"Bulgaria and the US are allies and strategic partners. Our cooperation is extremely broad, with a tendency of continued development not only on a bilateral basis, but also within NATO and the EU-US relations. "
This is what Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said during his meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer.
The talks highlighted the results of the Bulgarian Prime Minister's meeting with US President Donald Trump in the White House in November 2019. The key role of the then adopted Strategic Partnership Framework, which had taken the bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level, was also highlighted. A confirmation of this was the Bulgaria-US Strategic Dialogue hosted in Sofia in January.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov pointed out that security and defense were among the main dimensions of the dialogue between the two countries. "Our armed forces participate in a number of joint trainings, including within NATO. And the acquisition of the F-16 Block 70 fighter jets is a significant step forward in the modernization of the Bulgarian Air Force, and further strengthens the relationship between the two countries," Prime Minister Borissov told the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
Another focus of the meeting was the further encouragement of the economic exchange between Bulgaria and the United States of America. The steady upward trend measured by the data on trade turnover was emphasized on. It has increased by 3.7% for the period January - September 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. “It is of a great importance for us to also attract foreign direct investment from the US in leading sectors of the Bulgarian economy” added Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. According to him, the inclusion of Bulgaria in the US Visa Waiver Program would undoubtedly lead to the opening of additional avenues for economic cooperation and an even more active development of people-to-people contacts.
During the meeting, the partnership in the area of energy with the US was highly praised. It has the potential to contribute for Bulgaria's energy security and for the diversification of sources and routes of supply, including by importing LNG at competitive prices.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer also discussed the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans. "The reliable perspective of joining the EU and NATO remains a key driver for a positive transformation in the region," said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. He added that the integration of the Western Balkans should continue to be based on their own merits in fulfilling the requirements concerning the rule of law, combating corruption, freedom of the media and minority rights.
"NATO and the EU must cooperate closely in order to achieve better interplay in their communication with countries in the region," emphasized Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.