President, Croatia’s Top Diplomat Agree Cooperation between Bulgaria, Croatia Is Crucial for Balkan Stability, Security

As EU and NATO member states, Bulgaria and Croatia share responsibility for strengthening security and stability in the Balkans, President Rumen Radev and Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman agreed at a meeting Monday, Radev’s press centre said. Radman is paying an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel, which is the first for Bulgaria after the formation of the new regular government.

The two officials expressed satisfaction with the friendly bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Croatia, based on the close historical and cultural ties formed centuries ago. Over the past three years, trade between the two countries has doubled and there is potential for further deepening of the economic partnership in areas of mutual interest, Radev said. It was noted during the meeting that the opening of a direct air route between Sofia and Zagreb would contribute to strengthening contacts between the citizens and businesses of the two countries.

Radev and Radman highlighted the good partnership of Bulgaria and Croatia both within the EU and NATO, as well as within the Three Seas Initiative, and the common goal for both countries is full membership in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Radman expressed Croatia’s support for Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen, which would contribute to the fight against illegal migration in South-Eastern Europe.

Radev and Radman reaffirmed their support for the European integration of the Western Balkans.