The President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva has met on 11 October 2012 with the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Cemil Cicek and the delegation led by him. The Turkish parliamentarians are on a one-day official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Bulgaria’s parliament chair.
The Bulgarian - Turkish relations are examplary for the relations between good neighbors, between NATO allies and between partners, have stated the chair of the National Assembly. Tsetska Tsacheva noted that between the two countries exist a constant dialogue at the highest level, as well as an active partnership in a number of sectors of mutual interest. The chair of the National Assembly has emphasized the importance of the parliamentary diplomacy for the development and the widening of the bilateral relations. She gave as stark example the visit of the Bulgarian parliamentary friendship group with Turkey in Ankara and the cooperation in framework of the joint project between the Grand National Assembly of Turkey with the European Union called: “Parliamentary exchange and dialogue”.
During the talks the parties agreed that the common wish to develop their mutually beneficial bilateral relations based on long-term interests had been confirmed by the establishment of a Council for high level cooperation and intergovernmental sittings. They recalled that during the first sitting in March 2012 a total of 17 bilateral agreements were signed.
The Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Cemil Cicek noted that it was very important for the two countries to develop their good neighborly relations and to stand by their commitments for peace, stability and security in the region. He pointed to the dynamic development of the trade and economic relations and to the sizable growth in the exchange of goods in 2011 and added that there exists an even greater potential.
Investments, transport infrastructure and bilateral relations in the field of energy were among the key topics of discussion at the meeting. The process of Turkey’s integration in the EU implies greater opportunities for bilateral and regional cooperation. Tsetska Tsacheva reiterated the position of Bulgaria in support of the European perspective of Turkey following the principle of evaluation of the country’s own merits and the fulfillment of the criteria for membership. She added that Bulgaria welcomes the created prospects for progress in the liberalization of the visa regime and considers as priority in this respect the signing and fast implementation of the Readmission Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey. She recalled that the Bulgarian government had already taken specific measures to ease the visa requirements for different categories of Turkish citizens.