President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović Visits Bulgaria

Total Croatia News

Croatian President meets with President Plevneliev in Sofia.

Croatia and Bulgaria have good and friendly political relations which have existed for years, while economic cooperation should be improved, agreed in Sofia Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and her Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev, reports Večernji List on March 31, 2016.

The President began her visit to Bulgaria with the official welcoming ceremony and a meeting with the Bulgarian President. After the meeting, the two presidents held a press conference. President Grabar-Kitarović said she was proud of everything that connected Croatia and Bulgaria through the history and pointed out that the foundations for a common future between the two countries are the membership in the European Union and NATO.

Bulgarian President said that the two countries cooperate very well within the EU and NATO. Bulgaria and Croatia both support the Euro-Atlantic integration of Southeast European countries and are ready to work together to build long-term peace, stability and development in that part of Europe, he said. As priority areas for strengthening cooperation between the two countries, Bulgarian President listed energy security and independence.

Grabar-Kitarović supported Bulgaria’s initiative to establish an energy exchange for Southeast Europe. When it comes to specific measures in the field of energy cooperation in the region, the President announced that a summit of the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea initiative will be held in August in Dubrovnik where this issue will be one of the important topics. LNG terminal on the island of Krk and the Adriatic-Ionian gas pipeline  will have an iImportant place in the discussions, she said.

Bulgarian President said he supported the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea initiative, which the Croatian President has advocated from the beginning of her term as a new way of cooperation between Central European countries on the north-south axis. Bulgaria also plans to establish a gas hub near Varna on the Black Sea coast which will include an LNG terminal, and the project is currently being finalized together with the European Commission in order to comply with European regulations.

President Grabar-Kitarović said that on 1 July this year the European Commission will start the Schengen area evaluation in Croatia, which should take about a year, and based on that it will make an assessment whether Croatia fulfills all the conditions for accession to Schengen. To enter the Schengen area, it is necessary to receive a unanimous support of the EU member states, on the basis of a positive assessment by the European Commission that all the conditions have been met.

The two presidents also discussed the migrant crisis and the fight against terrorism in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris last year and the recent attacks in Brussels. They agreed that it was necessary to find a common European approach and solidarity and to strengthen cooperation between national intelligence agencies.

During the official welcoming ceremony, President Grabar-Kitarović laid a wreath at the monument of the Unknown Soldier. On Thursday, Grabar-Kitarović and Plevneliev will address the participants of the Bulgarian-Croatian business forum. At the University “Saint Clement of Ohrid”, the President will hold a lecture on European solidarity and will meet with students of the Croatian language. Grabar-Kitarović will also meet with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and with representatives of the Croatian community in Bulgaria.


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