TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (Press Shia Agency) – Bulgaria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Poriazov said bilateral relations between Tehran and Sofia have entered a new era which necessitates further consular cooperation.

The Bulgarian official made the remarks at a meeting with the visiting Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for Consular Affairs Ali Chegini, who is in Sofia to participate at the first meeting of the Joint Consulate Meeting of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Poriazov pointed to the recent negotiations between the two states stressing “a new chapter has been opened in bilateral relations between Tehran and Sofia making it necessary for consular cooperation to develop parallel to other areas.

Following the consular consultations, the parties emphasized the need to exchange experiences in various areas of visa issuance, finalize the three judicial documents as well as to launch more effective cooperation on refugees.

During his official visit, Iran’s Chegini held meeting with several Bulgarian officials and also visited a refugee camp in which eight Iranians are residing in order to get informed on their conditions and make necessary recommendations.

Numerous issues were raised during the meetings including mechanisms for providing more efficiant consular services to students, scholars, businessmen, drives and tourists of both sides, the need for more bilateral cooperation on problems faced by refugees, restoration of efforts of both parties to finalize judicial contracts, exchange of experiences in exploiting I-Visa systems.

Chegini, while meeting officials of Bulgaria’s ministry of science, pointed to common cultural background, geographical location as well as political will of leaders of the two countries and voiced Iran’s readiness to strengthen educational relations, exchange faculty members, grant scholarship to teach Persian and Bulgarian languages which were all warmly welcomed by the opposite party.

In line with deepening police cooperation between Iran and Bulgaria, the two sides also agreed that expert bodies make visits to police and border departments of each other.

At a separate meeting with Bulgaria’s Attorney General Sotir Tsatsarov, Chegini welcomed the proposal to restore three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on convict extradition, transfer of convicts and mutual legal assistance announcing that an Iranian delegation will travel to Sofia to visit relevant institutions and exchange views with Bulgarian counterparts on these issues.

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