Bulgarian PM Woos Albania with 'Asphalt Diplomacy'
Bulgarian Prime Miinister Boyko Borisov has declared during a visit in Tirana that Bulgaria would like to buy as much bitumen, or asphalt, as Albania can provide.
Borisov, whose major landmark policy as a prime minister has been the construction of highways in Bulgaria, was on a state visit in Albania on Monday, meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
The other highlight of the talks between Borisov and Berisha in Tirana was an understanding that Bulgaria and Albania will be working together to complete the railway section of the largely imaginary Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 8, which is supposed to become a major international trading route between Europe and East and Central Asia, running from Bulgaria's Black Sea coast to Albania's Adriatic coast.
Amidst the signing of a total of three inter-governmental agreement, including a trading and economic relations agreement, Albania's PM Berisha described the talks with the Bulgarian delegation as very friendly and fruitful, as cited by Darik Radio.
"We want bitumen; we will get as much as you have to offer," Bulgaria's PM told his Albanian counterpart.
"They can be exporting bitumen to Bulgaria. They have the best bitumen, it's natural. There are so many roads in Bulgaria built with Albanian bitumen that haven't had a scratch in 30 years. We need it, we will get as much as we can," Borisov stated, smiling.
He further noted that Bulgaria was one of the EU member states that support the liberalization of the EU visa regime for the citizens of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
"I am personally very satisfied with when Prime Minister Berisha told me that in Kosovo the Christian monuments and monasteries are being protected and preserved, and I truly hope that together with Serbia and Macedonia we will be able to build our large infrastructure projects," the Bulgarian PM added.
Borisov's visit in Tirana did not go without a translation blunder as at the beginning of the Prime Ministers' joint news conference the interpreter presented Borisov as "Boyko Dimitrov".
Later on Monday, Borisov and Berisha opened an Albanian-Bulgarian business forum in Tirana.
On a different matter, namely, the use of the Bulgarian government plane, which in August was revealed to have been lent by Borisov to his amateur football team, the Bulgarian government raised eyebrows again as its delegation arrived in Tirana by two military transport planes Spartan of the Bulgarian Air Force, as the Bulgarian government plane had taken President Rosen Plevneliev to Israel earlier on Monday.
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