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Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas
Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas
Nova Iorque, EUA, 28 de setembro de 2015 see more: Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas


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Speech by the President of the Republic at the dinner hosted in his and Mrs. Cavaco Silva’s honour by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev
Sofia, Bulgaria, 15 June 2015

I am most gratified by the words that Your Excellency has just put forward, as well as with the warm welcome that has been awarded me, my Wife and to my retinue on this State Visit.

I am extremely pleased to visit Bulgaria. Diplomatic relations between our two countries go back to the beginning of the 20th century. The message that I would like to turn public on this Visit is that our relations, which have roots in the past and is currently showing dynamism, should look towards the future, deepening what already exists and searching for new areas of cooperation.

Portugal and Bulgaria, countries with histories that go back to a lengthy past, are nowadays partners in both the European Union and in NATO. Portugal supported and encouraged Bulgaria’s adhesion to these organizations. We share common values and politics. I was pleased to become acquainted with you, Mister President, at the meetings of the Arraiolos Group, a European informal discussion forum. I very vividly recall Your Excellency’s contribution at the last of these Encounters, in Portugal, in September of last year.

Notwithstanding older connections and the fair political understanding, the bilateral relationship between Portugal and Bulgaria is still below the existing possibilities. It is very probable that a lot more may be achieved regarding cooperation between our two countries.

To start with, I believe that our relationship must have a greater expression in the economic and trading areas. I am accompanied, on this visit, by an entrepreneurial delegation representing the several relevant sectors of the Portuguese economy. Tomorrow, together with you, Mister President, I shall have the honour to preside at the opening of the Bulgaria-Portugal Entrepreneurial Forum. The objective is to identify and promote new areas of trade and investment between Bulgarian and Portuguese entrepreneurs.

The signature of the agreement to constitute a Bulgarian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, which we will also witness tomorrow, is a further relevant contribution towards this goal.

The strengthening of the links between our peoples is also a part of the reciprocal knowledge of their cultures and languages. It is with great pleasure that I record the interest shown in the Portuguese language in Bulgaria, and am very happy with what has already been achieved in the teaching of Portuguese, both at university and at secondary school levels.

I shall be going, tomorrow, to Sofia University, where the exhibition “We, who descend from Orpheus” is on show. Also at the University, my Wife will meet with students of “Portuguese Philology”, and will address a lecture on the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. She will also visit Lamartine and Cervantes Lyceums, where Portuguese language is already comprised in the respective curricula.

With respect to culture, we will also have the opportunity to enjoy, tomorrow, a sample of our “Fado”, a Portuguese musical expression recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Mister President,

This is, as you are certainly aware, a time of great challenges, not only in respect of our countries, but also at European level and in the International context. The financial crisis in the Euro Zone has exposed weaknesses and structural imbalances in the economies of several Member States, which we have endeavoured to correct and overcome. We have to continue concentrating our efforts in the promotion of economic and employment growth.

The last four years have been, as you know, particularly difficult for my country. Today, after the ending of the demanding Economic and Financial Aid Programme, markets are signalling confidence in the Portuguese economy. We have been furthering an ambitious and demanding programme of structural reform, intended to improve the flexibility and the competitiveness of our economy, which nowadays shows itself as more competitive, sustainable and comprised in the global economy.

In this journey, I shall also have the opportunity to contact the diversified Portuguese Community that resides in Bulgaria. In its turn, as you know, a numerous Bulgarian Community resides and works in Portugal, amounting to approximately 8,000 people. Both these Communities are, in themselves, an inestimable component in the promotion of relations between our countries.

Mister President,

I am convinced that Portugal and Bulgaria will know how to invest in a future with greater cooperation, both bilaterally and internationally. It is in this sense that I ask you all to join me in a toast to Your Excellency’s health, to the friendly people of Bulgaria and to the future of our relationship.

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