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The Vatican Supports Bulgarian's EU Membership

Date: 29.05.2006

Bulgaria appreciated the Vatican's support for the country's EU accession, Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said.

Stanishev met cardinal secretary of state Angelo Sodano who is on a visit to Bulgaria. The two discussed Bulgaria's role in the further European integration of Balkan countries.

Pope Benedict XVI has been supporting the enlargement of the EU as a region of 'security, stability and prosperity'. Stanishev said he hoped the EU member states would take the Vatican's support into consideration when making their decision on Bulgaria's entry to the union.

Stanishev said Bulgaria was an example of ethnic peace and traditional religious tolerance.

Sodano said the construction of the new catholic cathedral St. Joseph in Sofia was a sign of the revival of religious values in the country.

Sodano also met President Georgi Purvanov discussing Bulgaria's hardships on the way to the EU. The president said he was grateful for the Vatican's support for the Bulgarian medics on trial in Libya.

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