BTA News

PM Denkov, Foreign Minister Gabriel Confer with British Foreign Secretary Cameron

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel conferred here on Wednesday with visiting British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs David Cameron.

Emerging from the session of talks at the Council of Ministers, Denkov told a news briefing that the sides had discussed topics of shared interest with a focus on the war in Ukraine and the problems with migration.

Several other topics of Europewide significance were also on the agenda, the PM explained.

Cameron is visiting at Gabriel’s invitation in the context of the enhanced political dialogue between Sofia and London over the last six months, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said earlier in a press release.

Denkov specified that the discussion had centred on the role of the war in Ukraine and the assistance that must be provided by all. “We share the view that the Ukrainian troops are fighting for Europe’s future on that front. This is not a national issue. This is an issue that will predetermine historical developments in Europe and on the global stage in the coming years and, probably, decades. That is why it is our common cause to help Ukraine so as not to enable Russia to win this war, because it may have disastrous effects,” the Prime Minister said.

“Another subject we discussed in depth is migration, which is a problem of the highest priority for Europe. You know that we, too, are on the receiving end. Not so much in terms of the number of migrants we have in Bulgaria as because we, in a certain sense, we proved to be victims of the problems that part of the large European countries encounter. We concur that these problems with migration can only be addressed with common European efforts, and I include Britain in the European context as a country of enormous significance for tackling migration and the experience it has amassed,” Denkov added.

“Our team finds the exchange of opinions and ideas on how to respond to the challenges together extremely useful, and it could have long-term consequences regarding some of the ideas we shared,” the Bulgarian head of government said further.

“Bulgaria and the United Kingdom are strategic partners and allies in NATO,” Gabriel told the news briefing.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the two countries share common values and together seek solutions to the global and regional challenges.

“Hence, today’s conversation focused on our bilateral and Euroatlantic concerns,” she said. Bulgaria and Britain will continue, for as long as necessary, their joint financial, military, diplomatic and political support for Ukraine. More than any time before, it is now important to ensure a steady and predictable support for Ukraine. The chief Bulgarian diplomat would join Lord Cameron’s appeal to the US Congress, Britain and Bulgaria to keep clearly giving signals of their support for Ukraine.

In the Deputy PM’s words, Bulgaria, the UK and NATO also attach importance to regional stability, with a focus on the Black Sea. Gabriel stressed that the two countries will also continue their joint efforts to counter hybrid threats, combat disinformation and cope with illegal migration and human trafficking.

“We highly appreciate our cooperation through joint operations that have already been carried out, joint investigation teams to combat illegal migration, cyber crime and human trafficking,” Gabriel specified. She also acknowledged Britain’s support for Bulgaria’s bid to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.