Energy cooperation topped the agenda as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met for talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borisov in Sofia on Monday.
Meeting within the context of the third high-level cooperation council between the two NATO and European Union member-states, the pair signed a series of bilateral agreements, most importantly regarding construction of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline and the creation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Alexandroupoli, a port city in northern Greece.
Tsipras and Borisov also stressed the need to step up construction of a railway link from Alexandroupoli to Burgas, on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, as a way to boost trade between the two nations.
In his official statements, Tsipras hailed ties between the two Balkan neighbors as “a model of constructive cooperation for the promotion of peace and stability in the broader region.”
Despite the security challenges facing the two nations on the external border of the EU, Tsipras said, Greece and Bulgaria remain “pillars of security and stability.”
The Greek premier also pledged to support Sofia’s efforts to become a member of Europe’s Schengen passport-free travel zone and, at some stage, of the common currency area.
Borisov was invited to visit Athens and Thessaloniki.
Also meeting in Sofia, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Bulgarian counterpart Daniel Mitov discussed the technical details for outstanding political issues between the two countries.