Washington, DC - The Secretary of State of the United States of America John F. Kerry and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Daniel Mitov today reaffirmed the strong strategic partnership between the United States and the Republic of Bulgaria and discussed a broad spectrum of issues, including regional and global political and security challenges; defense and security cooperation; energy security and diversification; and the rule of law. They agreed to continue to collaborate through working groups focused on the following areas:
- Security and Defense: Facing a dramatically altered security environment in Europe and the transnational threat of terrorism, Bulgaria and the United States agreed to work to enhance regional security – including through joint exercises, implementation of NATO’s Readiness Action Plan, actions to bolster stability and security, and efforts to promote the transatlantic integration of Southeastern Europe. The United States also committed to work with Bulgaria and other Allies to support Bulgaria’s efforts to modernize its military and make it more interoperable with NATO.
- Energy Security: Bulgaria and the United States are committed to improving Bulgaria’s energy security through greater diversity of supply and distribution and increased interconnectivity with neighbors. Bulgaria and the United States will work together and with the EU to strengthen the investment climate and attract private sector interest.
- Rule of Law: The United States welcomes Bulgaria’s commitment to undertake significant rule of law reforms, also in line with the Global Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGP), including reforming the judicial sector, strengthening legal institutions, and improving public procurement transparency, among other steps. The United States and Bulgaria will continue cooperation to curb corruption and combat international organized crime through professional exchanges and shared expertise.
- Education and People to People Ties: Bulgaria and the United States are committed to increasing mutual understanding and lasting ties between our nations through opportunities for educational and cultural exchanges under the auspices of the Fulbright program and other formal and informal exchange mechanisms, and to the creation of robust networks of exchange alumni in both countries.
In recognition of this expanded partnership, deepened bilateral ties, and a broad shared agenda, they agreed to establish a United States-Bulgaria strategic dialogue, which will include regular meetings in Washington and Sofia to discuss and make further progress on the range of bilateral, regional and global issues on which the United States and Bulgaria have a shared interest.