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Thursday, February 25, 2016
PM Netanyahu Meets with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov

PM Netanyahu Meets with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Thursday, 25 February 2016), in
his office, met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who came to
Israel along with Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and Foreign
Minister Daniel Mitov.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov discussed
issues regarding security, migration and the refugees in Europe, the war on
terrorism, cyber, trade, tourism, knowledge and technology, and energy and
natural gas.

Prime Minister Netanyahu showed a video clip on Bulgarian Prime Minister
Borissov on the Palestinian incitement that is motivating the terrorist
attacks. The clip shows examples of the narrative of incitement that began
with the Palestinian Authority leadership as well as from the educational
system and children's programs on the official Palestinian television.

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"It’s a pleasure for me to welcome my good friend, welcome B. B. once again
in Jerusalem. We have a close personal friendship which mirrors the close
friendship between the people of Bulgaria and the people of Israel. This
goes back centuries. And we also remember the heroic stance of the people of
Sofia to save Jews during the dark period in the Holocaust. This sense of
kinship has been mirrored in the close relationship that we now have in
practical ways, practical terms. And we're going to discuss all the areas of
cooperation in economy and trade, in security, and in many, many other
fields – in technology – between Bulgaria and Israel.

Jews in Bulgaria made great contributions to that country and Jewish
Bulgarians who came to Israel have made an enormous contribution to Israel.
So with this personal friendship, with the historic friendship between our
peoples and this human bridge, we can do a great deal to make our people
more prosperous and more secure.

And I want to say a final word about security. Boyko, we both faced
terrorist attacks from the same source. We cooperated very closely after the
terrorist attack in Burgas. But we know that this is a single instance of
the larger plague that attacks our countries in the Middle East and the
world. Israel and Bulgaria stand on the same side in the battle against
militant Islamist terrorism and extremism. This is a battle not only for the
future of our countries, but for the future of our common values and our
common civilization. By cooperating we are stronger, and we cooperate and we
will win. So it's in that spirit that I welcome you, a deep spirit of
friendship. Welcome, my friend, to Jerusalem.

I am looking forward to our discussions. I also want to bring to your
attention that we are going to lower a lot of customs, import taxes, so we
look forward for a lot of Bulgarian cheese. And of course we'll discuss many
other areas relating to our growing cooperation. I would like to thank you
for standing up with Israel in a number of international forums."

Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov:

"Thank you very much Prime Minister Netanyahu. And also here I would like to
highlight the fact that last night the media, as well as myself, have had
the opportunity to meet the so-called Bulgarian community in Jerusalem, or
as I would say the Bulgarian Jews or the Jewish Bulgarians. However this is
the only state in which this does not matter. There is no such
differentiation with Bulgarians.

It was a very sentimental moment to be able to talk to people who back in
the day during the Holocaust were two, three years old, and back then the
Bulgarians contributed to their salvation, and to be able to speak to them
today with the memories that they held deep, and basically they spoke about
Bulgaria and Israel as a common homeland.

And in terms of the sector of security and countering terrorism, there is
many things that we have accomplished together and that we're doing
together, and I will not hide the fact that on many occasions we also have
telephone conversations in that regard.

And Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great source of wisdom and of knowledge
about processes taking place in the region and beyond in relation to that, a
very informed man. And I am very grateful that he has been always very
straightforward and frank with me and has enlightened me about his views in
terms of processes and trends that he is seeing in the region and globally,
for which I thank you very much.

And also we have not had a chance to discuss this yet, but I hope we have
the opportunity today to discuss the great potential that is held by Israel
in terms of the large gas reserves that have been ascertained here. The
President of Cyprus several days ago informed me, he was on a…we had a
chance to discuss this, and I see great future in that and we will discuss
this I hope today."

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