Cyprus Can Contribute to Southeast Europe’s Energy Diversification - Bulgarian President
During the meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades on Monday, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said that Cyprus can contribute to the energy diversification of the countries from Southeastern Europe.
Anastasiades is on a two-day official visit to Bulgaria on Monday and Tuesday at the invitation of Plevneliev.
Speaking at a joint press conference after their meeting on Monday, the two presidents called on the EU to provide support in constructing energy infrastructure in Southeastern Europe, which will increase the energy security of the countries from the region.
Plevneliev said that the development of the Aphrodite offshore gas field located in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and the projected gas pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to continental Europe are of interest to all countries.
The Bulgarian head of state highlighted that the country supports each project which leads to real diversification of energy supplies and the establishment of market prices of energy resources.
Anastasiades assured that the cooperation of Cyprus with Greece, Israel and Egypt in the field of energy is open to other partner countries like Bulgaria.
Plevneliev familiarized his Cypriot counterpart with the Bulgarian priorities in the energy sector, namely energy diversification, liberalization and energy efficiency.
The Bulgarian president outlined the importance of the interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece which will provide access to new sources of natural gas from the Caspian region and the eastern Mediterranean.
He pointed to the interconnector as part of the Bulgarian efforts on restoring the country's status as energy centre of the Balkans and the future South-North corridor.
The two presidents signed bilateral documents in the areas of energy, agriculture and tourism, which is a sign of the determination of the two countries to build upon their bilateral partnership.
Plevneliev and Anastasiades were unanimous that despite the harsh economic conditions in Europe, the commercial-economic cooperation between Bulgaria and Cyprus has recorded a considerable growth in the past years.
Cyprus ranks among the leading investors in Bulgaria, with the volume of Cypriot investments amounting to EUR 2.1 B.
Plevneliev is convinced that the business forum scheduled to take place on Tuesday will stimulate direct contacts between Bulgarian and Cypriot business and will encourage the commercial-economic cooperation.
Furthermore, the two countries are among the preferred tourist destinations in the region and the two presidents expressed readiness towards deepening the bilateral partnership in tourism.
Plevneliev and Anastasiades also noted tat the two countries have coinciding stances on many topics of the European agenda.
The Bulgarian head of states thanked for the support expressed by Cyprus for the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen Area.
Both presidents called for devising a common European approach on dealing with the migrant crisis, which should be based on shared responsibility and solidarity of all EU member states.
According to both of them, the EU should be proactive and act decisively in addressing the root causes of the crises in the Middle East and North Africa.
Plevneliev highlighted that a distinction should be made between asylum seekers fleeing conflicts and economic immigrants.
He reaffirmed the determination of Bulgaria to step up the measures on guarding the external border of the EU.
Anastasiades familiarized his Bulgarian counterpart with the state of the negotiations on unification of Cyprus and the progress achieved.
Plevneliev wished success and political courage of the leaders of the two communities.
He expressed hope that a decision will be soon reached which will appeal to the legal interests of the people of Cyprus and will comply with the UN Security Council resolution and European values.
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