Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose country currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, has vowed to improve ties between Turkey and the EU.

“Turkey is the EU’s largest neighbour and has the largest army in the region,” Borisov said at the reopening ceremony of a historic Bulgarian church in Istanbul on January 7.

Borisov called on both sides to make 2018 a year in which Ankara and the bloc fix and normalise their relations.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country is determined to pursue EU membership. “I believe that during Bulgaria’s EU term presidency, additional cooperation opportunities will emerge and will gain momentum.”