Greece, Bulgaria Set to Open New Border Crossing

Greece, Bulgaria Set to Open New Border Crossing

Greece and Bulgaria will be opening a new crossing point on their joint border, announced the state leaders of the two nations.

After the first ever joint sitting of the governments of Greece and Bulgaria took place earlier on Tuesday, the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov received Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Papandreou and Parvanov confirmed the upcoming opening of the Kiprinios-Ivaylovgrad border crossing point located in the very northeast of Greece and in the south of Bulgaria.

This will be the fifth crossing on the 493-km long Greek - Bulgarian border, which already has four border crossings - Promahonas - Kulata, Eksohi - Ilinden, Ormenion - Svilengrad, and Xanthi - Zlatograd. The last one is only for cars and was opened in January 2010 by the two Prime Ministers George Papandreou and Boyko Borisov.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Papandreou has presented to Parvanov the outcome of the first joint session of the governments of Bulgaria and Greece, including the large number of agreements signed in the fields of transport, energy, agriculture, border control, environment, foreign affairs, labor, culture, and tourism.

Both state leaders have agreed that the new formal of the meetings of the entire governments presented an efficient mechanism for total coordination of the policies of the two states, as cited by the press service of the Bulgarian Presidency.

Papandreou has thanked the Bulgarian President for Bulgaria's support for the EU policies designed to help Greece overcome the effects of the financial crisis, and in turn confirmed the Greek support for Bulgaria's Schengen Agreement accession. He has also noted the stability of the Greek banks operating in Bulgaria.

The Greek Prime Minister has also declared that he understood the concern of the Bulgarian government over the environmental impact of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, a joint project of Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia, which is supposed to transport Russian and Caspian oil to the Mediterranean by land circumventing the Turkish straits. The Bulgarian government is currently awaiting the results of an environmental assessment expected in February 2011 in order to decide on whether to go ahead with the construction of the pipe.

The two leaders have pointed out the importance of the EU integration of the countries from the Western Balkans for the entire region.

Bulgaria's President Parvanov has expressed his gratification with the upcoming visit to Sofia of his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias dedicated to the 130th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations (September 1880).


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