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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan have agreed on the two sides to work for more cohesion. This was published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website.
"It is important for our nations to see that we have excellent bilateral relations. I hope that my visit will help to develop tourism. We must also focus on connectivity, there is no direct flight between our countries, "Ekaterina Zaharieva, who is on her first official visit to Armenia, said during her talks with Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
"Direct air travel should be our absolute priority in connectivity. We will encourage our companies to work in this direction," the Armenian foreign minister said.
Both ministers agreed that the lack of open political issues between the two countries and the centuries-old historical civilizational ties are a good basis for developing relations more actively. There are also 10,800 Bulgarian citizens of Armenian origin in Bulgaria, who, according to Ekaterina Zaharieva, are a natural bridge and a living link between the two countries.
The foreign minister noted the low trade between the two countries, which in 2018 amounts to $ 27.3 million. In the January-June period of 2019, trade amounted to $ 19.5 million, with our exports increasing by 53% over the same period in 2018.
"We have an increase in exports for the first 6 months, but overall there is not much trade. I'm sure the reason is poor connectivity. We need to focus more on transport projects and connections through the Black Sea corridor, "said Ekaterina Zaharieva. According to her, Armenia could take advantage of Bulgaria's strategic location and use our country to enter the European Union, which is also Armenia's largest trading partner. "You can use our ferry connections in the Black Sea, we have very good ports in Varna and Burgas, we have very good road infrastructure," said Ekaterina Zaharieva.
Minister Mnatsakanyan confirmed Armenia's interest in developing more active economic relations with Bulgaria. "The development of economic relations is of particular importance for the expansion of relations between our countries," the Armenian foreign minister said. The two interlocutors mentioned areas of common interest in the economy as tourism, software and high technology, mechanical engineering, food industry, pharmaceuticals.
The Armenian foreign minister stressed that the European Union is the biggest supporter of the reforms in Armenia and thanked Ekaterina Zaharieva for the help that our country provides for relations with the EU.
"The European Union has no hidden agenda, our sole purpose is to support governments and peoples in different countries to live in a democratic, open, secure society, not to leave their countries," said Ekaterina Zaharieva, who congratulated her Armenian counterpart on what is being done in the country. reforms.
Bulgaria is one of the first Member States to ratify the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Armenia and the EU, supports the visa dialogue between Armenia and the EU, cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Over the last three years, Bulgaria has allocated more than BGN 700,000 (EUR 350,000) for 9 projects in Armenia and one more for Armenia and Georgia.
Two intergovernmental agreements were signed during the negotiations. Ekaterina Zaharieva and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan signed a protocol for the implementation of the EU-Armenia readmission agreement, which is important for launching Armenia's negotiations with the EU on visa liberalization. With the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Souren Papikyan Ekaterina Zaharieva signed an agreement on international transport and road transport. The document provides the basis for intensifying our cooperation in the field of transport, and it is expected to contribute to increasing the volume of transport.