Romania Seeks Talks with Bulgaria on 'Disputed Territory'

Diplomacy | March 21, 2012, Wednesday // 13:03|  views

The area said to be a point of dispute between the two countries was recently discovered to be rich in oil and gas. Photo by

Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu has drawn attention to an alleged "disputed territory" on the Black Sea border between Bulgaria and Romania in an area that was recently found to be rich in oil and gas.

He further insisted that there were other unresolved issues between the two countries like that of the so-called Romanian minority in Bulgaria.

"There is a disputed zone on the Romanian-Bulgarian border in the territorial waters of the two countries. The border dispute is about 17 square kilometers, which is not much, but having in mind that it concerns two European countries that cooperate to the maximum in a number of spheres and share many common interests, I do not see why these issues should not get settled very quickly," Diaconescu was quoted as saying in an interview for a Romanian TV station.

The Romanian Foreign Minister argued that it was a longtime border dispute and that Romania had not entered a stage of laying territorial claims.

"Nobody should be angry because these are spheres of national interest for the two countries and the issues need to be resolved at a certain point because problems will arise, for instance with the exploitation of the area and the concession," Diaconescu said, adding Bulgaria and Romania would hold expert-level talks in a mutually acceptable format.

He explained that there were a number of unresolved issues, the majority of them of a political or legal nature, which Romania wished to tackle for the sake of good neighborly relations with the countries in question.

Romania's Foreign Minister stressed that it was only natural to seek to deal with neglected issues, especially ones involving minorities, borders and territories, "in a civilized Europe".

He reminded that the situation of what he referred to as "the Romanian minority in Bulgaria" also had to be discussed.

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Tags: Romania, cristian diaconescu, Black Sea, border dispute, natural gas, oil reserves, minority


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