After the historical agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme and the ensuing enhanced dialogue between the EU and Tehran, a favourable climate for restarting Bulgarian-Iranian economic relations has been created.
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This was stated by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov during his meeting with the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani on Tuesday.
The meeting was part of the Bulgarian delegation’s official visit to Iran. According to Borisov, there is positive outlook for development of bilateral contacts, having in mind that Bulgaria had been one of Iran’s traditional partners in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.
He reminded that in certain years the exchange of goods between the two countries exceeded USD 500 M, while currently it stood at around USD 150-160 M. In his opinion, the levels of the 1980s could be achieved once again. The meetings Borisov had held with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Monday had been exceptionally useful in this respect.
He also noted that concrete projects, which could serve as basis for restarting economic relations, had been discussed at the level of ministers. The Bulgarian prime minister expressed hope that as member state of the EU, Bulgaria represents interest to Iran with its location as the country stands on the transit route of Iranian goods to Europe.
Eventually, the country’s favourable location could also be used for the realisation of new energy projects. Borisov added that the parliamentary cooperation which has been actively developed in the past years has also played important role in enhancing the economic contacts between the two countries.
On behalf of Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, the Bulgarian prime minister invited Larijani to visit Bulgaria. According to Larijani, the good contacts established with Bulgaria in the past are advantageous for the country after Iran had come out of isolation.
In his words, Iran sees Bulgaria as Tehran’s door to the EU, providing opportunity to develop economic relations with countries from Europe. Larijani reaffirmed the willingness of Iran to deepen relations with Bulgaria in the fields of economy, tourism, energy and culture.
During their conversation, it was noted that Bulgaria is an example for tolerance between different religions. Borisov pointed that Bulgarians are peaceful, with Christians and Muslims living together and equally taking part in the political and social life of the country.
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