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Foreign Minister Gabriel Thanks Germany for Its Strong Support for Bulgaria’s Schengen Accession

Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel thanked Germany for its strong support for Bulgaria’s prompt Schengen accession during a joint press conference with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin on Thursday.

“This means a lot for Bulgaria and for the Bulgarian people. Germany is our trusted ally and long-standing partner and its support for Schengen at this crucial moment is essential,” Gabriel stressed.

Baerbock said that Bulgaria and Romania have worked hard in this direction and now it is the turn of the Schengen countries to keep their word and accept them.

Gabriel also thanked Germany for its support for Bulgaria’s candidacy for membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEC). She expressed confidence that the two countries cан work together in the sphere of investments, new technologies, cooperation in education and culture.

Baerbock praised the support provided to Ukraine by Bulgaria. “I am glad to note that solidarity is not just a word for Bulgaria,” the German Minister underlined.

She pointed out that Bulgaria is among the countries that continue to maintain a functioning Ukrainian grain export corridor together with Greece and Romania.

Regarding the conflict in the Middle East, which started on October 7 after the radical group Hamas attacked Israel, Baerbock said she had seen the situation on the ground during her visit to the region.

“Clearly, there is no easy answer to this issue,” she noted and added that opening a humanitarian corridor is necessary to allow people in need, especially children.

She called for the release of the hostages captured by Hamas in the attack and said Israel had the right to defend itself, but Israel must take into account the civilians in the Gaza Strip during its military operations.

“For there to be peace and security in the region, there must be two independent states,” Baerbock stressed.

“Bulgaria strongly condemns the brutal terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel… We express our full support for Israel’s right to self-defence, in accordance with the norms of international law,” Gabriel said.

The enlargement of the EU, the fight against illegal migration and the situation in the Middle East вере also topics of the talks between the two foreign ministers.

The fight against illegal migration remains a key priority for Bulgaria, given that it is an external border of the EU, Gabriel said. She added that the country supports efforts to establish an effective fair and well-functioning migration and asylum system within the EU.

“It is crucial that support for Ukraine continues in the face of ongoing Russian aggression. We will continue to work for the sanctions regime against Russia. Bulgaria also provides political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian assistance and is home to thousands of Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war,” the Bulgarian Foreign Minister pointed out.