Bulgaria is important partner
BELGRADE - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Thursday it was very important to Serbia to maintain the maximum level of unimpeded cooperation with Bulgaria, as an important partner, and he thanked Bulgaria for its support for Serbia's EU integration.
Both countries agree that they should work together, expand their cooperation, finish projects already started and design new ones, Nikolic said at a joint news conference with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, who is on a visit to Belgrade.
There is willingness for cooperation in many fields, like the energy sector and infrastructure, Nikolic noted.
The construction of the Nis-Sofia motorway will put the two countries permanently on the map of the most important roads in this part of the world, Nikolic said.
Serbia sees its Bulgarian minority as a treasure of sorts and a golden link between the two countries, he added.
Nikolic thanked Plevneliev for Bulgaria’s support to Serbia's EU integration.
Support for friendly Serbia on path to EU
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said on Thursday that his country supports friendly Serbia on the path of European integrations.
The Balkans are freeing themselves from the spirit of division - progress is visible, and that is the best foundation for forging deeper cooperation between the two countries, Plevneliev told a joint press conference with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
He noted the strategic significance of links between the transport and energy networks in the two countries, including Corridor 10 and the motorway from Nis to Sofia.
Bulgaria is ready to back entrepreneurship in the border region, Plevneliev said, calling for greater cooperation in tourism.
The two countries will work together to improve the position of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia, which includes addressing the issue of the lack of textbooks, he said, announcing that the governments of Bulgaria and Serbia will hold their first joint session this year.
Nikolic, Plevneliev on construction of South Stream pipeline
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated on Thursday that Serbia will not refuse to take part in the construction of any pipeline that would reach its borders.
I personally have a little optimism left concerning the construction of the South Stream pipeline, but the developments in this field are apparently not favorable, Nikolic told a joint news conference in Belgrade after the talks with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev said that Bulgaria is ready for the construction of the South Stream pipeline in case the EU and Russia reach an agreement concerning European laws.
If Russia agreed with the Third Energy Package (of the EU), the works on the South Stream could begin immediately, he said.
Plevneliev noted that the Bulgarian government presented a new idea on a gas hub which will be adjusted between Europe and Russia, but it is still unknown whether the idea could be accepted.
Businessmen should make use of trade agreements
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated on Thursday that Serbia is offering joint investments to all its partners concerning the products which would be sold on third markets in countries with which Serbia has signed free trade agreements, and added that it is up to businessmen to set up connections and realize this task.
This opportunity needs to be used and joint products for third markets need to be identified, President Nikolic told a news conference after the talks with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.
Replying to the question as to whether Serbia and Bulgaria can make a joint presentation on third markets in countries with which Serbia has signed free trade agreements that could be useful to the EU as well, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said that the two countries already have joint projects.
The better our connections are, the higher our efficiency will be and he said and noted that there are ample possibilities for expansion of cooperation between Bulgaria and Serbia.