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Last updated: 21-Nov-2003 10:39 7 Invitees - Bulgaria

1990
1991
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003

Bulgaria - NATO
Chronology of key events

1990

13 July 1990 With a Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria accepts the invitation extended by NATO to establish regular diplomatic liaison. Mrs. Lea Cohen, Bulgarian Ambassador to Belgium, is authorized to maintain diplomatic liaison with NATO.

1991

4 April 1991 Establishment of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, the first non-governmental Atlantic association outside NATO member states. Since October 1992, the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria has been associated with the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), initially as an observer and later as an associate member.

12-14 June 1991 Dr Manfred Wörner pays the first official visit of NATO Secretary General to Bulgaria.

20 December 1991 Bulgaria participates as a co-founding state in the inaugural meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC).

1994

14 February 1994 The President of Bulgaria, Zhelyu Zhelev, signs the Partnership for Peace Framework Document at NATO Headquarters.

25 November 1994 Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Todor Churov visits NATO Headquarters. Bulgaria’s PfP Individual Partnership Programme with NATO is formally accepted.

1995

28 September 1995 Bulgaria participates in a meeting at NATO Headquarters for a presentation of the conclusions of the Study on NATO Enlargement to NACC and PfP Cooperation partners.

16 October 1995 Bulgaria accedes to the Status of Forces Agreement between the NATO member states and the PfP countries (ratified by the National Assembly on 5 April 1996).

1996

1996-1998 Bulgaria participates in a number of meetings with NATO within the Intensified Dialogue with interested partners on NATO membership issues.

2-3 May 1996 NATO Secretary General Javier Solana visits Bulgaria.

1997

29 January 1997 The President of Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov, visits NATO Headquarters to meet Secretary General Solana and Permanent Representatives and declares Bulgaria’s will for full membership in NATO.

17 February 1997 The Government of Mr. Stefan Sofianski formally announces Bulgaria’s application for NATO membership.

17 March 1997 The Government adopts a National Programme for Preparation and Accession to NATO. An Inter-Ministerial Committee for Integration in NATO is established to coordinate the efforts for preparation and accession to the Alliance.

8 May 1997 A National Consensus Declaration defining the accession of Bulgaria to NATO as a basic national priority is adopted by the Parliament.

30 May 1997 Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova attends the concluding meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) and inaugural meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in Sintra, Portugal. NATO and Cooperation Partner Foreign Ministers approve the EAPC Basic Document.

9 July 1997 President Petar Stoyanov participates in Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of NATO and Cooperation Partners under the aegis of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in Madrid.

20 July 1997 An Agreement on the participation of Bulgaria in the Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR) is signed.

2-8 October 1997 General Assembly of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) in Sofia, hosted by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, for the first time in a NATO Partner country.

4 December 1997 Bulgarian Government decides to establish a Permanent Diplomatic Mission to NATO and WEU in Brussels. The first Head of the Mission, Ambassador Boyko Noev, presents his credentials on 18 March 1998.

1998

2-3 April 1998 NATO Secretary General Javier Solana visits Bulgaria.

27 April 1998 Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova and Defence Minister Gueorgui Ananiev participate in a North Atlantic Council meeting, in 16+1 format, within the framework of the Intensified Dialogue on NATO membership issues.

10 July 1998 President Petar Stoyanov visits NATO Headquarters to meet Secretary General Javier Solana.

7 October 1998 Prime Minister Ivan Kostov visits NATO Headquarters.

23 October 1998 The National Assembly adopts a Declaration on Kosovo approving the actions of the Government in support of NATO efforts there as well as the deepening of the cooperation with the Alliance in view of the membership perspective.

1999

21 April 1999 Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov visits NATO Headquarters to discuss the Kosovo crisis and other security issues with the North Atlantic Council.

24 April 1999 Bulgarian delegation headed by the President Petar Stoyanov takes part in the EAPC Summit held in Washington. A NATO Membership Action Plan is proposed to Bulgaria and the other applicant countries.

28 April 1999 Bulgaria and NATO conclude an Agreement on transit passage, through the air space of the country, of NATO Allied Force Operation aircraft.

21 June 1999 Bulgaria enters into agreement with NATO on transit passage through the territory of Bulgaria within the framework of Joint Guardian Operation.

8 July 1999 Visit to Bulgaria by NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.

6 October 1999 Bulgaria and The Netherlands sign a Memorandum on the participation of Bulgarian troops in the Dutch contingent in KFOR.

22 October 1999 Bulgaria presents its first Annual National Programme 1999-2000 under the Membership Action Plan.

20 December 1999 Prime Minister Ivan Kostov meets Secretary General Lord Robertson in Brussels.

2000

9 February 2000 Bulgarian troops assigned for KFOR participation are deployed in Kosovo, in the composition of the Dutch contingent.

9-10 February 2000 NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson visits Bulgaria.

13-14 March 2000 Visit to Bulgaria by General Wesley Clark, SACEUR.

14 April 2000 Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in 19+Bulgaria format to discuss a Progress Report on the implementation of Bulgaria’s first MAP Annual National Programme.

