German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “we expect a lot from the Bulgarian presidency” and the motto ‘United We State Strong’ is what we all need in the European Union”.

As reported by the Sofia news agency Novinite, Merkel was addressing a joint press conference with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Sofia on January 20. She said: “Bulgaria can do a lot for its good neighbourly relations. We talked about good neighbourly relations and, in particular, we touched upon the theme of the EU-Western Balkans summit. We can rely on the rule in Bulgaria, we fully share the goals of the Bulgarian Presidency. We see the prospect of accession of the countries of the Western Balkans.”

In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that Bulgaria is preparing to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and EU leaders Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Antonio Tajani in the Black Sea city of Varna.

“This meeting is a good chance to speak with the Turkish President on all issues,” Merkel told reporters in Sofia, adding “we need orderly relations” with Turkey to solve the problems.

Borissov said the meeting could address Turkish concerns over payments from the EU under the migrant deal, as well as souring relations between Ankara and some big European Union member states, mainly over human rights concerns.