SOFIA: A high-level UAE delegation has concluded a successful trip to Bulgaria, with both nations agreeing to further advance bilateral relations.
UAE Minister of State Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh led the high-level delegation to the Bulgarian capital Sofia in a bid to further develop bilateral cooperation in a number of fields.
In meetings with Bulgarian counterparts, Al Sayegh and UAE officials discussed a range of opportunities to deepen economic, political and cultural cooperation. Opportunities explored include Emirati investments in agriculture, ports and energy, improvements to transport routes and the potential for investments in tourism and cultural exchange.
The high-level visit included meetings with Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, Culture Minister Boil Banov, Transport, IT and Communications Minister Rossen Jeliazkov and Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov.
Commenting during the visit, Al Sayegh stated: “The UAE deeply values its longstanding partnership with Bulgaria and the progress that this relationship has made on political, economic, and cultural fronts. The size of the UAE delegation on this visit is testament to our commitment to expanding the bilateral relationship to a strategic level.”
Al Sayegh noted the need to establish efficient routes and connections between inner land businesses and ports and logistics to improve lines of transport, and continued by saying the UAE delegation was impressed by Bulgarian agriculture technologies.
He concluded by saying that culture was also a field where the two nations could cooperate and develop their relationship.
Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva welcomed the UAE delegation and reaffirmed the Bulgarian Government’s high level of interest in further developing bilateral relations. Zaharieva expressed the desire to see more Bulgarian products in the UAE market and said she looked forward to the signing of a cultural and tourism agreement.
The nation’s Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov illustrated the strengths of the Bulgarian economy and stressed that Bulgaria was aiming for a strategic partnership with the UAE. He welcomed Emirati investments in agriculture, ports and energy and said the Ministry of Economy was looking forward to holding the first joint economic committee with the UAE.
The UAE delegation to Bulgaria included 42 delegates from 21 entities, including five ministries, Abu Dhabi Development Fund, Masdar, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Dubai Exports, DP World, Tawazun, Bee’ah, Al Dahra, Eagle Hills and Hub71.
Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation included Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs; Abdul Wahab Nasser Al Najjar, UAE’s Ambassador to Bulgaria; Hend Mana Al Otaiba, Director of the Strategic Communications Department; Ahmad Al Attar, Deputy Director of the European Affairs Department; and Amna Fikri, Deputy Director of the Economic and Trade Affairs Department.
Representing the Ministry of Economy was Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for the Foreign Trade Sector; representing the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development was Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary for Heritage and Arts; and Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of the Resource and Budget Sector, represented the Ministry of Finance.
The visit followed that of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to Sofia in June 2019 to meet with Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and inaugurate the UAE Embassy in Bulgaria upon its official opening.
Besides the high-level meetings the delegation also visited the Sofia Tech Park and the country’s National Museum of History.