Bulgaria bridges East and West: Rafsanjani

September 6, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN –- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Tuesday called Bulgaria a bridge between the East and the West, stressing promotion of ties between Tehran and Sofia.

In a meeting with the new Bulgarian Ambassador to Tehran Plamen Shukurliev, Rafsanjani said “In light of the Muslim population in Balkan, the region is of great importance to Islamic countries including Iran.”

Rafsanjani said Iran views the plan to export gas to Eastern and Western Europe positively, adding, “Overcoming the obstacles and consulting with countries located between Iran and Bulgaria can ease the implementation of the project.”

Shukurliev said that cultural and historical affinities between the two countries have had a positive effect on the political and economic relations between Sofia and Tehran.

The ambassador said Bulgaria is a good example of friendly coexistence of religions. “The Muslims are an influential minority in Bulgaria and this is beneficial in expanding ties with Islamic countries.”