Bulgaria EU Presidency seeks to promote Europe-Middle East ties

Bulgaria, which holds the current EU Presidency, expressed its desire Monday to work with the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to boost ties between the EU and the Middle East region.

“We are working with the EEAS (European External Action Service) on relations with the Middle East. We hope that during our presidency we will be helpful to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to advance relations with the Middle East which is passing through turbulent times,” Bulgaria’s ambassador to the EU, Dimiter Tzantchev, told a press conference today.

He replied to the question on the issue put by the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), in perfect Arabic. He told KUNA later that he studied Arabic in Sofia University and holds a master’s degree in Arabic studies from the same university.

In the past, he served as Head of Middle East and North Africa Department at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign affairs and also as Desk Officer for Iraq and Gulf countries.

Bulgaria assumed the EU Presidency on 1 January for the first time since joining the EU in 2007.

He said the priorities of Bulgaria’s six-month EU Presidency will focus on security and stability in Europe, youth, economic issues and strengthening the European perspective of Western Balkan countries.

Tzantchev said the EU Presidency will also work to improve EU relations with Turkey.

The Bulgarian diplomat said his country is working with EU member states and the European Commission to join the Euro zone and the visa-free Schengen travel zone. Bulgaria is still not a member of the Eurzone or the Schengen zone.

The press conference was organised by the International press association in Brussels

Source: Kuwait News Agency