Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - Monday, February 16, 1998 Vol. 34, No. 7, ISSN: 0511-4187 Joint statement on the United States-Bulgarian partnership

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.



� President Clinton noted the historic changes that have taken place in

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

reinforcing implementation of the Dayton Accords. They also have a

common interest in expanding mutual trade and investment and

encouraging the development of multiple routes for energy from the

Caspian Basin.



� 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

key role in facilitating Bulgaria's transition to democratic and free

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

democratic institutions.



� 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

States announced an increase in funds dedicated to providing criminal

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

Information Agency.



� * 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,



� * A military liaison team resident in the Bulgarian Ministry of

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

transport planning.



� * 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.



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