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Joint Press Statement By The Republic Of Turkey And The Republic Of Bulgaria March 23, 1999

 

H.E. MR. SULEYMAN DEMIREL, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, PAID A STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA ON 22-23 MARCH 1999 FOLLOWING AN INVITATION EXTENDED BY H.E. MR. PETAR STOYANOV, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA.

PRESIDENT DEMIREL WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MR. ISMAIL CEM, MPs ALI DINCER, CAVIT CAGLAR AND NECDET MENZIR, OFFICIALS AND OTHER REPRESENTATIVES OF THE POLITICAL AND ACADEMIC CIRCLES.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS HAD "TETE-A-TETE" CONVERSATIONS AND CHAIRED THE MEETING BETWEEN THE DELEGATIONS.

DURING THE TALKS, THE TWO PRESIDENTS REVIEWED THE DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIA AND TURKEY AND EXPRESSED THEIR CONVICTION THAT COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WILL FURTHER EXPAND ON THE BASIS OF BOTH THE TREATY ON FRIENDSHIP, GOOD-NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS, CO-OPERATION AND SECURITY, SIGNED ON 6 MAY 1922 AND THE STEADY CONTRACTUAL AND LEGAL BASIS, ESTABLISHED IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

DURING THE VISIT, AN AGREEMENT ON THE ELIMINATION OF ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BULGARIA-TURKISH BORDER WAS SIGNED. BY VIRTUE OF THIS AGREEMENT, BOTH SIDES HAVE PROVEN THEIR DETERMINATION TO PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN THE EFFORTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AIMED AT THE TOTAL ELIMINATION OF ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS EXPRESSED SATISFACTION WITH THE TRADITIONAL FRIENDLY RELATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS AND THE PARLIAMENTS OF THE TWO COUNTRIES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE STRENGTHENING OF GOOD NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION.

SPECIAL ATTENTION WAS PAID TO THE TRADE AND ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WHICH ENTERED INTO FORCE ON 1 JANUARY 1999. IN ORDER TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN THE TRADITIONAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE BUSINESS CIRCLES OF THE TWO COUNTRIES, THE GROUP OF TURKISH BUSINESSMEN, ACCOMPANYING PRESIDENT DEMIREL, HAD A MEETING WITH THEIR BULGARIAN COUNTERPARTS.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS CONFIRMED THE POLITICAL WILL AND THE INTEREST OF THEIR COUNTRIES TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES.

THEY NOTED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EXCELLENT COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IN THE AREA OF REGIONAL CO-OPERATION IN SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE, PARTICULARLY WITHIN THE SEEC AND IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE BSEC.

THE TWO HEADS OF STATE NOTED WITH APPRECIATION THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE MINISTRIES OF DEFENCE AND THE GENERAL STAFFS OF BULGARIA AND TURKEY. THEY EXPRESSED THEIR SATISFACTION WITH THE EXPANDING CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE MINISTRIES OF THE INTERIOR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM, ORGANISED CRIME AND THE ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS AND WEAPONS. RECALLING THE "COOPERATION AGREEMENT ON COMBATING TERRORISM, ORGANIZED CRIME, ILLICIT TRAFFICKING IN NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES, MONEY LAUNDERING, ARMS AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND OTHER MAJOR CRIMES", SIGNED IN ANTALYA ON 16 APRIL 1998, THE PRESIDENTS REAFFIRMED THE COMMON DETERMINATION OF THEIR COUNTRIES TO INTENSIFY COOPERATION WITH A VIEW TO ELIMINATING THESE THREATS.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS AGREED TO SUPPORT IN THE FUTURE THE REACHING OF AGREEMENTS ON ISSUES OF PROPERTY, OF SOCIAL AND HUMANITARIAN CHARACTER.

THEY ALSO UNDERLINED THE IMPORTANCE OF CO-OPERATION IN THE FIELD OF CULTURE, EDUCATION AND SCIENCE.

THE ISSUES OF PRESERVING PEACE, STABILITY AND CO-OPERATION IN SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE WERE GIVEN AN IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION DURING THE MEETING. AS FAR AS THE KOSOVO CONFLICT IS CONCERNED, THE TWO PRESIDENTS EXPRESSED THEIR SUPPORT FOR ARRIVING AT A SOLUTION THROUGH POLITICAL MEANS, A SOLUTION WHICH WOULD WARRANT LIFE, SECURITY AND THE RIGHTS OF ALL CITIZENS OF KOSOVO REGARDLESS OF THEIR ETHNIC ORIGIN. THEY WELCOMED THE SIGNING OF THE INTERIM PEACE AGREEMENT, IN ITS ENTIRETY, BY THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN DELEGATION. THEY INVITED THE FRY TO SIGN, AS WELL, THE AGREEMENT AT THE EARLIEST STAGE.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS POINTED OUT THAT THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION HAS TO BE ALL-EMBRACING AND SHOULD DEVELOP PARALLEL TO THE ENLARGEMENT OF EURO-ATLANTIC STRUCTURES SUCH AS NATO, EU AND WEU.

PRESIDENT DEMIREL CONFIRMED THE SUPPORT OF THE TURKISH SIDE WITH REGARD TO THE ACCESSION OF BULGARIA TO NATO, WHICH THE TURKISH SIDE WILL REITERATE AT THE FORTHCOMING WASHINGTON SUMMIT.

MR. DEMIREL ALSO MET AND HAD A DISCUSSION WITH MR. YORDAN SOKOLOV, CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY HAD A MEETING WITH MR. IVAN KOSTOV, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA, WITH WHOM HE DISCUSSED THE PRESENT STATE AND PERSPECTIVES OF THE BILATERAL AND REGIONAL CO-OPERATION.

DURING THE STATE VISIT OF PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL A MEETING TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA MRS. NADEZHDA MIHAILOVA AND THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MR. ISMAIL CEM, WHO REVIEWED THE PRESENT STATE OF BULGARIAN-TURKISH RELATIONS AND THEIR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.

H.E. SULEYMAN DEMIREL, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY HAS BEEN DECORATED BY H.E. PETER STOYANOV, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA WITH THE "STARA PLANINA" MEDAL WITH RIBBON FOR HIS OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIA AND TURKEY.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MR. SULEYMAN DEMIREL ATTENDED THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE BRANCH OF THE TURKISH DEMIRBANK IN SOFIA. HE VISITED THE TOWN OF STAMBOLIISKY WHERE A NEW PRODUCTION LINE IN THE ZELLHART FACTORY WAS OPENED.

THE TURKISH SIDE REITERATED ITS WISH TO OPEN A TRADE AND CULTURE CENTER IN SOFIA. THE BULGARIAN SIDE STATED THAT IT HAS BEEN GIVING DUE CONSIDERATION TO THIS REQUEST AND PROMISED TO PROVIDE ITS ANSWER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

THE TWO PRESIDENTS HIGHLIGHTED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EXCHANGE OF HIGH-LEVEL VISITS. PRESIDENT DEMIREL INVITED HIS BULGARIAN COUNTERPART MR. PETAR STOYANOV TO PAY A VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY NEXT YEAR AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED THROUGH DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS.

SOFIA, MARCH 23, 1999