Foreign visits
President Serzh Sargsyan's Official Visit to Bulgaria

10.12.2008 - 11.12.2008

On December 10-11, President Serzh Sargsyan paid an official visit to Bulgaria at an invitation by the Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov.

The Armenian delegation headed by the President comprises the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Culture, Economy, Transport and Communications, other officials, as well as the renowned journalist Svetana Paskaleva.

The official visit started on December 10, with an official welcoming ceremony in Sofia's St. Alexander Nevski Square, afterward the President of Armenia laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier.

Afterwards, the two Presidents held a private meeting followed by the negotiations in the extended format. Serzh Sargsyan and Georgi Prvanov hailed the current level of political dialogue between the two countries. The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria noted also that economic cooperation and the trade turnover in particular, which approaches 150 million USD, are lagging behind the political relations and that necessary steps should be taken toward the reconstruction of the trade structure as well as for the further development of economic cooperation.

Presidents Sargsyan and Prvanov highly praised the bilateral as well as the multilateral cooperation of Armenia and Bulgaria.

President Sargsyan thanked the President of Bulgaria and said that in some difficult historical junctures the Bulgarian people were congenial to and embraced kindly our people who later integrated entirely in the Bulgarian society. The President of Bulgaria also highly praised the Armenian-Bulgarian relations and noted that the high level of trust, which exists between the two peoples, allows to develop new comprehensive programs.

The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria also mentioned that the two peoples have many common features, share common problems, and on many instances have faced together arising challenges.

The President of Armenia underscored that the two countries have a common future and that the future is built on the values shared by the two peoples, which are the Christian values, a democratic system, and liberties - all of which allow to look toward the future.

The leaders of the two countries mentioned with satisfaction the existing adequate legal field – there are almost fifty agreements between Bulgaria and Armenia which today have been augmented by another four. One of them pertains to the organization and conduct of the Days of Bulgaria in Armenia in 2009 and the Days of Armenia in Bulgaria in 2010. The other three agreements are related to the cooperation in the areas of civil service and state governance, amendments to the agreement on avoidance of double taxation of income and property, as well as to the cooperation in the area of archives administration.

The Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria highlighted the importance of fostering cooperation between the executive agencies and business circles and noted that the tomorrow’s Armenian-Bulgarian Business Forum in Sofia provides an excellent opportunity for the businesses to get acquainted, to examine the possibilities, and develop joint programs.

Presidents Sargsyan and Prvanov stressed also the importance of cooperation in the area of transportation. The President of Bulgaria hailed and welcomed the Armenian-Turkish dialogue and expressed hope that the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border would be beneficial for Bulgaria as well. The two Presidents concurred on that issue and noted that the open borders would provide a direct transportation and automobile connection between Armenia and Bulgaria. President Sargsyan spoke also about Armenia’s intention on constructing the Armenia-Iran railway. The sides also stressed the importance of the establishment the air transportation link between the two countries.

President Georgi Prvanov invited President Serzh Sargsyan to attend the energy forum to be held in Bulgaria next year.

The President of Bulgaria expressed readiness to assist Armenia with experience and expert assistance in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Program.

The President of Armenia handed to the President of Bulgaria a letter of gratitude from the people of Armenia to the people of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian authorities for their assistance provided after the devastating earthquake of December 7, 1988 in Spitak. The President of Armenia sent over a hundred thank you letters to the world leaders, with the words of gratitude on behalf of the people of Armenia for their assistance to Armenia after the earthquake.

The Presidents of the two countries came up with a Joint Declaration and answered the questions of the journalists.

Later, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan had a working dinner with the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Sergei Stanishev and discussed a wide range of issues pertaining, in particular, to the prospects of economic cooperation.

Afterward, Serzh Sargsyan had a meeting with the Chairman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Georgi Pirinski and discussed issues related to the Armenian-Bulgarian cooperation.

The two parties stressed importance of further promoting the affirmative traditions of interparliamentary cooperation which is important for preserving the high level of the political dialogue between the two countries.

After the meeting, Serzh Sargsyan signed the book of Honorary Guests.

In the framework of his official visit to Bulgaria, in the evening of December 10, Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Georgi Prvanov attended the celebratory concert of the renowned Armenian and Bulgarian artists which took place at the “Bulgaria” music hall in Sofia. Later that evening, the President of Bulgaria Georgi Prvanov gave the official dinner in his residence in the honor of Serzh Sargsyan’s official visit to Bulgaria.

This morning, the Presidents of Armenia and Bulgaria participated at the opening ceremony of the Armenian-Bulgarian Business Forum, during which the two Presidents stated with satisfaction the high level of the political dialogue between Armenia and Bulgaria, once again stressed the necessity to foster business cooperation in different areas, and expressed readiness to provide a comprehensive support to all relevant initiatives. A number of bilateral documents were signed in the framework of the Business Forum.

President Serzh Sargsyan and President Georgi Prvanov participated at the opening of Sergei Parajanov’s collage exhibition in the Bulgarian National Gallery of Foreign Arts.

The official visit of the President of Armenia to Bulgaria was concluded by his visit to the Embassy of Armenia in Sofia and his meeting with the diplomatic staff. Later, the President of Armenia returned to Yerevan.

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