Europe shouldn’t give up partnership with Azerbaijan, says Bulgarian King Simeon II (exclusive)

Europe shouldn’t give up partnership with Azerbaijan, says Bulgarian King Simeon II (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 29

By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

Europe should not abandon partnership with Azerbaijan, which will ensure its energy security, the last tzar (king) and former prime minister of Bulgaria, Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Simeon II), told Trend Sept. 29.

"Azerbaijan is known on a global scale," said Simeon II. "In recent years, the country has achieved enormous success in political and economic areas."

He said Azerbaijan is rich in energy resources, adding that it is important to realize energy projects, which will deliver Azerbaijan's gas to Europe.

Simeon II also said Azerbaijan will ensure the energy security of the entire Europe.

"I highly appreciate the policy of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in the energy sector, and I am confident that he will be able to realize all the plans on energy supplies to Europe. Europe should not give up the partnership with a country that will ensure its energy security," said Simeon II.

He added that Bulgaria considers Azerbaijan as a reliable partner.

"Bulgaria was among the first to recognize Azerbaijan's independence, a good foundation has been laid for relations. Our countries' defense sector cooperation was established in the years when I was heading the Bulgarian government," said Simeon II.

Today, the two countries cooperate in political, economic and cultural spheres, he said, adding that the cooperation in the energy sphere has an important place in these relations.

"Bulgaria today needs Azerbaijani gas and is interested in cooperation with this country in the energy sphere," Simeon II said.

The former prime minister said that both countries have great potential for cooperation in economic sphere and trade, tourism, industry should become the priorities of this cooperation.

Mutual visits can make great contribution to the development of economic relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, according to Simeon II.

Both Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have rich history and culture and they have potential to expand the cooperation in this sphere as well, said the former prime minister.

It is very important for the peoples of the two countries to closer know each other, since warm relations can be built only through dialogue, he added.

Simeon II has appreciated the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's initiative of restoring one of the monuments of the spiritual values of Bulgarian people - the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo.

"The conservation and restoration of cultural values and historical monuments is very important," Simeon II said. "President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva's initiative for the restoration of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve in Veliko Tarnovo is a goodwill gesture."

"The humanitarian mission of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Bulgaria will bring together two nations, raise cultural relations to a higher level," he said. "As Veliko Tarnovo is the capital of the Bulgarian monarchy, I appreciate this action of the Azerbaijani side."

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation will restore the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo.

In this regard, an agreement on "Conservation and restoration, construction of the technical infrastructure and the maintenance of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve was signed in Sofia on May 27.

Under the agreement, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will carry out conservation and restoration of the western wall of the historic monument with a length of 150 meters, the construction of a tourist alley with a length of 700 meters.

Creation and equipment of a cultural center, repair and maintenance of three churches located on this territory, creation of transport infrastructure for tourists visiting the reserve is also planned. It is planned to complete the work on the restoration and conservation by late 2015.

The Bulgarian king said that he had the warmest feelings towards Azerbaijan.

"I have never been to Azerbaijan, even though I was invited many times, but I couldn't come because of the tight schedule," said the monarch. "But my family members visited Azerbaijan several times and were delighted with the beauty of Baku. I dream to visit your country soon very much."

Edited by SI

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