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Nickolay Mladenov in Ankara for preparations for joint sitting of Bulgarian and Turkish governments

08 September 2011 News

"Our common goal is, through concrete steps, to improve the lives of people in Bulgaria and Turkey. It is for this reason that we have agreed that by the end of the year we shall a joint meeting of both governments," Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov said after talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

Turkey is committed to accelerating the return of the property of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Turkey, on the basis of the recently-adopted law on the property of religious minorities. Mladenov and Davutoglu also discussed the Western Balkans, Black Sea region and the Middle East. They condemned the September 7 violence in Syria that killed six people. Mladenov urged the regime in Damascus, Syria, to allow people to freely elect their government, as is done in Bulgaria and Turkey.

"Our country supports Turkey's negotiations with the EU, because we are convinced that co-operation is easier when the rules are the same for all," Bulgaria's Foreign Minister said in talks with Egemen Bağış, Turkey's EU affairs minister and chief negotiator with the EU.

"I am delighted that we can work together on security and sustainable development of the region as partners in NATO and in Europe," Mladenov said.

 Later on September 8, the Bulgarian Foreign Minister will hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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