ARMENIA-BULGARIA ECONOMIC COOPERATION FALLS BEHIND POLITICAL DIALOGUE
11.12.2008 12:58 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, who arrived to
Sofia by the invitation of the President of Bulgaria, Georgi Prvanov,
has started today his two-day official visit. The Armenian delegation
headed by the President comprises the Ministers of Foreign Affairs,
Culture, Economy, Transport and Communications, other officials, as
well as the renowned journalist Svetana Paskaleva, the RA leader’s
press office told PanARMENIAN.Net.
After the official welcoming ceremony in Sofia, the President
of Armenia laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown
Soldier. Afterwards, the two Presidents held a private meeting followed
by the negotiations in the extended format. Serzh Sargsyan and Georgi
Prvanov hailed the current level of political dialogue between the
two countries. The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria noted also
that economic cooperation and the trade turnover in particular, which
approaches 150 million USD, are lagging behind the political relations
and that necessary steps should be taken toward the reconstruction
of the trade structure as well as for the further development of
economic cooperation. Presidents Sargsyan and Prvanov highly praised
the bilateral as well as the multilateral cooperation of Armenia and
Bulgaria. President Sargsyan thanked the President of Bulgaria and
said that in some difficult historical junctures the Bulgarian people
were congenial to and embraced kindly our people who later integrated
entirely in the Bulgarian society. The President of Bulgaria also
highly praised the Armenian-Bulgarian relations and noted that the
high level of trust, which exists between the two peoples, allows to
develop new comprehensive programs.
The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria also mentioned that the two
peoples have many common features, share common problems, and on many
instances have faced together arising challenges. The President of
Armenia underscored that the two countries have a common future and
that the future is built on the values shared by the two peoples,
which are the Christian values, a democratic system, and liberties –
all of which allow to look toward the future.
The leaders of the two countries mentioned with satisfaction the
existing adequate legal field – there are almost fifty agreements
between Bulgaria and Armenia which today have been augmented by another
four. One of them pertains to the organization and conduct of the Days
of Bulgaria in Armenia in 2009 and the Days of Armenia in Bulgaria in
2010. The other three agreements are related to the cooperation in
the areas of civil service and state governance, amendments to the
agreement on avoidance of double taxation of income and property,
as well as to the cooperation in the area of archives administration.
The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria highlighted the importance
of fostering cooperation between the executive agencies and business
circles and noted that the tomorrow’s Armenian-Bulgarian Business Forum
in Sofia provides an excellent opportunity for the businesses to get
acquainted, to examine the possibilities, and develop joint programs.
Presidents Sargsyan and Prvanov stressed also the importance of
cooperation in the area of transportation. The President of Bulgaria
hailed and welcomed the Armenian-Turkish dialogue and expressed hope
that the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border would be beneficial
for Bulgaria as well. The two Presidents concurred on that issue and
noted that the open borders would provide a direct transportation
and automobile connection between Armenia and Bulgaria. President
Sargsyan spoke also about Armenia’s intention on constructing the
Armenia-Iran railway. The sides also stressed the importance of the
establishment the air transportation link between the two countries.
President Georgi Prvanov invited President Serzh Sargsyan to attend
the energy forum to be held in Bulgaria next year.
The President of Bulgaria expressed readiness to assist Armenia with
experience and expert assistance in the framework of the Eastern
The President of Armenia handed to the President of Bulgaria a letter
of gratitude from the people of Armenia to the people of Bulgaria
and the Bulgarian authorities for their assistance provided after the
devastating earthquake of December 7, 1988 in Spitak. The President of
Armenia sent over a hundred thank you letters to the world leaders,
with the words of gratitude on behalf of the people of Armenia for
their assistance to Armenia after the earthquake.
The Presidents of the two countries came up with a Joint Declaration
and answered the questions of the journalists.