Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov and recently-accredited US ambassador Eric Rubin have held talks on a range of issues, including on bilateral relations, Europe’s migrant crisis and the energy sector, a statement by Mitov’s ministry said.
The focus of discussion was the current geostrategic challenges and bilateral relations between Bulgaria and the US, as well as energy projects of mutual interest, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said after the March 7 meeting.
Mitov and Rubin praised the state of bilateral co-operation and expressed willingness to deepen and develop the strategic partnership.
“The good dialogue between Bulgaria and the United States is reflected in the work of the five joint working groups in the areas of security and defence, energy security, rule of law, education and relationships between nations fighting terrorism,” Mitov said.
He and Rubin welcomed the significant results achieved in these areas and expressed their support for continuing the strategic dialogue in the future, the statement said.
On the migration crisis, Mitov and Rubin agreed that tackling the refugee flow from the Middle East and Africa is a crucial task.
“We need clear and co-ordinated action at bilateral, multilateral and EU level to tackle the crisis,” Mitov said, emphasising the strict measures that should be implemented to stop the trafficking, and to repatriate people who are not entitled to stay in the EU.
Better protection of EU external borders and security in outlying areas are a priority and the US is ready to help to achieve better results in this regard, Rubin said.
During discussions on projects of mutual interest in the energy sector as well as diversification of gas supplies, Mitov said that diversification of energy sources and development of energy markets is a prerequisite for the implementation of the concept of a hub in Bulgaria.
Rubin welcomed the recent commissioning of the Lozenets compressor station, which is included in the route of the transit gas pipeline passing through Bulgarian territory for Turkey, Greece and Macedonia.
Mitov and Rubin confirmed that cooperation on security and defence was an important element in addressing common challenges at regional and global level.
The statement said that the Foreign Minister and US ambassador also discussed the state of the media environment and the need for more transparency, as well as the forthcoming exchange of visits at “high and the highest levels”.