Updated: 09-Dec-2008 IMS News Release

26-27 Nov. 2008


CMC visits Bulgaria

Admiral Di Paola during the ceremony at the Unknown Soldier Memorial

SOFIA - Bulgaria --- Chairman of NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, paid an official visit in Bulgaria invited by the Chief of General Staff, Gen. Zlatan STOYKOV, Friday.

Admiral Di Paola was already in Sofia early September with the whole Military Committee, when all the Chiefs of Defence from the 26 NATO member nations, along with Albania and Croatia on their way to full membership, and the two NATO Strategic Commanders, gathered for two-days of discussions and seminars about NATO operations and transformation.

“This special invitation from Gen. Stoykov gives me me the opportunity to discuss in depth with highest political and military authorities recent developments of all the issues where NATO is engaged, and the relationship and coperation with Bulgaria.”

Admiral Di Paola and Gen. Stoykov held a meeting where the Chairman presented the latest updates on the status of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. Admiral Di Paola took the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution Bulgaria provides to NATO’s operations, as well as the quality of the job done by the Bulgarian staff at NATO HQ.  Bulgaria has been a NATO partner country since 1994 and a full member since 2003, continously providing forces to operations. During the discussions, it was underlined that Bulgaria is proceeding steadily in the transformation process of the Armed Forces. In this context, the need to develop sufficient deployable combat and support elements is paramount. The updating process will also see a commitment in optimizing resources, looking at vital assets to be reinforced and less vital one’s, their status to be reconsidered.

During the visit, the Chairman had also the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister, H.E. Sergey Stanishev, with the Minister for Defence, H.E. Nikolay Tsonev, and with the Chairman of the Parliamentarian Defence Committee, Mr. Peter Dubov. In all the meetings, Admiral Di Paola underlined Bulgaria’contribution to the Alliance and paid a tribute to men and women serving every day the cause of peace, followed in this by local authorities.

The Prime Minister, in particular, insisted on the common goals for security that, in a globalized world, everybody has to face. H.E. also underlined the paramount military mission of NATO in creating the security conditions, from the Balkans to Afghanistan, for the other actors to operate, in a comprehensive approach.

The Minister of Defence, on the other hand, emphasized rights and responsibilities about NATO’s membership and the necessity of an appropriate multinational approach when building capabilities.

Admiral Di Paola delivered a speech at the Raskovski Defence College about NATO and its coming 60th Anniversary. The audience comprised of  representatives of the diplomatic corps and senior military staff of the Bulgarian army, rectors of Bulgarian universities, directors of faculties. The speech covered how NATO is approaching the milestone of the Anniversary, which new challenges to security the Alliance is facing or getting ready to face, also through a transformation targeted to future scenarios. Summarizing his concepts, the Chairman underlined that “NATO has to be Effective now, Forward Looking, Responsive and Responsible.”   

PAA Office
Col. Massimo Panizzi Rm 2050 – Tel 5983 – Fax 5713 Panizzi.massimo@hq.nato.int
Cdr. Giovanni Galoforo – 5752 Galoforo.giovanni@hq.nato.int

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