site.btaGerapetritis: "Sofia's Full Schengen Accession Will Further Boost Relations with Athens"

Gerapetritis: "Sofia's Full Schengen Accession Will Further Boost Relations with Athens"
Gerapetritis: "Sofia's Full Schengen Accession Will Further Boost Relations with Athens"
Greek Foreign Minister Girogos Gerapetritis talks to the media, Sofia, February 27, 2024 (BTA Photo)

"Bulgaria's full accession to Schengen will further boost relations between Bulgaria and Greece," Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis said at a news briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Sofia on Tuesday.

He is paying an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel.

Gerapetritis highlighted Bulgaria's success in acceding to Schengen, the progress of its bid to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the euro area, in the context of continuous crises, the upcoming European Parliament elections, as well as against the background of all developments in the region.

"Today we had the opportunity to confirm the high-level, strategic nature of Greek-Bulgarian relations, which are a model of cooperation between countries sharing a common European future," Gerapetritis said. "A large number of people are moving between Greece and Bulgaria," he said, adding that people-to-people contacts are very important and that cultural and academic exchanges can be pursued." 

"Bulgaria is already Greece's second largest export market, and Greek investments are the third largest foreign investments in Bulgaria. We are a common trans-European hub for energy transport, and we prioritize this country for the development of the North-South corridor," the guest said. 

He recalled that Greece had supplied Bulgaria with natural gas in the spring of 2022 when Russia stopped its gas deliveries. "We are promoting our energy cooperation," the Greek Foreign Minister said. He described the Alexandroupolis gas terminal as "a project that will transform the region's energy map".

Gerapetritis pointed out that the sides had also discussed the issue of management of the Arda River water. "We hope that in the near future we will reach an agreement in line with EU law benefiting both countries, as well as agreements on bilateral infrastructure connectivity," he said. 

The chief Greek diplomat said that the developments in the region were also on the agenda. "Two years after Russia invaded Ukraine, we support Ukraine in the battle it is fighting for its sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said. "At the same time, human rights are being put to the test in the Middle East. Every day of this clash leads to a worsening of the situation," Gerapetritis pointed out.

"We support the European perspective of the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova," the Greek Foreign Minister added. 

He invited Gabriel to visit Greece after the prime ministership rotates to her.




By 20:47 on 21.04.2024 Today`s news

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