of the Council
(At 19)

7 Oct. 1998

Speaking Notes for the Chairman

Intensified Dialogue Session with Bulgaria

Today we are honoured to welcome the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr. Ivan Kostov, for a meeting with the North Atlantic Council in the context of the Intensified Dialogue. We are aware that Bulgaria has developed a close and active co-operation with the Alliance, and plays an active role in promoting regional co-operation in South Eastern Europe, thus contributing to stability and security in this particularly sensitive area.

Bulgaria joined the Partnership for Peace in February 1994 and has become a very active participant. It consistently contributes to debate and initiatives in the EAPC. Since December 1997, Bulgaria has participated in SFOR with one platoon and is offering medical facilities to the force.


Mr. Prime Minister, your visit to NATO HQ comes at a critical moment. With regard to the crisis in Kosovo, the Alliance is aware of security concerns of countries in the region. We have kept our Partners, especially those in the region including Bulgaria, informed on our contingency planning. We appreciate Bulgaria's constructive approach and willingness to co-operate in finding a solution.

Intensified Dialogue sessions with Bulgaria on questions related to NATO membership began in February 1997, followed by a meeting of the Council on 25 April with the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Stoyanov. Today's dialogue builds on these efforts and, I believe, further confirms Bulgaria's commitment to deepening its relationship with NATO.

As to the position of the Alliance, there is no need for me to stress the importance we attach to our relationship with your country, as well as our commitment to maintain an open door.

Mr. Prime Minister, you have the floor.

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