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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-17

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras, Borisov express support for EU prospects of Balkans

  • [01] Samaras, Borisov express support for EU prospects of Balkans

    AMNA -- Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov concluded a meeting here on Monday by stressing their support for the European prospects of western Balkan countries, with the provision that the rules of good neighbour relations were respected.

    In statements after a high-level meeting of Greek and Bulgarian ministerial delegations, Samaras said that cooperation between Greece and Bulgaria was "strategic" and occurred on multiple levels, extending across the full range of relations between the two countries.

    "We discussed the entire range of relations and placed emphasis on cross-border cooperation, on tackling organised crime and managing water resources," Samaras said. He also announced Greece's support for Bulgaria's bid to join the Schengen Treaty and said the two sides had reaffirmed their dedication to the principles of good neighbour relations, while noting the express desire of the two countries to work together more closely in the areas of economic affairs, tourism and diplomatic relations.

    The Greek premier then announced plans to visit Sofia in February.

    Replying to questions about the EU prospects of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Samaras noted that Greece and Bulgaria "coincide" on the final communique agreed unanimously by the EU on this issue, which said that FYROM must respect the rules of good neighbour relations and that its compliance with this condition would be monitored.

    "I am satisfied with respect to the principles and criteria that exist in Europe. In a time of crisis and difficulties for all the world, conflicts and irredentism lead nowhere. Every country must realise that such policies cannot be conditions for accession," the Greek premier stressed.amna

    Borisov referred to Greek-Bulgarian relations as historically "exemplary" and stressed that they could now be further improved for the prosperity of people in both countries.

    He highlighted energy, sport, culture and tourism as possible areas of cooperation, noting that roughly one million Bulgarians visited Greece each year, while many Greeks visited Bulgaria's winter resorts. Concerning the problems with managing the waters of the Evros River, he said that these would be overcome.

    He also repeated Bulgaria's position concerning respect for the rules of good neighbour relations and "mutual respect on all sides" when questioned about FYROM's EU accession prospects, noting that Bulgaria was in favour of the EU and NATO entry of Balkan countries if these conditions were met.amna

    During a joint session of the two ministerial delegations, Greece and Bulgaria signed a series of bilateral agreements. These included a memorandum of understanding between the two foreign ministries for exchanges of diplomatic staff, a programme for cooperation in education and culture, a joint statement on tourism, a protocol for cooperation in sport, an agreement relating on IT and technology and a memorandum of cooperation for improving quality in the production and distribution of agricultural products.

    "Tahoma","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#0F1419; Samaras also referred to delays in the completion of the Makaza-Komotini border crossing, saying that this was due to be ready in March and would help further develop tourism and trade.amna

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