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President Radev Meets Members of Bulgarian Community in Czechia

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the Czech Republic, President Rumen Radev said it is an honour to be among representatives of one of the oldest, most numerous and organized national communities outside Bulgaria. The meeting was held at the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague as part of Radev’s visit to the Czech Republic on May 11-12 at the invitation of his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman.
Radev also mentioned that earlier he had attended a business forum and it had emerged that trade between Bulgaria and Czechia has tripled in the last ten years, exceeding EUR 1.7 billion. The increase is measured in two-digit figures that are quite significant, the President said and underscored the Bulgarian community’s contribution to this achievement. 
The head of State recalled that relations between the two countries date back to the 9th century and the Moravian mission of the brothers Cyril and Methodius. Then, in the 19th century, many Czech scholars, artists, architects and industrialists came to Bulgaria to help build the modern institutions, industry, infrastructure and cultural life of contemporary Bulgaria, Radev said. Adding that he regards the community as Bulgarian ambassadors to the country, the President also expressed his gratitude for the way it has preserved the Bulgarian spirit, traditions and culture, and for promoting further Bulgarian-Czech relations. 
The Bulgarian community in the Czech Republic has been recognized as a minority since 2001. According to official data, 17,000 Bulgarians reside on Czech territory.