Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, said the government press office on Wednesday. King Salman is quoted as saying that the Riyadh visit by the Bulgarian government leader is a major step in the development of bilateral relations.
Borissov is in the Saudi capital at the head of a government delegation on an official visit to Saudi Arabia - the first one on such a high level in the history of bilateral relations. Former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is an honorary guest during the visit. The official Bulgarian delegation includes deputy prime ministers Ekaterina Zaharieva and Krassimir Karakachanov, and the ministers of agriculture, food and forests, of transport, IT and telecommunications, and of tourism: Roumen Porozhanov, Ivailo Moskovski, and Nikolina Angelkova, respectively.
Borissov was welcomed upon arrival late on November 28 by Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, the Emir of Riyadh.
In Riyadh Borissov is scheduled to confer also with Prime Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and with the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid A. Al-Falih.
The visit is intended to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. On its agenda will be issues in key areas, including security, energy, trade, transport, tourism.
It transpired Wednesday that the Airbus of the government's Air Squad 28 which carried the Bulgarian government delegation to Riyadh, was not allowed into Iranian air space and had to take an alternative route via Iraq. Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told the press here Wednesday that this happened even though their flight had all requisite permits and route approval.
The Bulgarian authorities have demanded an explanation from the Iranian authorities, said the Foreign Minister.
It has transpired in the meantime that the Iranian Air Force were not aware that the Bulgarian Prime Minister was on the fight. They had detected a slight deviation from the approved route of the Airbus and asked the crew to leave Iranian air space. The plane turned back towards Turkey and continued the flight through Iraq.
More details are yet to be established, said Zaharieva. "The only change for us was that we landed on a different airport in Riyadh," she added.
She said that any other interpretations will be wrong and will show lack of awareness of the procedures.