Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Meets New UNHCR Envoy to Discuss Migration
The current situation in the Balkans and Bulgaria linked to the refugee crisis, and progress in the implementation of EU-Turkey deal on migration were on the agenda of a meeting of Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov with the newly appointed UNHCR representative for Bulgaria Mathijs Le Rutte, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia announced on Tuesday.
"Bulgaria is firmly committed to the implementation of the established standards for asylum seekers,” Mitov said, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
Mitov also noted that Bulgaria strictly abides by international humanitarian law and international law on human rights and the country’s capacity to provide protection has increased significantly.
“At the same time, we pay due attention to the security of our national border, part of which forms the external border of the EU," Mitov said, according to the statement.
The fight against people smuggling and trafficking, particularly in view of the threat of terrorism, is among Bulgaria’s key priorities, Mitov added.
Mathijs Le Rutte said that he was impressed by the work on integration issues done during the last few months, referring to a regulation on the terms and conditions for the conclusion, implementation and termination of an agreement for the integration of foreigners granted asylum or international protection which Bulgaria is going to adopt.
The UNHCR representative for Bulgaria also noted that the country’s authorities and institutions have taken successful steps towards reducing the negative, xenophobic and anti-refugee sentiments in the country.
"The rapid progress of the country is visible, and the reactions and capabilities of Bulgaria to cope in a difficult situation such as this are often unjustly underestimated," Mathijs Le Rutte commented, according to the statement.
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