Qatar’s Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Bulgarian President Plevneliev holding talks
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said that there was a great prospect for further co-operation between his country and Qatar in various fields. Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) the Bulgarian president said that his visit to Qatar would contribute significantly to the development of bilateral relations.
Expressing great optimism over co-operation between Bulgaria and Qatar, he said: “This co-operation came after an intensive political dialogue through which we worked together to strengthen it, and there is a lot of confidence and good faith for such co-operation, where the political leadership in both countries have urged the beginning this co-operation, which we look forward to the results.”
On the key issues that were discussed during the visit, Plevneliev said: “I have come to Qatar to discuss the prospects and opportunities for bilateral co-operation and trade, and I look forward to working with the Qatari leadership for the development of these relations and future co-operation in the areas that have been agreed upon”, especially in the agriculture and food sector as a promising investment for both countries
He stressed that the coming period will witness a number of projects and mutual visits between Qatar and Bulgaria to co-operate in the production of meat and livestock.
“The second area is the energy sector, where Bulgaria seeks to diversify its sources by buying gas from Qatar, and for this purpose we look forward to the involvement of a group of European countries with us in this project. Among these countries are Greece, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia”. He added that co-operation in the field of energy aims to establish a liquefied natural gas facility in Greece to facilitate the purchase of gas from Qatar and bringing it to Bulgaria.
Bulgaria can in turn provide assistance to Qatar in solar energy, in which, he said, his country had invested heavily in the past three years.
The Bulgarian president said that the third area of co-operation with Qatar will be in tourism, real estate and infrastructure sectors. The Bulgarian president said Qatari companies expressed their willingness to invest in Bulgaria’s real estate sector and a Qatari team will visit Bulgaria to explore the opportunities.
He also noted that co-operation agreements will be signed in the future between Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and the Bulgarian Science Academy, noting that stepping up cultural co-operation was discussed with Qatari officials. Three agreements have been signed during the visit and more will be signed in the next months, he added. An agreement was signed between the Qatari and Bulgarian news agencies, a second was signed between the Bulgarian and Qatari diplomatic institutes and a third was a twinning agreement between Doha and Sofia, opening the way for organising cultural and economic events between the two countries.
The Bulgarian president said other agreements were being drafted, including one between the ministries of agriculture, another between the Bulgarian Science Academy and Qatar Foundation, a third for promoting educational co-operation and a fourth for military training. On the situation in Ukraine, the Bulgarian president said: “We are following with great concern what is happening in Ukraine and we believe that the cohesion of the Ukrainian territory must be maintained.”
With regard to the Syrian crisis, the Bulgarian president described Bashar al-Assad as a “dictator”, and said that he was responsible for the war being waged against his people of whom more than a hundred thousand people were killed. He said that the solution starts by stopping the killing of Syrian people. He added that “we must remember that the dictator Bashar used chemical weapons which he had denied its possession and turned out later that he owned and used them . He noted that thanks to international pressure control over these weapons has been maintained.
The Bulgarian president expressed his belief that “the only solution is that the international pressure would remain until a permanent solution would be found including the stepping down of Assad and conducting free elections in which the Syrians would choose their representatives.”