Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Calls for EU Support over Refugee Wave

Diplomacy | September 25, 2013, Wednesday // 11:27|  views

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin and President Rosen Plevneliev attended the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin discussed with EU foreign ministers participating in the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York the increased refugee numbers in Bulgaria as a result of the crisis in Syria.

Vigenin acquainted his EU counterparts with the measures adopted by the Bulgarian government to solve the problem of growing refugee numbers, according to the Foreign Ministry's press office.

He claimed that Bulgaria had not faced such a problem yet and therefore needed expert and financial support from the EU partners to solve it.

The foreign ministers also discussed the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November and Iranian President Hassan Rohani's declaration of plans for openness and dialogue.

Vigenin said that it was necessary for these intentions to be implemented through concrete actions, adding that his colleagues also shared this belief.

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister also met with Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Vigenin informed Jagland about the progress achieved by Bulgaria and the concrete steps which the country was taking in the spheres subject to post-monitoring dialogue with Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

He specified that Bulgaria was considering measures aimed at guaranteeing greater transparency in the media, which, however, were not supposed to result in regulations restricting the freedom of speech.

He also pointed out that Bulgaria's Parliament had started drafting new election laws in a bid to implement the recommendations of PACE.

Vigenin spoke in favor of changing and optimizing monitoring mechanisms, not only within the Council of Europe, but also in other international and regional organizations.

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister discussed with Panama Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega opportunities for developing bilateral cooperation in the economic sphere and air and maritime transport, as well as holding consultations between the Foreign Ministries.

Vigenin voiced hopes that the local authorities would cooperate with accredited Bulgarian diplomatic and consular officials on the cease of Svetlozar Sobadzhiev, the Bulgarian captain arrested on suspicions of drug trafficking, adding that Bulgaria and Panama could discuss opportunities for signing a bilateral treaty on the transfer of convicted persons.

Vigenin also met with the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Albania, Ditmir Bushati, and expressed Bulgaria's consistent support for the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries.

He emphasized Bulgaria's readiness to work for intensifying economic relations, the implementation of EU trans-border and infrastructure projects such as Corridor #8.

The foreign ministers of Bulgaria and Albania also discussed the development of regional mechanisms and the opportunities for boosting their efficiency.

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Tags: Kristian Vigenin, Foreign Minister, General Assembly, UN General Assembly, Syria, refugees, Council of Europe, PACE, Thorbjorn Jagland, Eastern Partnership, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev


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