Bulgaria supports the efforts of the Greek government and society to cope with the crisis, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said on January 18 2012 after a meeting in Athens with his counterpart Stavros Dimas.
Greece is Bulgaria’s priority partner in the European Union and in the Balkans, and for that reason we have a comprehensive agenda for the upcoming second joint meeting of both governments in the spring, Mladenov said, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry in Sofia.
Topics that Mladenov covered included the opening of new border crossings, co-operation in infrastructure and implementation of the gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece.
"The Cold War resulted in an artificial iron curtain between our countries, which included the isolation of our energy networks," he said.
Implementing a gas interconnection connection is an important step in overcoming this legacy and in diversifying our energy supplies, Mladenov said.
He said that the planned elimination of the need for third-country holders of Schengen visas to have Bulgarian visas would encourage Greek and Bulgarian tour operators to offer joint packages.
The statement said that Mladenov and Dimas discussed how to support the European prospects of Western Balkan countries.
The day that our neighbours meet the requirements of EU legislation and demonstrate that they have good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation, they should become EU members, Mladenov said. The two ministers committed Bulgaria and Greece to working together on this, the statement said.
Dimas accepted Mladenov’s idea for a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, to be held in coming months in Bulgaria. By sending a joint message, the member states in the region would strengthen their voice, Mladenov and Dimas agreed, according to the statement.