H.E. Sheila Camerer, South Africa’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, has promised to work to provide Bulgaria with an “important and reliable partner in Africa”.

Camerer was speaking at the launch of the new South African Embassy website - www.saembassybulgaria.com - in Sofia, she welcomed the development of the Black Sea Ports of Varna and Burgas stating that they were of “major interest” to South Africa.

She also confirmed that she had finally handed in her credentials to Bulgaria President Georgi Parvanov last week after missing the first official ceremony in April because of a broken ankle.

As well as concentrating on the usual trade and cultural ties Camerer said she would like to develop tourism links; “Superficially Bulgaria’s comparative advantage is snow and skiing in winter and many historical sites and South Africa’s is wild animal safaris and the African mystique.”

Camerer also drew comparisons between Bulgaria and South Africa; “There is a lot of common ground. Both our countries come from troubled political backgrounds which ended in the early 90’s. We both experienced a difficult transition to full democracy and now we are both focused on the healthy development of our economies within a free and democratic framework. Even our national mottos are similar, emphasizing the strength of unity in diversity."

She concluded by wishing the Bulgarian football team luck with their attempts to reach the South Africa 2010 World Cup.

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