Rumen Radev: Bulgaria and Turkiye Play a Key Role for the Security, Stability and Economic Prosperity of Southeast Europe

2024-03-19 15:55:00

Bulgaria and Turkiye play a key role in the security, stability and economic prosperity of the entire region of Southeast Europe. This is what President Rumen Radev said today at a ceremony at Dondukov 2, where he awarded the Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to Bulgaria, H.E. Aylin Sekizkok, with the Order of the Madara Horseman, First Class. The diplomat received the highest state award for her services to the strengthening and development of relations between the two countries. Among the guests at today's ceremony were the ambassadors of the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, Romania, the Kingdom of Morocco, Georgia and the Grand Mufti of the Muslim denomination in Bulgaria, Mustafa Hadzi.

In his speech Radev noted the importance of Turkiye as a neighbour and friend, a NATO ally and a strategic partner of Bulgaria in a number of areas of mutual interest. We highly value the bilateral relations and expect that we will continue to work together on a number of important issues, Rumen Radev added. In his words, many of the issues, including ensuring security, the development of energy and transport infrastructure, border protection and environmental protection, require effective and pragmatic solutions, and many of these solutions were initiated and implemented during the Ambassador's tenure.

Rumen Radev noted the progress achieved in the development of energy and transport connectivity between Bulgaria and Turkiye, which is an expression of the responsibility of both countries towards the security and diversification of all countries in the region. Examples of this are the expansion of the capacity of the Kapitan Andreevo-Kapikule BCP, the start of the design of a second railway line between Bulgaria and Türkiye, the provision of this country's access to the liquefied gas terminals and gas transmission network of the Republic of Turkiye in a critical period.

The Bulgarian President also highlighted the upward growth in the trade and economic exchange with Turkiye in recent years, which amounts to EUR 7 billion a year, with the overall ambition to reach EUR 10 billion. Türkiye has become not only one of the leading trade and economic partners, but also a strategic investor for Bulgaria, Rumen Radev said, noting the increasing number of tourists from both countries. This, in the President's words, is the biggest proof of the shared friendship and the spirit of good neighbourliness.

In her speech, Ambassador Sekizkok thanked for the honour and stressed that against the background of the numerous crises the world has faced in recent years, Bulgaria and Turkiye continue to deepen their bilateral cooperation on the basis of the long-standing relations of friendship. The Ambassador noted the active cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkiye on connectivity, security and the economy. She also recalled Bulgaria's swift response to help the victims after the devastating earthquake in 2023, as this country's rescue teams were the first to arrive in the Republic of Turkiye.



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