Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev on Monday expressed strong support for Macedonia's bid to join NATO and the European Union.
"Friendship and good-neighborly relations between our two countries have been proven many times over," said Stanishev, who is on a two-day visit to Macedonia.
Bulgaria is the first country to recognize Macedonia's independence when it seceded from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and it will continue to support Macedonia's efforts to seek EU and NATO membership, Stanishev told a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski.
The two nations signed an agreement Monday on future economic cooperation.
Stanishev and Gruevski will also attend a ceremony for the opening of a 400-kilowatt power transmission line linking the two nations.
Bulgaria, a member of both the EU and NATO, is among the leading foreign investors in Macedonia. In the first half of 2008,Bulgarian investments there reached about 44.17 million U.S. dollars.
Bulgarian investments in Macedonia were focused mainly in such sectors as banking, insurance, food, telecom, tourism and metallurgy.