- Foreign relations of Bulgaria
Bulgariahas generally good relations with its neighbors and has proved to be a constructive force in the region under socialist and democratic governments alike. Promoting regional stability, Bulgaria hosted a Southeast European Foreign Ministers meeting in July 1996, and an OSCE conference on Black Seacooperation in November 1995. Bulgaria also participated in the 1996 South Balkan Defense Ministerial in Albaniaand is active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative.
With their close historical, cultural, and economic ties, Bulgaria seeks a mutually beneficial relationship with
Russia, on which it is largely dependent for energy supplies. Sporadic negotiations are underway among Greece, Bulgaria, and Russia for construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipelineto transport Caspian Seaoil from the Black Seaport of Burgasto Alexandroupolion the northern Aegean coast.
Bulgaria's EU Association Agreement came into effect in
1994, and Bulgaria formally applied for full EU membership in December 1995. During the 1999EU summit in Helsinki, the country was invited to start membership talks with the Union. On January 1, 2007Bulgaria officially became a member of the European Union. In 1996, Bulgaria acceded to the Wassenaar Arrangementcontrolling exports of weapons and sensitive technology to countries of concern and also was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Zangger Committeeand the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After a period of equivocation under a socialist government, in March 1997 a UDF-led caretaker cabinet applied for full NATOmembership, which became a reality in April 2004.
Bulgaria and the
United Statessigned a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006 providing for military bases and training camps of the U.S. Army in Bulgaria, as part of the Pentagon's restructuring plan.
Bulgaria joined NATO's
Partnership for Peacein 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 PragueSummit Bulgaria was one of seven former socialist countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in April 2004. The country is also working toward NATO compatibility in communications and training, and has established a Peacekeeping Training Center.
2003, Bulgaria was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, proving to be one of 3 closest U.S. allies during the Iraqi Crisis, together with the UK and Spain. Bulgaria also presides the OSCE in 2004.
European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroinand, to a lesser degree, South American cocainefor the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals.
In the late 1990s a
Libyan children's hospitalwas the site of an outbreakof HIVinfection that spread to over 400 patients. Libya blamed the outbreak on Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who were arrested and eventually sentenced to death. The international view was that Libya has used the medics as scapegoats for poor hygiene conditions, and Bulgariawith the support of its main allies the European Unionand the United Statesrepeatedly called on Tripoli to release them. The medics were finally extradited to Bulgaria and immediately pardoned at Sofia Airporton July 24, 2007.
Republic of Macedonia
The rules governing good neighbourly relations agreed between Bulgaria and the
Republic of Macedoniawere set in the reaffirmed by a joint memorandum signed on January 22, 2008in Sofia. [: "Recommendations on the development of good neighbourly relations following Bulgaria’s accession to the EU and in the context of NATO and EU enlargement in the Western Balkans". Sofia: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2008. 80 pp. (Trilingual publication in Bulgarian, Macedonian and English) ISBN 978-954-92032-2-6]
Bulgarian diplomatic missions
List of diplomatic missions in Bulgaria
List of joint US-Bulgarian military bases
* [http://www.mfa.government.bg/index.php?newlang=eng Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
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