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The forthcoming visit of President Rumen Radev to Qatar is expected to give a big boost to Bulgaria’s relationship with Qatar and reaffirm its commitment to developing its all-important partnership with Qatar, said Bulgarian Ambassador to Qatar HE Metin Kazak while speaking on the occasion of his country’s 141st National Day celebrations here recently.
Qatar-Bulgaria bilateral relations saw substantial progress last year, particularly in the wake of the visit by the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, his first state visit to Sofia, and talks with President Rumen Radev and the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov last year, Ambassador Metin said, adding that both sides discussed various ways of strengthening bilateral relations in areas of their interests including investments, academia, agriculture, energy, transport, trade and tourism. He said that more than 60 representatives of Qatari companies participated in a business forum held during HH the Amir’s visit.
He said a number of bilateral agreements were also signed during the visit of the Amir in the fields of education, science, energy, youth affairs and sports. He further said that both Qatar and Bulgaria will support the participation of their national energy companies in joint projects in the field of exploration, extraction, transmission and distribution of hydrocarbons from Qatar to Bulgaria and South-Eastern Europe.
Current cooperation between the two port administrations, the IT sectors and the agriculture industry are highly promising, the envoy said. He lauded Qatar’s efforts to diversify its economy and develop domestic manufacturing and said this was also opening up further bilateral cooperation and investment opportunities.
Kazak said that next year, Qatar and Bulgaria will be celebrating 30-th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. “It will provide a good opportunity to deepen our relations in the political, economic, technological and cultural fields. We are planning some high-level visits and a number of initiatives to give impetus to our relations.”
He said that Bulgaria wants to take advantage of the excellent opportunities for developing our relations in the cultural field. The embassy has already held and plans to hold various concerts, film screening and jazz festivals showcasing the Bulgarian and the European culture in cooperation with the Cultural Village Foundation - KATARA, the Qatari authorities and private companies.
He said that the bilateral cooperation between Qatar and Bulgaria has many stories of success including Qatar Airways operating direct flights between Sofia and Doha that have significantly increased the bilateral exchange in the fields of economy, culture, and tourism and opened the bridge between Bulgaria and Qatar and many Far- East destinations. He lauded some of the Qatari importers bringing Bulgarian goods to Qatar and expressed his gratitude to them for making Bulgarian agricultural products household names in Qatar.
He said that in recent years, tourism sector has witnessed tremendous growth, with boom in hotel industry, resorts and apartments. Over 9.2 million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria last year. Bulgaria’s second biggest city, Plovdiv, with its 6,000-year-old history and one of Europe’s oldest cities, is now the European Capital of Culture for 2019, Bulgarian envoy said.
In his closing remarks, the ambassador said there are around 400 Bulgarian community members serving in Qatar’s various prominent companies and institutions such as Qatar Airways, Aspire and Qatar Foundation. He said Bulgarians are proud to be part of this multicultural society.
Colorful folk dances and musical performances added charm to the function. A state ensemble troika from the historical city of Plovdiv in their traditional costumes performed various folk dances on the occasion.
Renowned Bulgarian pop singer Orlin Goranov mesmerised the gathering with his presentations. The 62-year-old pop singer was flown specially for the occasion from Sofia.
A number of prizes to the raffle draws winners were presented in the evening. The gifts included Qatar Air Ways’ two-way ticket, various vouchers by St. Regis Doha. Present on the occasion were Minister of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs His Excellency Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhro, Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs HE Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al Hammadi HE Ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, and many other Qatari dignitaries. Eritrean Ambassador to Qatar, members of the diplomatic corps, guests and members of the Bulgarian community also attended the function.
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