Updated: 15-May-2003 May 2003

8 May 2003


President of Bulgaria visits NATO

The President of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, discussed his country’s preparations for joining the Alliance with Secretary General Lord Robertson during a visit to NATO on 8 May.

Bulgaria is expected to join NATO in 2004 along with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The current 19 NATO member countries are now ratifying protocols of accession that will allow these seven countries to become members of NATO. To date, Canada, Norway and the United States have ratified the protocols.

The President briefed the Secretary General on the status of reforms Bulgaria has pledged to undertake, and the implementation of Plan 2004, which foresees the restructuring of its armed forces into rapidly deployable units.

Lord Robertson called on Bulgaria to continue with its reform effort as it prepares to join NATO. He highlighted the protection of classified NATO information, the fight against corruption and improvements in the quality of public administration as three key areas.

But everyday Bulgaria is proving that it was a wise decision taken by the NATO heads of state and government at Prague,” he said at a press conference following their meeting, “And we're very pleased with the progress being made and the co-operation given to NATO by Bulgaria.

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