19 May 2000 Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova participates in a conference of the Foreign Ministers of the 9 applicant countries in Vilnius which launches the Vilnius process.

29 May 2000 Bulgaria and Germany sign a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Bulgarian participation in the German contingent in Kosovo.

22 June 2000 Visit to Bulgaria by General Joseph Ralston (SACEUR).

12 July 2000 EAPC notes the establishment of the South Eastern Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group (SEEGROUP) – a major project within NATO’s South East Europe Initiative (SEEI) implemented with Bulgaria’s lead role.

2 October 2000 Bulgaria’s second MAP Annual National Programme is presented to Ambassador Klaus-Peter Klaiber, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, during his visit to Sofia.

12-13 October 2000 Meeting of the Vilnius Group Defence Ministers in Sofia, attended by Lord Robertson, NATO Secretary General.

20 November 2000 Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov visits NATO Headquarters.

30 November 2000 NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Sergio Balanzino, visits Sofia.

2001

5 March 2001 President Petar Stoyanov visits NATO Headquarters.

6 April 2001 The National Assembly ratifies the Agreement between Bulgaria and NATO on a transit passage of forces and personnel of the Alliance.

30 April 2001 President Petar Stoyanov participates in a NAC+Bulgaria meeting to discuss the second Progress Report on Bulgaria’s participation in the Membership Action Plan.

May 2001 Prime Minister Ivan Kostov attends Bratislava conference of the Prime Ministers of new democracies within the Vilnius Process.

2 July 2001 Bulgarian delegation participates in a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NATO applicant countries held in Tallinn, Estonia.

5 October 2001 Sofia Summit of the New Democracies with the participation of the Heads of State of the Vilnius Group countries attended by Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO.

22 October 2001 Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha and Foreign Minister Solomon Passy meet Secretary General Lord Robertson and the North Atlantic Council in Brussels.

14 November 2001 The National Assembly unanimously ratifies a bilateral Agreement between Bulgaria and the United States on cooperation in the context of the Enduring Freedom Operation in Afghanistan.

2002

2 – 9 January 2002 Deployment of a Bulgarian company for the protection of the SFOR Headquarters in Sarajevo.

10 January 2002 Bulgaria joins the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in London, concerning the formation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

16-18 February 2002 The ISAF contingent of Bulgaria is deployed in the Kabul area.

6 February 2002 President Georgi Parvanov visits NATO Headquarters to meet Secretary General Lord Robertson.

25-26 March 2002 Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha attends the Bucharest Conference “The Spring of New Allies” with the participation of the Prime Ministers of the Vilnius Group.

23 April 2002 Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and Defence Minister Nikolay Svinarov participate in a NAC meeting in 19+1 format to discuss the third Progress Report on Bulgaria’s participation in the Membership Action Plan.

24-28 May 2002 Bulgaria hosts the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

5-6 July 2002 Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha participates in the V-10 Summit Meeting “The Bridge to Prague” in Riga.

21 November 2002 At the Prague Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government formally invite Bulgaria along with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to begin accession talks with NATO.

2003

10 January 2003 First Round of Accession Talks at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

10 February 2003 Second Round of Accession Talks at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

17 February 2003 Secretary General Lord Robertson visits Bulgaria to meet senior officials, including the President of Bulgaria, The Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and Defence Minister Nikolay Svinarov. He also addresses the National Assembly. This is the first visit to one of the invited countries and the beginning of a round of visits to all the invitees.

7 March 2003 Senior Political Committee (Reinforced) + Bulgaria Meeting in Brussels to discuss Bulgaria’s Timetable for Completion of Reforms.

17 March 2003 Minister of Foreign Affairs Solomon Passy sends Secretary General Lord Robertson a Letter of Intent confirming Bulgaria’s interest, willingness, and ability to join the Alliance. The country’s Timetable for Completion of Reforms is attached to the Letter of Intent.

26 March 2003 Permanent Representatives of the 19 NATO member countries sign Accession Protocols for the 7 invited countries, including Bulgaria, in the presence of Foreign Minister Solomon Passy and the Foreign Ministers of the other invitees, in Brussels.

4-5 April 2003 Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha attends an informal meeting of the prime ministers of the 7 invited countries in Snagov, Romania.

8 May 2003 President Georgi Parvanov visits NATO to meet Secretary General Lord Robertson.

29 May 2003 The National Assembly decides on the participation of Bulgaria in the operation in Iraq.

18 June 2003 North Atlantic Council decides to open its bodies for the invited countries with observer status.

August 2003 An infantry battalion of the Bulgarian army (480 servicemen) is deployed in the city of Kerbala in Iraq, in the Polish command zone.

5 September 2003 Secretary General Lord Robertson meets President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Simeon Saxe Coburg-Gotha and delivers a key-note speech at the international conference on “Sharing a common security agenda for South East Europe”. He is decorated with “Stara Planina” Order by the President Parvanov.

6 October 2003 Presentation of the revised Annual National Programme of Bulgaria.

8-9 October 2003 Minister of Defence Nicolay Svinarov attends an informal meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence and the 7 invited countries held in Colorado Springs, United States.

14-15 October 2003 General Harald Kujat, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee visits Bulgaria.