31/03/2012 : 11:03:44
Sofia, Bulgaria (KRP.org) – After arriving in Sofia, Bulgaria, on an official visit on Wednesday, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani held meetings today with Bulgarian leaders to promote bilateral relations and cooperation.
In a meeting, the President and the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov discussed ways to develop cooperation and investment opportunities in a number of fields including agriculture, energy, water resources and dams, education, health and tourism.
“We would like to establish a strategic relationship with the Kurdistan Region and to this end we are prepared to work with you in a number of areas. We will encourage Bulgarian companies to explore trade and investment opportunities in Kurdistan and through Kurdistan as a gateway, in the rest of Iraq” said Prime Minister Borisov, hailing the stability and economic potential of the Kurdistan Region.
President Barzani stated that the KRG is equally keen to establish strong ties with Bulgaria and it welcomes Bulgarian firms and investors to explore opportunities in Kurdistan.
The two agreed on the need for follow-up expert-level meetings and further visits between officials from both sides.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov, who also attended the meeting, said that Bulgaria has decided to reopen its embassy in Baghdad and it will also open a consulate in Erbil in 2012 to help strengthen ties and mutual cooperation.
The President later met with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and the Bulgarian Speaker of Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva. The President talked about the historical relationship between the people of Kurdistan and Bulgaria, including the many Kurdish students who came to Bulgaria on scholarships.
“Our peoples have a lot in common. Both our peoples emerged from years of suffering under totalitarian regimes and are now living in freedom. We can learn much from each other and we are prepared to establish strong cooperation with your country,” said President Barzani in his meeting with President Plevneliev.
President Plevneliev and President Barzani discussed economic cooperation and the Bulgarian President said that the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank is considering opening a branch in Erbil to facilitate and encourage economic trade and investment, a decision which President Barzani warmly welcomed.
The President will end his three-day visit to Bulgaria on Friday and will travel on to the United States to meet President Barack Obama next week.