Assistant Foreign Minister for Europe Affairs Walid Al-Khabizi said Thursday the Kuwaiti-Bulgarian relations have been growing steadily since 1962. The signing of 26 agreements on cooperation between the two countries helped augment the relations in various fields and brought their views on various international issues close to each other, he said.

Ambassador Al-Khabizi made the comments during a reception, hosted by Bulgaria Embassy here to celebrate the country’s national day.

The number of Kuwaiti tourists, visiting Bulgaria rose to nearly 3,000 last year, he said, noting that the number of Kuwaiti students, studying at Bulgarian colleges also went up steadily over the last years.

On investment cooperation, he said Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is mulling a plan for longterm investments in, and tapping into the potentials of trade exchanges with, Bulgaria which is an active member of the European Union and the NATO alliance. Al-Khabizi voiced hope that the adoption by Kuwait of the e-passport system will help prepare the ground for exempting the Kuwaiti nationals from visa requirements in the Schengen Area. The e-passport system is one of the EU technical requirements for a Schengen visa waiver, not all requirements, he said, adding that the Kuwaiti move could facilitate the negotiations in this regard.

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