Kristian Vigenin holds talks with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki16 August 2013 Consular News
"Bulgarian-Palestinian relations have developed successfully over the years and my ambition as Foreign Minister is to work to expand and deepen them. There are good opportunities to deepen our cooperation in culture, education and the economy,” said Minister Kristian Vigenin at a meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Riyadh Al-Maliki, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria.
"I'm happy that I was the first foreign minister with whom you met at the beginning of your term. We share a sincere desire for our good bilateral relations to continue, because on the one hand between the two countries there are long standing historical ties, and on the other, it is in the interest of our two peoples, " said Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Maliki.
Minister Vigenin expressed satisfaction with the fact that at the end of June the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior had held a second training session for representatives of the Palestinian Presidential Guard in Bulgaria. They also discussed the initiative to organize courses for young Palestinian diplomats at the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as opportunities for expert assistance in laying the foundations of the Palestinian Diplomatic Institute.
The Bulgarian Foreign Minister praised the idea of the Palestinian Authority in establishing an International Cooperation Agency, to implement projects in third countries through development assistance. "As a member of the EU, Bulgaria has a commitment to development policy and my ambition is to actively work in this direction," he said. The Bulgarian side expressed readiness for cooperation within international organizations.
Among the topics of conversation were the direct negotiations that have begun in Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. "Bulgaria supports the achievement of real progress in the PA's efforts to build democratic and functioning institutions, to enhance the security of the Palestinian people and to secure a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict with Israel based on the creation of two independent states living in peace and security, "said Kristian Vigenin.
According to the Bulgarian foreign minister, the country is ready to actively contribute in shaping a common European policy towards the Middle East peace process. "We hope that both the EU and the Middle East Quartet will play an active role in the negotiation process," said Riyadh al-Maliki.