PM, Deputy Foreign Minister Meet with Princess Dana Firas of Jordan
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met with Princess Dana Firas of Jordan here on Tuesday morning. "Jordan is an exceedingly important and desired partner of Bulgaria. We appreciate the Hashemite Kingdom's regional and global role and influence, which is why Bulgaria seeks to pursue mutually advantageous relations in areas of strategic importance for both countries," Borissov told the guest, quoted by the Government Information Service.
Her Royal Highness is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and President of the Petra National Trust, the oldest national nongovernmental organization active in the preservation of Jordan's heritage.
The Prime Minister sees the invigoration of bilateral cooperation in a number of key spheres as evidence of the two countries' categorical will to upgrade their contacts.
The sides focused on the promotion of cultural and historical tourism and on programmes for the integration of teaching children cultural heritage conservation at an early age.
"Our country has an extraordinary potential as a tourist destination and ranks third in the number of [archaeological] artefacts in Europe after Greece and Italy," Borissov emphasized, adding that the Bulgarian Government backs the idea of the inextricable link between culture and tourism.
The PM pointed out that, despite the stiff international competition, the tourism industry increasingly asserts Bulgaria as an identifiable and preferred destination. "Tourism generates nearly 12 per cent of Bulgaria's GDP and attracted a record 9.2 million foreign visitors last year. The sector accounts for 11 per cent of the country's total employment and, together with the ancillary industries, is part of Bulgaria sustainable economic growth," the press release said.
The sides agreed that the Petra National Trust's experience in presenting historical landmarks in a suitable and authentic way will be tapped for the launch of a pilot initiative for teaching adolescents the protection and conservation of cultural heritage. To this end, Bulgaria's Tourism Ministry and the Trust will sign a Memorandum of Cooperation.
"We enable scholars to undertake large-scale archaeological explorations because we are convinced that the conservation of the cultural and historical heritage is indispensable for sustainable development but also because we realize that this commitment shows how we treat succeeding generations," Borissov told the Princess. He praised her devotion to tеaching children the value of cultural heritage.
"Education is another key priority of the Bulgarian Government, and each initiative cultivating respect for history and not just mentality for a successful business career is more than praiseworthy," the Prime Minister said in conclusion.
Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev met with Princess Dana Firas on Monday evening, Georgiev's Ministry said in a press release.
The sides discussed the significance of cultural heritage, the preservation and management of UNESCO cultural and historical sites, as well as the role of cultural tourism for the development of local communities and regions.
Georgiev emphasized that Bulgaria has an ample cultural and historical heritage, that it is open to knowledge and science, as well as to a peaceful world based on cooperation and on overcoming ethnic, religious and racial differences.
Her Royal Highness shared her excellent impressions of Bulgaria's centennial history, culture and heritage.
The sides were unanimous that Bulgaria's archaeological, architectural, ethnographic and religious sites offer all the right conditions for the development of cultural tourism, and agreed to cooperate to that end. DT/BR, LG