Bulgaria will do everything possible to help Montenegro join the European Union after the country completes all necessary reforms, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said Friday.

“We firmly believe that the European project — because it is a project for peace, prosperity and stability will not be completed unless all the Western Balkan countries join the Union… I am impressed by how fast Montenegro is progressing in the EU accession process, and I would like to… assure you that you can rely on any support you from us,” Zaharieva told Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic, as quoted by the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA).

She also offered her Montenegrin counterpart to send state administration officials to study in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city. The foreign ministers also agreed to deepen economic, tourism, and defense cooperation.

According to the requirements for EU membership, the countries wishing to join the European Union must prove they will be able to comply with all the bloc’s standards and rules, and have the consent of all EU institutions and EU member states, as well as their citizens by way of approval in their national parliament or referendum.

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