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Bulgaria TUESDAY, 31 May 2011

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Bulgaria Teams up with Turkey for Military Projects

Bulgaria’s premier wants an antimissile shield over the whole territory of the country



Bulgaria's PM Borissov had a 30-minute talk with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the city of Varna

Photo: BTA
Bulgaria may team up with Turkey, Romania and Croatia in buyng modern jet fighters. “If the relevant authorities reach consensus we may share the new fighters and have common training bases for pilots and technical personnel,” PM Boyko Borisov commented. Yesterday, the PM arrived in the Black Sea city of Varna together with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen where they will attend the conference of the Alliance. Before the discussions started the two statesmen had a tete-a-tete for over one hour. During the meeting the NATO top official extended his thanks to Sofia for the Bulgarian participation in the NATO missions in Afghanistan and Libya. According to Rasmussen the NATO potential should be used more efficiently and interoperability of the member countries should be enhanced. He gave as an example of good cooperation the purchase of three C-17 by NATO countries that will be used jointly. He recommended that similar projects should be implemented in other spheres, too.      
PM Boyko Borissov pointed out that in spite of the crisis last year the government has allotted 300M leva more for the defense budget. In his words currently Bulgaria is working with Romania, Croatia and Turkey on joint projects.
Regarding the anti-missile shield PM Borissov stated categorically his support for dislocating elements of the system in Bulgaria. “Our only requirement is the system to protect the entire territory of Bulgaria. From that point on – in which countries what part and what elements to be dislocated depends entirely on NATO technical and strategic decisions,” PM Borissov underlined.   
PM Borissov appealed to NATO saying it should carefully consider Bulgaria's position regarding the situation in Libya. As of next week Sofia will take part in a contact group which takes political decisions connected with the military operation in Libya.
"My request is that the stand of Bulgaria's Foreign Minister be carefully listened to by the members of the contact group as Bulgaria has had the possibility to hold negotiations with Libya and know well part of the opposition in Libya which is presently in Benghazi," PM Borissov stated on the last day of the sitting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in the Black Sea city of Varna, northeastern Bulgaria.
PM Borissov expressed his regret that the actions against Gaddafi had come late pointing that Libya held Bulgarian medics as hostages for many years before the eyes of the international community.

Panayot Angarev
Krastina Marinova

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