What was Said in the First Meeting between the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and GreeceDiplomacy | December 20, 2021, Monday // 11:43| views
The Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov had a private conversation with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He is on his first visit to Bulgaria and is the first guest at the government level of the Bulgarian Prime Minister since taking office.
The gas connection between Bulgaria and Greece will be completed in a few months. It became clear after the meeting that some difficulties and delays in supplies for the construction of the gas pipeline due to covid have been overcome.
After this meeting, I can say that the friendly relations between Bulgaria and Greece will be strengthened.
Together we can achieve more, especially in the sectors of general infrastructure, energy, regional projects, said Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.
It is a great pleasure for me to meet the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria and my friend Kiril Petkov, said Mitsotakis. At the meeting, we worked to make the Bulgarian-Greek relations closer. I congratulated Mr. Petkov on the election victory and the formation of the new government. As for the international positions of our countries, we have established common positions, added the Prime Minister of Greece.
We are not only neighbors but also allies, partners, two countries that respect international law. We talked about the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, which is entering its final stage, and agreed to complete this project as soon as possible, this is a common goal, said Mitsotakis.
The Greek government and I are personally available to help do everything we can to speed up vaccination, said the Greek Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Petkov also announced that NATO was discussing improving the infrastructure along the Alexandroupolis-Burgas-Varna-Constanta corridor, rather than sending additional troops to Bulgaria and Romania. The clarification about the interaction with NATO comes against the background of information from SPIEGEL that the Alliance is considering sending another 1,500 troops to Bulgaria and Romania due to the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Mitsotakis reiterated Greece's September position that Athens is in favor of convening the first intergovernmental conference (formal start of talks) with Skopje and Tirana as soon as possible, of course, subject to membership criteria, the most important of which is good neighborliness.
The two countries discussed the possibilities for import-export of energy against the background of the fact that the peak of consumption in Greece is in the summer, and in our country - in the winter. The two agreed to convene the Fifth Sofia-Athens High Council in January with a meeting of the two governments.
Today's conversation between Petkov and Mitsotakis in the Council of Ministers testifies to the intensive political dialogue at the highest level between Bulgaria and Greece and reflects the strategic and friendly nature of relations between the two countries.
The strategic partnership between Bulgaria and Greece, which is key to stability in the region, has a number of important aspects. In the first place is the cooperation between the EU and NATO, in view of the current challenges.
Equally important is the intensification of bilateral cooperation in the field of regional initiatives in order to strengthen security and stability in the region of Southeast Europe.
Bulgaria and Greece work together on the implementation of energy and infrastructure projects of mutual interest and on the implementation of cross-border projects under EU programs. The creation of favorable conditions for the growth of trade and tourist flow are also important elements of bilateral relations. According to BNB data, foreign direct investment by Greece in Bulgaria as of December 31, 2020, amounted to EUR 2.57 billion.
Last but not least, the expansion of cooperation in the field of education and culture has traditionally been on the agenda of the bilateral dialogue between Bulgaria and Greece.
After the conversation with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to meet with President Rumen Radev.
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