The Bulgarian embassy in Baghdad has reopened, after a hiatus of close to 10 years, during a visit to Iraq by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov.
Mladenov, who held talks on January 23 2012 with Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, deputy prime minister Hussain Ibrahim Saleh al-Shahristani and the president of the council of representatives (Iraq’s parliament), Usama al-Nujayfi, said that in just a year, Iraq had become the largest destination for Bulgarian exports to the Middle East. Mladenov said that Iraq was Bulgaria’s largest trading partner in the Arab world, saying that there were Bulgarian companies that wanted to invest in building hospitals in Iraq.
The embassy has opened in rented premises in a new location in central Baghdad because the previous embassy building had become unusable.
Shahristani said that just as Japanese firms had come to Iraq in significant numbers after making appropriate security arrangements for their staff, so Bulgaria should do the same. Bulgarian companies should make contacts at national and provincial level in Iraq, he said. Mladenov said that it was essential to develop the infrastructure for Bulgarian companies interested in doing business in Iraq.
Regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, Mladenov urged that the conflict in Syria not be allowed to spread into neighbouring countries and called for an end to the violence in Syria as quickly as possible.
(Photo: Robert Smith)