The Presidents of Bulgaria and Greece, Georgi Parvanov and Karolos Papoulias, have hailed the opening of a new border crossing as a boost to bilateral tourism and investment ties.
Parvanov and Papoulias formally opened the Ivaylovgrad-Kyprinos border crossing close to Bulgaria's Kardzhali and Greece's Alexandroupolis as part of the celebrations of the 130th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"I expect that this new border crossing will help the bilateral exchange of tourists between Bulgaria and Greece to go way beyond the 1 million people that we have been trying to reach. It will also help Greece continue to be a top foreign investor in Bulgaria," President Georgi Parvanov stated during the ceremony.
"In the last 7 years we, the state leaders in the Balkans, have held the forum of cultural corridors. For the first time on the Balkans culture has been a matter bringing nations closer together rather setting them apart," he stated.
The Bulgarian Presidency said the idea for the opening of the Ivaylovgrad-Kyprinos border crossing belongs to the present Greek President Karolos Papoulias, and dates back 14 years ago, when he was the Foreign Minister of Greece.
Bulgaria's Deputy PM and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov, and Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev were also present at the ceremony.