Bulgaria, Turkey to Ink Trilateral Border Center Agreement within days

Politics » DIPLOMACY | February 27, 2014, Thursday // 15:20| Views: 2645 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria, Turkey to Ink Trilateral Border Center Agreement within days Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin (R) met with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutuglu (L) in Sofia on Thursday. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin has said that an agreement on a tripartite border center between Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey is to be signed within a few days.

Vigenin gave a joint press briefing Thursday with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutugu, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria.

As regards the issue of coping with the refugee flows, Vigenin noted that work on the agreement had been completed and that a visit of Turkey's Interior Minister to Sofia was forthcoming, the exact date still being unclear.

He added that the talks on the agreement on joint border surveillance activities continued, stressing the process would be accelerated after Thursday's visit of Turkey's Foreign Minister.

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister emphasized that the targets set between the two countries in 2013 were gradually being achieved.

Asked to comment on the recent truck blockade at the Bulgarian-Turkish border due to the dispute over transit traffic permits, Davutuglu noted that the bilateral meeting held on the matter had brought progress, adding that it was not a good idea to sign a written agreement at the current stage.

Davutuglu also mentioned the attacks against the Dzhumaya mosque in Plovdiv in mid-February, acknowledging that they had created tension in Turkey, and thanked the authorities for the measures taken to solve the problem.

He expressed optimism that the issues would be resolved favorably, calling for respect for the past with a view to the shared vision of the two countries.

"We are neighbors, we are optimistic about the future, we have made commitments in NATO, we will work in close cooperation and expand dialogue between the two countries in order to ensure peace on the Balkans," he added, expressing gratitude for Bulgaria's support for Turkey's EU bid.

"We are keeping track of the developments in Crimea because Ukraine is a neighbor of Turkey, because we work in close cooperation with the Ukrainians and their country is an important partner for us," Davutuglu stated.

"Preserving peace and stability in Ukraine for the sake of its democratic future is very important to us. Crimea is Ukraine's door to Turkey and Turkey's door to Ukraine," Turkey's Foreign Minister pointed out.

"We call on the leaders of the communities living there to preserve peace for the sake of the wellbeing of the people. I plan to visit Ukraine in the next few days," Davutuglu added.

Turkey's Foreign Minister predicted that Turkish investments in Bulgaria could grow from 5 to 10 billion, without specifying the currency.

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Tags: Kristian Vigenin, Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, NATO, EU bid
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