(DF) Work on Bulgaria-Saudi Arabia Aviation Agreement Finalized - Deputy PM Nikolova in Riyadh
January 27 (BTA) - The work on the aviation agreement between Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been finalized and it will be signed by the two countries' transport ministers as soon as possible, Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Mariyana Nikolova said, as quoted by her Ministry, during a meeting with Abdulhadi Al Mansouri, President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh on Wednesday. A procedure is currently underway for approval of the agreed draft agreement by a Council of Ministers' decision as a basis for negotiations and authorization for its signing. This internal procedure is expected to be concluded within the next two weeks, after which Bulgaria will be ready to endorse the bilateral intergovernmental document, Nikolova also said. Nikolova is paying a working visit to Saudi Arabia from January 26 to 29. She also said during the meeting that the launch of direct flights between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia will facilitate the bilateral ties and create opportunities for the opening of charter programmes. Given its geographical location, Bulgaria is a "Gate to Europe" for the Middle East countries and it provides access to Southeast Europe's market with over 150 million consumers and to the EU's common market with nearly 500 million consumers, Nikolova noted. Bulgaria views the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as one of its most important partners in the Middle East and has the ambition to build together a sustainable, multi-layered cooperation that would cover key areas, such as energy, investment, trade, education, and counterterrorism, Nikolova said. She went on to say that the bilateral contacts have not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Bulgarian experts are in constant contact with their Saudi counterparts, discussing various initiatives in areas of mutual interest, she added. Abdulhadi Al Mansouri thanked Nikolova for her visit, as well as Bulgarian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dimitar Abadjiev. Wednesday's meeting is aimed at improving the bilateral ties in the area of civil aviation, he specified. He thanked Saudi Arabia's King for developing this important sector as it is the connection to the world and allows the country to seek opportunities for partnership in this field. In his words, through their good relations and the bilateral aviation agreement, Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria will build new bridges between them. During her visit to Riyadh, Minister Nikolova also met with Diriyah Gate Development Authority CEO Jerry Inzerillo. She said, as quoted by the Tourism Ministry: "Promoting cultural and historical tourism is among the priorities of the policy on the development of the entire branch, and Bulgaria attaches great importance to cooperation with other countries. The joint partnership with Saudi Arabia has significant prospects in this respect, and we value highly your experience." Nikolova went on to say that cultural and historical tourism is extremely well-developed in Saudi Arabia, as evidenced by the Diriyah project, an important part of the Vision 2030 royal initiative. "I am convinced that through joint efforts we can deepen our cooperation by exchanging experience, good practices and more investments, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic," she said. Later on Wednesday, Nikolova held a working meeting with Saudi Arabia's Minister of Tourism Ahmed Bin Akil Al-Khatib. The two discussed ways for bilateral cooperation and for an upgrade of the existing Memorandum of Understanding in tourism. The host said Saudi Arabia cannot wait to further develop the excellent relations between the two nations. Nikolova said that Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia have been working as partners in tourism since 2016. She paid respects to the royal family on behalf of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, and said that the opening of a Bulgarian embassy in Riyadh in 2018 is proof of the will to promote the bilateral ties. The two ministers agreed to promote investment in tourism and joint tourism cooperation with a focus on cultural and historical tourism and on seaside tourism, as well as to research good practices in the destinations' sustainable development and management. At a meeting with The Red Sea Project CEO John Pagano, the Bulgarian Tourism Minister said that her country is very impressed by Vision 2030, the strategy for Saudi Arabia's large-scale development initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In Nikolova's words, through integrated innovations, sustainability principles under development, and rich cultural history, The Red Sea Project will reflect the future of tourism. NV, RI/DS // 28 Януари 2021, 08:00
Източник: BTA Free News
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