site.btaUPDATED "Deepening Greece-Bulgaria Connectivity Key to Southeastern Europe" - Deputy PM Gabriel

"Deepening Greece-Bulgaria Connectivity Key to Southeastern Europe" - Deputy PM Gabriel
"Deepening Greece-Bulgaria Connectivity Key to Southeastern Europe" - Deputy PM Gabriel
Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel talking to the media, Sofia, February 27, 2024 (BTA Photo)

"Deepening the connectivity between Greece and Bulgaria is key to the region of Southeastern Europe," Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel told a news briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

She talked to the media emerging from a one-to-one session of talks with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, who is paying an official visit to Bulgaria.

"Bulgaria sees Greece as a close partner in the region, within the EU and NATO," Gabriel stressed. 

The Deputy Prime Minister recalled that Greece assisted Bulgaria after the suspension of Russian gas supplies in March 2022. "We reaffirmed our commitment with the Joint Declaration of Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia and Romania adopted last autumn to work together for connectivity in energy, transport, science, innovation, education," Gabriel said. 

She said "It is important for all of us to ensure our countries' sustainable development. Today we focused on deepening bilateral relations in strategic connectivity projects in energy, transport and infrastructure." 

Gabriel noted that bilateral trade has increased by EUR 1 billion over the last three years. In her words, "our geographical proximity and shared EU membership create numerous preconditions for infrastructure, transport, energy and economic connectivity."

"The war in Ukraine and the issue with security in the Black Sea have become a focus of our cooperation," Gabriel stressed. She noted that support for the Three Seas Initiative was also confirmed. In her words, now that Greece has joined the initiative, it continues its faster expansion to set up the North-South corridor.

The Deputy Prime Minister singled out the maintenance of an active dialogue at the highest level and the deepening of practical cooperation between the two countries' ministries as key priorities of bilateral cooperation. 

"Given the current challenges, we will also concentrate on expanding our partnership within NATO and the EU. An emphasis will also be laid on opportunities to invigorate bilateral cooperation in the framework of our regional initiatives to strengthen security and stability in the region of Southeastern Europe. 

Gabriel thanked her Greek counterpart for his country's support for Bulgaria joining the Schengen area, the eurozone and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). "I reaffirmed my confidence that Schengen is stronger with Bulgaria," the Deputy PM said. Gabriel said that Bulgaria's accession to the OECD is not an end in itself but has a very clear message: economic stability, investment climate, and enhanced opportunities for business and people.

/LG/

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By 20:19 on 21.04.2024 Today`s news

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