Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria, Norway Agree to Support Western Balkan Countries
September 16 (BTA) - The Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria
and Norway, Ekaterina Zaharieva and Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide,
agreed to work in support of Western Balkan countries, they said
after their meeting here on Monday. Soreide is paying a visit
to Bulgaria, the first of a Norwegian foreign minister to this
country in 15 years.
Zaharieva said that they will direct their efforts at programmes
for the development of young people in Western Balkan
countries, education, and SMEs. In her words, the number of
young people leaving these states is still very high.
The Norwegian Foreign Minister said that her country and
Bulgaria should cooperate closely on the international stage.
She also said that both she and Zaharieva have committed to the
Western Balkans' matters, adding that in the last several years
Norway has doubled its financial aid for this region. "We are
looking for good ways to cooperate with Bulgaria on various
projects that will be useful and will help the region," Soreide
In Zaharieva's words, the visit of the Norwegian Foreign
Minister will give an impetus to the bilateral economic
relations, because there are no open bilateral issues at the
political level and the two countries have always been
like-minded when it comes to international matters. According to
Zaharieva, development is needed of the relations between the
two countries' entrepreneurs, and promotion is needed of
tourism, high technologies and scientific activities.
Zaharieva recalled the support with which Norway is providing
Bulgaria under the Norway Grants. In her words, the main
advantage is not just the money to which Bulgaria has access,
which amounts to 210 million euro in the 2014-2021 period, but
also the sharing of experience and the contacts between people
and institutions. She put an emphasis on the construction of a
situation centre at the Foreign Ministry, the support for
Bulgaria's justice system, and the strategic cooperation in
support of this country's international commitments in
preserving the Jewish heritage and fighting anti-Semitism.
The two foreign ministers also discussed the experience gained
in managing consular crises.