Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel expressed gratitude to Germany for its robust backing of Bulgaria's swift accession to the Schengen zone. During a joint press briefing with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin, Gabriel emphasized the significance of Germany's unwavering support at this pivotal juncture.
Gabriel highlighted the crucial role of Germany, a trusted ally and longstanding partner, in Bulgaria's Schengen aspirations, underscoring the importance of honoring commitments.
Baerbock acknowledged the diligent efforts of Bulgaria and Romania in their Schengen pursuit, urging the Schengen countries to fulfill their promises by accepting both nations.
In addition to Schengen accession, Gabriel acknowledged Germany's support for Bulgaria's bid to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She emphasized the potential for bilateral collaboration in investments, technology, education, and cultural exchange.
The discussions between the foreign ministers also covered EU enlargement, combating illegal migration, and the situation in the Middle East. Gabriel stressed Bulgaria's commitment to fortifying the EU's external borders and supporting a robust migration and asylum system within the union.
Highlighting Bulgaria's solidarity with Ukraine, Gabriel reaffirmed the country's continued assistance, both political and humanitarian, and its acceptance of Ukrainian refugees. Baerbock commended Bulgaria's support for maintaining a functional grain export corridor for Ukraine.
Baerbock, after visiting the Middle East, emphasized the complexity of the situation in the region and stressed the necessity of establishing a humanitarian corridor for those in need, especially children. She urged Hamas to release hostages and emphasized Israel's right to self-defense while safeguarding civilians in Gaza.
Echoing this sentiment, Gabriel strongly condemned Hamas' attacks on Israel, affirming Bulgaria's support for Israel's right to self-defense in line with international law, advocating for a peaceful resolution through the creation of two independent states in the region.
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