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Josip Leko – Chair of Croatia’s Sabor (Parliament): Cooperation between Bulgarian and Croatian students is the bridge between the two peoples

The cooperation between Bulgarian and Croatian students may serve as bridge between the two peoples in all spheres, stated the Speaker of Croatia’s Parliament Josip Leko at a meeting with the Chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva. A parliamentary delegation from the Republic of Croatia is on a three-day visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Tsetka Tsacheva.

At the meeting, Leko and the National Assembly Chair discussed the high level of Croatian-Bulgarian political relations - a prerequisite for deepening the economic, cultural and educational contacts and for interaction within the EU structures and on the regional level. Bulgaria and Croatia are countries with centuries old ties, and today the two peoples are writing their history together within the European structures and organizations, Tsacheva said. She added that her country sees Croatia as a good example of the Western Balkans' EU integration.

Leko recalled that this is his second meeting with Tsacheva within two months and that his visit to Bulgaria confirms the bilateral relations of partnership and friendship. In his words, the present level of these relations gives the hope that the two countries can achieve a lot in the EU, particularly given that they have identical goals. The Croatian Parliament Speaker noted, however, that the bilateral economic cooperation is not at the same level as the political relations between the two countries.

The National Assembly Chair Tsacheva said she sees an opportunity for deepening the economic ties in the energy sector, agriculture and tourism. She underscored Bulgaria's potential in winter sports and the attraction of tourists with joint holiday packages.

The National Assembly Chair acquainted her guest with a cooperation agreement signed with the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, and said that the fraternization of Bulgarian and Croatian cities is being encouraged. Such ties have already been achieved between Bourgas and Rijeka, Rousse and Trogir, Veliko Turnovo and Zadar, Gabrovo and Sisak. Sofia and Zagreb have signed a memorandum of cooperation, and the fraternization of Pleven and Pozega, as well as Yambol and Karlovac is expected in the future.

Josip Leko is scheduled to meet with President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and with the National Assembly’s Deputy Chair Yanaki Stoilov.

The Head of Croatia’s Parliament is to visit Plovdiv and meet the Regional Governor, Rosalin Petkov.

On April 1st, 2015 Leko is to confer with the Foreign Policy Committee Chair , Dzema Grozdanova, and other leaders of the same committee. Later on, Mr. Leko will be welcomed in the plenary hall.

Tsetska Tsacheva and Josip Leko are to make statements for the media at 10.30 am.

The program of the visit also envisages meetings with Prof. Rumen Pankov, Deputy Head of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and with the Dean of the Slavic Languages Department, Prof. Panayot Karagyozov and with students of Croatian language.

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