Bulgaria Offers To Become Indias Door To EU

New Delhi, July 28 | Updated: Jul 29 2004, 06:10am hrs
Bulgaria has offered to become Indias door to the European Union as the two countries agreed to upgrade bilateral economic ties.

In a meeting between foreign minister K Natwar Singh and his Bulgarian counterpart Solomon Passy, on Wednesday, the two countries agreed on taking measures to enhance bilateral trade.

Mr Passy, who is on a three-day visit, said during a joint media briefing with Mr Singh that the joint economic commission of the two countries would meet in November this year to identify areas of cooperation and chalk out specific strategies.

Responding to questions, Mr Singh said the two sides had a comprehensive and constructive exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The visiting leader while announcing Bulgarias support of Indias candidature for permanent membership of an enlarged UN Security Council, called for joint efforts to combat the menace of terrorism.

We do support India for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council because this reflects the proper situation of Indias weight in international relations, not just in the region, but worldwide, Mr Passy said.

Describing Indo-Bulgaria relations as excellent and based on age-old cultural and historical ties, Mr Singh said there was unanimity of views on major issues, including on combating terrorism.

India would be sending a cultural troupe to Bulgaria to commemorate the 50th anniversary of establishment of bilateral relations in December this year, he announced.

On Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the diplomatic training institutes of the two countries was signed.

Mr Singh said that Mr Passys visit, the first one after the formation of the UPA government, would promote the traditional understanding and cordiality between the two countries and give a fillip to bilateral cooperation.

He said the mutual goodwill was evident during the successful state visit to Bulgaria by President APJ Abdul Kalam in October last year.

Mr Passy extended invitation of Bulgarian premier to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and invited him and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee to visit that country.