President Mahmoud Abbas and his Bulgarian guest, President Rumen Radev, called on Thursday for enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation in all fields, particularly education.
Radev arrived in Ramallah on Thursday on an official one day visit, his first to Palestine since taking office in 2017, during which he held talks with President Abbas.
The Bulgarian president said he discussed with Abbas strengthening bilateral relations, particularly since more than 5000 Palestinians have studied and graduated from Bulgarian universities.
He said in statements to the press following the meeting with Abbas at the presidential headquarter in Ramallah that the two countries should work on developing relations in all fields, including education, agriculture and economy.
President Abbas also praised Bulgaria for its support of the Palestinian cause and said that Palestine and Bulgaria have “warm and deep” ties.
He said Bulgaria is the current chair of the European Union (EU), expressing gratitude to Europe for its support for Palestinian state building and peace efforts.
Abbas reiterated his call for holding an international peace conference by the middle of this year to find a peaceful solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through a multilateral mechanism.
He stressed, however, that any solution should be based on United Nations resolutions that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital open to the three monotheistic religions.
Speaking on the situation in Gaza, President Abbas said Hamas has to either give up all control over the Gaza Strip and hand over power to the conciliation government or become responsible for the failure of the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation efforts.
Radev said he discussed the political situation with President Abbas and stressed that his country supports the general EU position on this that calls for a just and lasting solution based on two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and harmony.
The Bulgarian president invited Abbas to visit Bulgaria and Abbas said he hopes to make this visit this year.
Radev, who received an official welcome upon his arrival in Ramallah, laid wreath at the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He later visited the Arafat Museum.