionally good ties with Iran.

Radev said Bulgaria is ready for dialogue on improving transport connectivity, energy diversification and increasing investments, tourism and scientific exchange. For his part, Zarif said the development of the IT sector and of nanotechnology-based pharmaceutics in Iran also expanded the scope of potential cooperation with Bulgaria.

Joint business and tourism forums and relaxed visa requirements were identified as possible ways to energize economic and cultural exchange.

Stepping up the international efforts against the Islamic State and for post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle-East were also on the agenda of the meeting. The Iranian chief diplomat said Bulgarian construction companies could participate in that process.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Iran's Foreign Minister discussed ways to deepen economic relations, as well as the situation in the Middle East.

Borissov detailed Zarif on the projects for construction of road, rail, gas and digital infrastructure in the Balkans. This type of connectivity, which is a priority of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, is a key prerequisite for the development of the countries and the economies in the region.

Borissov expressed concern over the build-up of tension in the Middle East, saying that he hoped that despite their differences, Iran and the other countries would find common ground for consultations to end the Middle East crisis.

Borissov and Zarif voiced support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, noting that it must be implemented by all parties to it.

Source: Sofia