Bulgarian, Greek Cabinets Hold Joint Sitting in Athens

Diplomacy | December 17, 2012, Monday // 07:45|  views

A file photo pictures Greece’s former Prime Minister Papandreou (left middle) and his Bulgarian counterpart Borisov (right middle) during the two government’s first ever joint sitting in July 2010 in Sofia. Photo by BGNES

The governments of Bulgaria and Greece will hold on Monday the second joint summit of their Council for Cooperation.

The talks will be held in Athens.

While in Greece, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will meet with his counterpart, Antonis Samaras, and the President, Karolos Papoulias, to discuss cooperation in EU, in the region, and joint infrastructure projects.

Bilateral agreements in the education, science, culture, agriculture, sports, tourism, foreign affairs, and IT sectors are expected to be signed during the official visit, along with a joint declaration of the two governments.

The Bulgarian delegation also includes the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Nikolay Nladenov, of Regional Development, Lilyana Pavlova, of Social Policy and Labor, Totyu Mladenov, of Defense, Anyu Angelov, of Education, Sergey Ignatov, of Culture, Vezhdi Rashidov, of Agriculture, Miroslav Naydenov, of Transport, Ivaylo Moskovski, of Economy and Energy, Delyan Dobrev and of Sports, Svilen Neykov.

The first joint sitting of the cabinets of Bulgaria and Greece was held in July 2010 in Sofia.

The then Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou reiterated Greece's strong commitment to the completion of projected Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

Papandreou said that Greece cares about the environmental impact of the project and is expecting the assessment, but that does not detract from interest and support from the project.

He was referring to comments made multiple times by Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov that Bulgaria is ready to give up the joint Russian-Bulgarian-Greek project over certainty that the environmental impact assessment will be negative.

Papandreou added that Greece also supports the South Stream gas pipeline project, as well as linking Greece's gas system to that of Bulgaria, mentioning two undertakings that Greece might use as cards against Bulgaria to conduce it to better support Burgas-Alexandrupolis.

Papandreou characterized cooperation between the two neighbors as all important and stressed that it has reached "a new level." He quoted figures, saying that trade between the two countries for 2009 amounted to EUR 1.8 B, with 1500 Greek companies working in Bulgaria, and EUR 2.8 B of foreign direct investments coming from Greece.

The Greek PM stressed that cooperation between his country and Bulgaria has also relevance for deeper cooperation in the region.

Meanwhile the transport ministries of Bulgaria and Greece signed a joint declaration for cooperation aiming at facilitating and increasing the railway traffic.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Cabinet, greece, Andonis Samaras, Karolos Papoulias, joint sitting, Council for Cooperation, Athens


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