Bulgaria, US Discuss Opening of DEA Office in Sofia

Diplomacy | December 9, 2010, Thursday // 11:02|  views

Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov (pictured), met with DEA Acting Administrator, Michelle Lionheart, during his official trip to Washington. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who is on an official trip to the US, met in Washington DC with Michelle Lionheart, Acting Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA.

The information was reported Thursday by the Interior Ministry's press center.

Lionheart has stated the partnership between the Bulgarian ministry and her office is at a very high level with daily operations and meetings, now considered activities of a joint structure with clear goals – halting illegal drug trade globally.

The DEA Acting Administrator further gave high marks to joint operations with the Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) and extended personal thanks to its Head, Stanimir Florov.

Lionheart pointed out DEA pays special attention to staff training, adding she fulfilled her promise to Tsvetanov to increase training for Bulgarian policemen.

The DEA Head explained Bulgaria's role in fighting international drug traffic is increasing and will increase even further after the joining of the Schengen zone, when the country will really become the exterior border of the EU.

For this reason DEA has started work on plans to open its representation in Bulgaria and, despite some administrative details that need to be ironed out, the DEA leadership is firm their constant presence in Bulgaria is crucial for both the US and the region.

Tsvetanov reassured Lionheart the Bulgarian cabinet is unwavering and has strong political will to combat drug crimes, adding partnership with DEA is of prime importance and the opening of the above said office in Bulgaria would be a strong expression of the collaboration between the two institutions.

The parties discussed the latest trends in international drug trafficking, the situation in Afghanistan and Southeastern Asia, the fight of the Mexican government against the drug cartels, and its effects in America and Europe.

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Tags: drug trafficking, drug trade, Michelle Lionheart, DEA, US, Washington, official trip, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, Stanimir Florov


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