Monday, February 16, 1998
Vol. 34, No. 7, ISSN: 0511-4187
Joint statement on the United States-Bulgarian partnership for a new era. (made
by US Pres Bill Clinton and Bulgarian Pres Petar Stoyanov)(Transcript)
� February 10, 1998
� President Clinton and President Petar Stoyanov met at the White House
today to discuss the strengthening of U.S.-Bulgarian relations as well
as mutual efforts to enhance cooperation in Southeast Europe and
advance Bulgaria's integration into the European and transatlantic
communities, including NATO.
Bulgaria over the last year and the key role played by President
Stoyanov. During his tenure, Stoyanov's Bulgaria has aligned itself
firmly with the family of democratic nations, moved forward with
difficult economic reforms, strengthened its civic institutions,
stepped up its fight against organized crime and enhanced cooperation
with its neighbors. The two presidents committed themselves to building
a partnership that reflects a new era in Bulgarian-American relations.
� President Clinton reaffirmed America's commitment to NATO's "Open
Door" policy and welcomed Bulgaria's aspiration to NATO membership. The
two Presidents agreed that Bulgaria's engagement in the Partnership for
Peace, enhanced dialogue with NATO and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership
Council were key tools to making Bulgaria the strongest possible
candidate for NATO membership.
� The United States will continue to support Bulgaria's efforts to
consolidate its democratic and free market reforms, including
Bulgaria's engagement with the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund. The United States and Bulgaria are committed to
common interest in expanding mutual trade and investment and
encouraging the development of multiple routes for energy from the
� The centerpiece of the visit was the announcement of a new U.S.
Action Plan for Southeast Europe. The Action Plan will give further
dynamism to U.S. cooperation with countries in the region in such
areas' as promoting peaceful resolution of disputes, combating
organized crime and consolidating democratic and economic.reforms.
President Stoyanov expressed full support for the Action Plan and
committed Bulgaria to doing its part.
� U.S.-Bulgaria Work Program
� The two presidents noted with approval the detailed U.S.-Bulgaria
work program that will translate the Southeast Europe Action Plan into
concrete projects in the areas of economic and commercial concerns,
political-military affairs and law enforcement cooperation.
� President Stoyanov welcomed continuing U.S. assistance which plays a
market structures. President Clinton applauded Bulgaria's commitment to
accelerating privatization and affirmed continued U.S. support through
various bilateral assistance programs. Over the past seven years, the
United States has provided Bulgaria with over $235 million in
assistance under the Support for East European Democracy Program (SEED)
to advance fundamental economic and political reforms.
� * The program for this year, budgeted at $31 million, will focus on
ensuring the development of a free-market economy and strengthening
� In view of the improved reform environment in Bulgaria, the United
States and Bulgaria have identified several new priority areas for
cooperation: reinforcing the rule of law, strengthening financial
markets and encouraging the development of civil society. In this
regard, the two Presidents agreed to:
� * Deepen cooperation between their countries' respective law
enforcement agencies in the struggle against terrorism, narcotics
trafficking, money laundering and illicit arms transfers. The United
law enforcement training.
� * Project intellectual property rights, including a commitment by
President Stoyanov to seek strict enforcement of Bulgarian legislation
and strengthen cooperation among relevant Bulgarian institutions in the
fight against intellectual property piracy.
� * Develop a new education curriculum in Bulgaria to promote
democratic values with a grant of $250,000 from the United States
� * On the military front, the Department of Defense has developed a
number of programs to support the reform of the Bulgarian military
along Western lines, including for this year:
� * A $900,000 International Military Education and Training program
that has eleven Bulgarian cadets studying at U.S. military academies;
� * A $3.2 million dollar Foreign Military Financing program; and,
Defense to organize staff and information exchanges.
� Regional Cooperation
� In an effort to breakdown barriers and encourage regional
cooperation, the United States and Bulgaria, together with several
other stable democracies, are engaged in a number of cooperative
efforts such as the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, the
South Balkan Development Initiative and the annual Southeastern
European Defense Ministerial.
� * The Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) aims to
enhance regional cooperation, commerce and development. It is pursuing
plans for improvement of operations at border crossings, models to
finance energy efficiency projects, and promotion of small and
medium-sized enterprise development.
� * The $30 million South Balkan Development Initiative (SBDI) seeks to
energize the efforts of Albania, Bulgaria and the FYR Macedonia to
upgrade their transportation systems and develop a regional approach to
� * The Southeastern European Defense Ministerial brings the Defense
Ministers of the region together with other interested countries to
discuss issues of common concern and develop projects for the year
aimed at promoting regional cooperation and confidence building.
Bulgaria hosted the last Ministerial in October 1997, which resulted in
27 follow-on activities.
� These bilateral and multilateral initiatives will advance our shared
goal of a Europe whole, free and at peace. They will also promote the
integration of Bulgaria and the other stable democracies of
Southeastern Europe into the European and transatlantic mainstream.
� NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content
of this joint statement.