Turkey to host Bulgaria’s prime minister

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is scheduled to arrive in Turkey for an official two-day visit on Friday at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the latter’s press office has announced.

While in Turkey, Borisov will also have talks with President Abdullah Gül and will meet with officials from the İstanbul Governor’s Office as well as business circles in İstanbul.

A brief statement by Erdoğan’s press office said all aspects of the current friendly bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries will be discussed and a comprehensive exchange of views on regional and international affairs will take place during the talks.

In early January, remarks by a Bulgarian minister who had said Turkey should pay tens of billions of dollars in compensation to Bulgarians who left Thrace in a case that dates back to the early 20th century led to uneasiness in Ankara. Yet, within days, Bojidar Dimitrov, a minister without portfolio who runs the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, said he spoke about a matter on which he is not an expert and had made a large gaffe.

At the time, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reacted harshly, saying the claim could harm bilateral ties and pointed out that up to 2 million Turks also left Bulgaria during that time in history.

Earlier, in December, Borisov declared his support for a call by Volen Siderov, the leader of Bulgaria’s far-right, ultranationalist Ataka party, for setting a date for a national referendum on ending the broadcasting of news bulletins in Turkish on Bulgaria’s public broadcaster.

However, Borisov assured Erdoğan during a telephone conversation held later that his government would make a concerted effort to ensure that the broadcasting of news bulletins in Turkish on Bulgaria’s public broadcaster will not become a matter for speculation by political forces in Bulgaria.

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