Sofia, 11 April 2023 (TDI): The Additional Foreign Secretary (Europe) of Pakistan, Muhammad Saleem, and the Director General (Bilateral Relations) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Petar Kraytchev, led their respective delegations in the fifth round of Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) held in Sofia.

The two sides discussed a range of issues to further strengthen their bilateral relations in various areas, including political, economic, trade, investment, education, agriculture, ICT, and people-to-people contacts.

The Pakistani delegation expressed gratitude to Bulgaria for supporting Pakistan’s engagement with the EU, particularly in obtaining GSP+ status.

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In addition, the two sides agreed on the significance of early convening of the next session of the Pakistan-Bulgaria Intergovernmental Commission and the need to establish strong linkages between their private sectors.

The possibility of increasing the Pakistani workforce to address labor shortages in Bulgaria was also discussed.

Regional and global issues of mutual interest, including peace and security, counter-terrorism, and climate change, were also highlighted. Both sides expressed a keen interest in maintaining close cooperation at multilateral forums, especially the UN.

Pakistan and Bulgaria have historically enjoyed friendly relations. The BPC mechanism provides a framework for consultations between the two countries, helping to further expand their cooperation in various fields.

Pakistan has been working to enhance economic relations with Bulgaria, which has been a valuable partner in Pakistan’s efforts to gain access to the EU market.

The two countries have also collaborated in the education sector, with Bulgarian universities offering scholarships to Pakistani students.

The regular exchange of high-level visits and consultations between the two sides is a testament to the depth of their relationship.