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Bulgaria recalls Turkey envoy for consultation over election row

Bulgaria recalled its ambassador to Turkey for consultations on March 16, days after accusing Ankara of “meddling” in upcoming snap elections.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry did not provide any further details around the move, a traditional sign of diplomatic anger.

Last week, Sofia hauled in Turkey’s envoy for openly backing the new pro-Turkish Dost party, which is running in the Bulgarian election on March 26, in a campaign video.

It also slammed Ankara for encouraging the 60,000 or so Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey to vote for Dost, calling the move “direct interference in Bulgarian domestic affairs.”

EU member Bulgaria shares a 270-kilometer border with Turkey and relies on its neighbor to stem the migrant influx, as part of a mooted EU deal signed with Ankara last year.

Ankara has repeated this week a threat to withdraw from the EU migrant deal.

“Bulgaria has a plan if the agreement between Turkey and the EU is canceled,” Bulgarian Defence Minister Stefan Yanev said on March 16, without elaborating.

Yanev said there were “no indications” right now of increased pressure on the border. HDN

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