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Cyprus and Bulgaria to cooperate on energy, tourism and agriculture (Update 2)

President Nicos Anastasiades with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev

The presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria on Monday discussed how the two countries could cooperate in ensuring Europe’s energy security by helping bring natural gas from the Mediterranean to countries in northern Europe.
The three MOUs on energy, tourism and agriculture were signed during a meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev following the expanded talks between the delegations of the two countries at the presidential palace in Sofia.
Speaking to the press afterwards, Plevneliev said he and Anastasiades had discussed a wide range of topics from energy to the EU’s migrant crisis to Syria, to the situation in the eastern Mediterranean to the Cyprus issue.
He said Bulgaria could act as a corridor between northern and southern Europe, securing the interests of countries such as Poland and Croatia and that he had discussed with Anastasiades, his country’s reforms in the energy sector and in building a regional distribution centre for energy sources at reasonable prices.
Plevneliev said he had met with his counterparts in Poland, Croatia, Romania and Estonia on the issue.
“It will be something very interesting for Cyprus. We all share a common passion, for natural gas to be a commodity and not a weapon, and that it be traded freely,” he said. Bulgaria had excellent relations with Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, he added.
“I will participate in every initiative that will lead to a good result,” he said.
Anastasiades spoke of the trilateral meetings between Cyprus, Greece and Israel, and Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, but also with other neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon “so that our efforts for cooperation dos not exclude anyone”.
“Natural gas should be a reason to create conditions of conciliation and stability, especially when it comes to exploiting the natural resources for the benefit of those in need. And I believe that in this context we can build relationships and ensuring Europe`s energy needs…” he said. “Therefore, we will continue to act in a way that natural gas will be used to build friendships.”
The memorandum signed in the energy field with Cyprus would open new prospects for cooperation.
The MoU signed on energy is designed to establish a common framework for the development and deepening of bilateral cooperation in the sector as well as to promote the exchange of best practices and training of scientific and technical personnel in the field of energy.
It includes the exchange of information, know-how and experience on best practices, strengthening of bilateral institutional dialogue, and promotion of technical cooperation, including exchange of experts and internships.
It also provides for the establishment of a joint working group, comprising representatives of both sidesthat will set out the framework within which cooperation in the fields described will be best promoted and facilitated.
Cooperation may also include, prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, as well as potential future exports of hydrocarbons, environmental protection and standards, safety of offshore activities, construction and development of energy infrastructure and energy market and renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy savings.
On Tuesday, Anastasiades will address a business forum in Sofia organised by the chambers of commerce of both countries.


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