site.btaUPDATED Türkiye and Bulgaria Will Continue to Work for Improving Border Security, President Erdogan Says as He Meets with President Radev

Türkiye and Bulgaria Will Continue to Work for Improving Border Security, President Erdogan Says as He Meets with President Radev
Türkiye and Bulgaria Will Continue to Work for Improving Border Security, President Erdogan Says as He Meets with President Radev
Presidents Radev of Bulgaria (left) and Erdogan of Türkiye (BTA Photo)

Türkiye and Bulgaria will continue to work for improving border security, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he met his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev in Istanbul Friday.

Radev arrived on a working visit here at Erdogan's invitation. The two leaders had a one-on-one meeting and held a joint news briefing.

The Bulgarian delegation included Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev, Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov, Energy Minister Rosen Hristov, as well as Minister of Defence Dimitar Stoyanov.

Erdogan said that they discussed a number of issues, including cooperation in economy, the energy sector, migration and security and transport connectivity. He stressed that there is a shared will to further enhance cooperation.

"We are in a challenging environment for both the Balkans and the global system. Therefore, as NATO allies, we need to support each other more than ever. I am pleased to say that there is a common will to develop cooperation bilaterally, regionally and globally," Erdogan said.

The Turkish President said the two countries also have a common position on the issue of illegal migration. The Bulgarian and Turkish Interior Ministers held a meeting regarding the security of the common border and ways to address emerging issues. According to Erdogan, they will continue to act in this spirit.

Erdogan spoke about the Bulgarian Turks, calling them a "spiritual bridge between the two countries". "As you know, I personally make efforts to preserve the common cultural heritage. With this understanding [...], we took responsibility for the restoration of the Iron Church and unveiled it in 2018. I hope that the Ibrahim Pasha Mosque in Razgrad [Northeastern Bulgaria] will also be restored and come into use in the very near future. I believe reciprocal visits will contribute to deepening our goodneighbourly relations," the Turkish leader said.

"Please give to the people of Bulgaria, an ally and a friend, the warmest greetings on my behalf and on behalf of our people. I hope that Mr Radev's visit will contribute to the prosperity of our two countries and our region," Erdogan concluded.

Radev expressed gratitude for the traditional hospitality.

The Bulgarian President confirmed that he and Erdogan strongly condemn all manifestations of terrorism and will continue to actively cooperate in the fight against it.

The Bulgarian head of State spoke about the war in Ukraine, stating that it has changed the global supply chains. He concluded that today the only reliable land route is via Türkiye and Bulgaria. "We are already feeling this through the increased traffic through our border control check points. Together we need to create measures to increase security. For our endeavours to succeed, it is important to have a well secured border. We also understand the difficulties that Türkiye is facing in terms of migration," Radev said.

The Bulgarian head of State pointed out that his country appreciates Türkiye's efforts and contribution to resolving the conflict in Ukraine, including through the grain export agreement, as well as with regard to the exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia.

Bulgaria, Türkiye aim at two-way trade worth USD 10 billion

Two-way trade totals USD 6 billion. The aim is to make it USD 10 billion as soon as possible, said the Turkish leader.

He reiterated that the two sides share a will to see that happen. Bilateral cooperation will continue to develop with the completion of the modernization of the border checkpoints on the Bulgarian side and especially with the enhancing of the infrastructure for food control, he added.

The Turkish president said that options for cooperation in the energy security sector were also on the agenda.

"Instructions were given to the relevant Energy Ministers on how we can meet Bulgaria's natural gas needs, and the relevant ministries will do whatever is necessary," Erdogan stressed.

By virtue of their geographic locations, our countries share a common responsibility to achieve security of supply and diversification of energy resources not only in the interest of our countries, but also in the interest of our European partners and allies, by deepening cooperation in the energy sector between Türkiye and Bulgaria, the Turkish head of State emphasized.

Radev said that the two countries are in a complex region, and cooperation between them is important for security and stability in the region. He added that the two countries have mutually beneficial cooperation in the economy, tourism and energy sectors, and stressed the importance of protecting the common border.

Radev said that Türkiye is among the leading investors in Bulgaria. He expressed hope for stronger connectivity of the two energy systems and said that the two sides had a very fruitful discussion on the matter on Friday.

"I would like to extend my gratitude to President Erdogan for the access to Turkish LNG terminals in these difficult for our country times and to share our hope that in the future this access will be more flexible and with longer-term arrangements. And I really thank you for today's very fruitful discussion and specific plans for targeted activity in this direction," said Radev.

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By 20:47 on 04.02.2023 Today`s news

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