Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov conferred on Tuesday with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni. Mitov is in Rome on a working visit and for the observances of May 24, Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture and of Slav Letters.
The two chief diplomats, accompanied by their delegations, talked for an hour in English, without interpreters. Bulgaria's Ambassador to Italy Marin Raykov attended as well.
After the talks, Mitov made a statement for BTA and the Bulgarian National Television. "We considered certain aspects of bilateral relations and the prospects for their deepening. We paid particular attention to the migration issue and the potential risks it poses. As a result of the agreement reached between the EU and Turkey, pressure on the borders has eased, but a risk potential has built up. In our opinion, a 'Plan B' has to be drawn up, in case 'Plan A' on migration is not implemented. Bulgaria has long insisted on such a precaution because the migration situation is very volatile and sudden changes are possible. We cannot afford to be taken by surprise. Italy shows understanding of this position. On the subject of migration, we also discussed the measures for sustainable development of North Africa, for tightened border control and a repatriation mechanism. To this end, resources will have to be invested in building infrastructures in third country. Minister Gentiloni and I are unanimous that crises in the region call for greater political integration in the EU, closer attention to external border control, vigorous information exchange and coordination of repatriation measures," Mitov emphasized.