Exclusive Interview/IBNA: Daniel Mitov, Foreign Minister of Bulgaria

How important is the conference in Rhodes, about security and stability, for your country Bulgaria? How necessary are conferences like this between the Arabic, Middle East and European countries?

This conference and this dialogue is extremely timely and well organized, I have to say. I would like also to appreciate the effort of minister Kotzias and the Greek government for organizing this because our security, both the EU and especially the Eastern European part, is extremely interconnected and interdependent. So this is why this dialogue, these different platforms for dialogue are extremely important in order to achieve common understanding and coordination, and common synergy, in different areas towards finding mutual solutions; being mutually compatible towards the approach. Because, phenomena like migration are not one time phenomena, they are here to stay and we need to develop mechanisms in order to manage those challenges. That’s one thing. Second, the European Union is challenged and has internal problems when it comes to, for example, the rise of extremist and populist forces. Those were fed by the circumstances when hundreds of thousands of people started crossing European borders without being stopped or without any problem. That created the sensation between the European citizens that the European Union and the European countries, the European governments are helpless or not in control. And this sense of lack of control feeds the extremist and the populist parties. We need to regain control and that could be done only through dialogue with our partners and friends from the Middle East and North Africa.

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