Egypt's Foreign Minister Visits Bulgaria

November 22 (BTA) - Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan
 Shoukry Thursday met with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev,
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Foreign Minister Ekaterina
Zaharieva. Bilateral relations topped the agenda.

Radev recalled that Egypt is Bulgaria's largest trading and
economic partner in the Middle East. The positive dynamics of
two-way trade in recent years and good political dialogue show
there is a huge potential for the two countries' cooperation to
deepen in areas of shared interest.

The prospects for deepening economic partnership and the
implementation of joint projects will be central to Radev's
Egyptian visit in 2019.

Radev and Shoukry singled out security, defence, military
education, agriculture, energy and tourism as spheres of shared
interest with a potential for broader cooperation. Since
Bulgarian businesses have an interest in investing, the
industries in which this can happen should be identified, the
President said.

He noted that Bulgaria supports Egypt's efforts to fight
terrorism and radical extremism and to deal with migration.

Shoukry detailed Radev on Egypt's actions in protecting the
European borders from migrant flows.

Meeting with Egypt's chief diplomat, Prime Minister Boyko
Borissov stressed that he held substantive meetings with
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Prime Minister Mostafa
Madbouly in Cairo in October. Borissov said the talks gave a
considerable impetus to the potential for broader and deeper
bilateral cooperation.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister said: "We need steps to broaden
investment cooperation. The two countries can act as a bridge
for investment and export interest to Europe and to the Middle
East and Africa." He added that both Bulgarian and Egyptian
companies should be encouraged to do business and develop
production in special economic zones.

In the last ten years, trade between Bulgaria and Egypt has
increased steadily, reaching one billion US dollars at the end
of 2017.

On Thursday, Bulgaria and Egypt signed an agreement on setting
up a Joint Commission for Cooperation. The commission will
develop programmes and plans for improving collaboration in all
spheres of mutual interest. It will be chaired by the two
countries' foreign ministers, and line ministries will be
involved in its work, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said
after meeting with her Egyptian counterpart.

Zaharieva hopes that the commission will meet first in 2019
during the visit of the Egyptian President to Bulgaria. She
noted there are many agreements at an advanced stage of
coordination in agriculture, air transport, education and

The two chief diplomats agreed that a business council will be
established in 2019.

Energy security and opportunities for Bulgaria's natural gas
supply diversification were also on the agenda during the
meeting. Zaharieva believes cooperation between Bulgaria,
Greece, Egypt, Cyprus and Israel is a prerequisite for supplies
from one more gas source to the Balkan Gas Hub.

Shoukry said Egypt will work for enhanced cooperation with
Bulgaria in the energy sector, noting that his country is
currently expanding its opportunities for gas export. LI/DD/TH

Source: Sofia