Updated: 22-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


22 Nov. 2002


by H.E. Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

Mr. Secretary General,
Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday, I had a chance to express my gratification at the historic decision for the enlargement of NATO and the invitation to my country. I am sure that the door of the Alliance will remain open for the other candidate countries that did not receive an invitation this time.

By its decisions at this forum the Alliance has proved yet again that it is capable of adapting dynamically and reacting efficiently to the new risks and challenges of the 21st century. The adaptation of the Euro-Atlantic partnership will constitute an essential part of the Alliance's "transformation". Bulgaria welcomes the results of the comprehensive review of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace to be endorsed at today's session. The implementation of our common vision and specific ideas will lend the partnership a fresh dynamism as well as a greater capability to cope with the new security challenges.

Fighting international terrorism and the non-proliferation of the weapons for mass destruction remain priority tasks for the free and democratic world. The Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism equips us with an excellent instrument for intensive cooperation and interaction.

The region of Southeastern Europe to whose stability NATO committed itself seriously in 1999 is increasingly becoming a firewall for Europe against the new security risks. Here I wish to highlight the two-plus-two dialogue between Bulgaria and Romania, Greece and Turkey that has been contributing to the consolidation of NATO's Southern flank and a stronger presence of the Alliance in the region of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.

From a more general perspective, the regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe within the Euro-Atlantic framework is becoming an ever more reliable instrument of confidence building and containmentof instability. This is why we are willing to share our experience and lessons learnt with other partners.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am convinced that in a matter of days in Copenhagen the European leaders will adopt just as bold and farsighted decisions for the enlargement of the EU as were adopted here in Prague. This year the Republic of Bulgaria has made considerable progress in its negotiations for full membership. This gives us grounds to expect a concrete target date for accession - 1 January 2007. After Prague, Copenhagen must become the next building block in the construction of United Europe!

In conclusion I would like to thank our host Vaclav Havel for the excellent organization of this historic forum!

Thank you for your attention!

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