Zaharieva: All-European Decision on Fast Transit Corridors Needed
Sofia, March 26 (BTA) - After meeting with Hungary's Foreign
Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto on Thursday,
Bulgaria's chief diplomat Ekaterina Zaharieva stressed the
importance of having an all-European decision ensuring fast
transit corridors, especially for basic necessities such as
food, medication and face masks.
Zaharieva told reporters it was also important to improve
coordination within the EU.
She thanked her Hungarian counterpart for granting Bulgarians
problem-free passage through his country, and recalled that a
lasting solution had been found by scheduling travel between 9
pm and 5 am. The latest reports show there is no tension as
people are prepared to fit into this time span.
Zaharieva and Szijjarto discussed the measures taken to control
the coronavirus epidemic, to help out the economy, especially
its most vulnerable sectors, and to take home stranded tourists.
The two officials agreed to work closely together for returning
citizens of their countries from various parts of the world.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister commented that each country must
protect its own citizens and their health while ensuring steady
deliveries and the operation of its economy. He said they were
doing their best to facilitate the cross-border passage of goods
and reduce waiting times where possible. He noted the need of
stronger coordination among the European countries in this
Szijjarto also said the EU Member States had become used to
trouble-free crossings of the internal borders and it took a few
days to sort things out. Tailbacks at the Hungarian borders
were up to 30-40 kilometres long, but the government brought
things back to normal and now trucks wait at the borders for two
hours at most, he said, adding that transit corridors are
Talking about migration, Szijjarto noted that massive illegal
crossings now would pose not just a security threat but a major
health threat. Unchecked migrant waves amid the coronavirus
spread pose an unprecedented risk to Europe, he said, stressing
the shared view that the EU's external borders must be
protected. He thanked the Bulgarian government for protecting
The EU should also reach a lasting agreement with Turkey because
without one, the pressure on the EU from that border will be
excessive, said Hungary's Foreign Minister. In his view, the EU
and Turkey should either sign a new agreement or reach a common
agreement within the EU-Turkey Statement of 2016.
Later on Thursday, Szijjarto also met with Deputy Prime Minister
for Economic and Demographic Policy Mariyana Nikolova, the
Government Information Service said. Their discussion focused on
coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.
The two officials talked about ways to boost economic relations
after the pandemic. They agreed that a Bulgarian-Hungarian
economic forum should be held in Budapest to step up trade and
showcase Bulgarian companies.
Nikolova stressed that Hungary is one of the leading foreign
investors in Bulgaria.
In 2020, the two countries are marking the centenary of
establishing diplomatic relations. RY/DD/