Greater Middle East (bbabo.net), - Egypt and Bulgaria signed three agreements after the first joint committee meeting between both countries on Saturday, February 10, including a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of natural gas, reported the Egyptian portal Ahram Online.
It is known that Bulgaria, as a member of the EU and NATO, is pursuing a policy, in solidarity with Western countries, of ending cooperation with Moscow in the energy sector due to the events in Ukraine, limiting the supply of Russian energy resources to a minimum. Sofia is actively looking for alternative sources of oil and gas supplies, including expanding ties with the countries of the Middle East.
Two other agreements signed in Cairo include mutual exemptions from short-stay visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders, and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Egyptian and Bulgarian defense ministries.
The meeting took place in Cairo and was co-chaired by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel.
According to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both sides reaffirmed their deep commitment to strengthening bilateral relations in line with the principles of the EU-Egypt partnership.
The Egyptian and Bulgarian sides expressed their commitment to expanding economic and trade dialogue in order to explore future opportunities for trade and investment.
A statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry emphasizes that the parties agreed to intensify measures to strengthen the private sector and stimulate small and medium-sized businesses, encouraging mutually beneficial activities of startups, mainly in the field of innovation and the digital economy and green energy.
During the meeting, the Egyptian side presented the opportunities available in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, encouraging Bulgarian investment.
The parties also agreed to exchange experience in the field of information technology, while the Egyptian side invited Bulgarian companies to invest in the developing information technology sector in Egypt.
Efforts to improve transport connectivity were also discussed, with an emphasis on establishing closer cooperation between the seaports of both countries. Cairo and Sofia are currently discussing the possibility of establishing direct flights between the countries.
As part of the meeting of the joint bilateral commission, negotiations took place between the defense ministers of the two states - Mohammed Zaki and Todor Tagarev. The meeting emphasized the need to intensify efforts to stop regional escalation and achieve a solution to the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For his part, Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev praised the “historic relations between both countries,” praising Egypt’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip.
Additionally, Zaki and Tagarev discussed ways to strengthen military cooperation between Egypt and Bulgaria in several areas. They signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation between the armed forces of both countries, Ahram Online reported.