The Outer

The Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria on the sidelines of the meetings of the Egyptian/European Participation Council

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Ms. Maria Gabriel, on the sidelines of their participation in the tenth session of the Association Council meetings between Egypt and the European Union, which is hosted by the Belgian capital, Brussels.

Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, the official spokesman and Director of the Public Diplomacy Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that Minister Shukri praised the level of mutual visits and the momentum that bilateral relations have witnessed in recent years, and the keenness to continue it through holding the first session of the Joint Cooperation Committee between the two countries, headed by the two Foreign Ministers. During the visit of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister scheduled to Egypt next February. Shoukry also congratulated Mrs. Gabriel on forming the new Bulgarian government and assuming her duties, in addition to expressing the sincere condolences and solidarity of the Egyptian people with the victims of the floods and heavy rains that swept the Bulgarian cities overlooking the Black Sea last September.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the two ministers welcomed the continued exchange of support in international forums and the support of the two countries’ nominations for international positions and organizations. They discussed enhancing economic cooperation opportunities and increasing trade exchange between the two countries, especially in the sectors of industry, energy and agriculture, as well as working to attract investments and benefit from joint manufacturing opportunities between the two countries in various fields.

Abu Zeid explained that Minister Shukri also stressed the necessity of cooperation to achieve the common vision for Egypt to become a center for the launch of Bulgarian companies and trade to the countries of the Middle East and Africa, and for Bulgaria to become a center for directing Egyptian exports towards the European Union, and a logistical and storage base in the southeastern Europe and the Balkans region. . He also indicated the keenness to increase tourist flows, deepen tourism cooperation between the two countries, and encourage the establishment of regular direct airlines between the two countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also expressed his aspiration for Bulgaria’s continued support for the Egyptian vision to achieve stability and security in the Middle East region, stressing the necessity of preserving the national state and its institutions, and fighting extremist organizations, reviewing Egyptian concerns regarding the region’s issues, while emphasizing the centrality of the Palestinian issue and rejecting Israeli practices, Highlighting the Egyptian efforts made to achieve stability and security in the countries of the region and end conflicts, taking into account the repercussions and impact of the situations in the Middle East and developments on the African scene on the countries of the European Union.

For her part, the Bulgarian Minister expressed her deep thanks and appreciation for the great role played by Egypt in ensuring the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Bulgarian nationals from the Strip, noting that in light of her readiness to assume the position of Prime Minister of Bulgaria next March, she will provide Her country fully supports Egypt within the corridors of the European Union, expressing its keenness to work to advance bilateral relations and cooperation frameworks between Egypt and the Union to broader horizons. She also indicated her aspiration to enhance the European Union’s cooperation with Egypt in the field of innovation and scientific research, in light of her experience related to that sector, having previously held the position of Commissioner for Innovation in the European Union. She also praised the pivotal role played by Egypt in the Gaza Strip crisis, based on Egypt’s weight in the Middle East and Africa region, noting that Egypt is the pillar of stability in the region.

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