Bulgaria and Croatia will Strengthen their Partnership in the Security and Defense Sphere and will Hold Regular Consultations on Key Issues of the European and Regional Agenda
Presidents Rumen Radev and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic signed a joint message to President Xi Jinping for developing the relations with China and opening a direct flight Beijing-Sofia-Zagreb
At a time of unpredictable challenges, both countries should further enhance their cooperation and hold regular consultations on key issues of the regional and European agenda. The two countries should commit to working towards a new strategic dimension of their relations by strengthening cooperation in areas such as security and defense, law-enforcement, trade and economic ties, tourism, education, science and culture. This is said in a joint statement of Presidents Rumen Radev and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who held a meeting in Zagreb today. The Bulgarian President is on a state visit in the Republic of Croatia at the invitation of his Croatian counterpart.
The statement of the two Heads of State emphasizes Bulgaria’s and Croatia’s common commitment to the Western Balkan’s European integration. “The European integration without the Western Balkans will remain an unfinished project. The European prospects of that region are the main driving force for implementing the necessary reforms,” the joint statement further says. Rumen Radev and Grabar-Kitarovic support the development of a Europe that “unites, protects, that is a leader in multilateralism, as well as a global innovation leader.”
Economic and social cohesion should become a leading priority of the EU and what is necessary therefore is the preservation of the Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policy, Rumen Radev emphasized at the meeting. In his words, without a cohesion between West and East Europe or if Europe functions “at two speeds” it is inconceivable to talk about a united EU, which should establish itself as a real factor in international relations.
The two Presidents were unanimous that a greater support is needed for the countries protecting the external European borders. In Rumen Radev’s opinion, the European migration policy will not be efficient unless the asylum-granting system is reformed and the Dublin Regulation is revised. A more active dialogue is necessary with the migrants’ countries of origin and also an analysis of the long-term consequences of the migration flows for the European countries.
The Presidents of Bulgaria and Croatia signed a joint message to Chinese President Xi Jinping for opening a direct flight Beijing-Sofia-Zagreb. The joint message of the two Heads of State is a result of President Radev’s meetings held in China at the beginning of July, whereby the Bulgarian President invited the Chinese investors to strengthen their presence in Southeast Europe. If a direct flight is opened, this will promote the exchange with China in tourism, education, science and culture. The two shared the opinion that the regional initiatives with China’s participation “17+1” and “One belt, One road, ” and the projects related to them in transport, energy, culture and science, are a real investment in the economic development of the countries from Central and Eastern Europe.
The Bulgarian Head of State voiced our country’s support for Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s “Three Seas” initiative directed at promoting the economic opportunities and energy diversification of the countries from the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea regions.
The two Presidents shared the opinion that the annual economic exchange of 280 million euros is smaller than the potential of the businesses from the two countries and Bulgaria and Croatia will encourage a follow-up strengthening of the economic ties and mutual investments. Improving the transport and energy connectivity in Southeast Europe with the EU’s support is of key importance for the trade, the contacts between the businesses and tourism in the whole region. Over 36,000 Croats visited Bulgaria in 2018 and more than 22,000 Bulgarians chose to spend their holidays in Croatia.
The official ceremony of welcoming President Rumen Radev in Croatia was held in front of the Presidential institution in Zagreb. The two Heads of State held a tete-a-tete meeting and led the plenary talks of the official delegations.
In Zagreb Rumen Radev also held a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, at which the two discussed the prospects for the development of the bilateral partnership in the security and defense spheres and Bulgaria’s and Croatia’s accession to Schengen, the Euro-zone, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Later the Head of State will hold a meeting with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the country.
Tomorrow the Bulgarian President will visit the 93rd Air Force Base “Zemunik” in the city of Zadar.