FM: US Army Bases in Bulgaria Won't Be Used for Strike on IranDefense | February 5, 2012, Sunday // 11:41| views
Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov. Photo by BGNES
Joint US-Bulgarian military bases in Bulgaria will not be used for a potential US strike on Iran, said Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolay Mladenov.
Mladenov was speaking ahead of Sunday's visit to Sofia by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is set to discuss a number of security issues with Bulgarian leaders, including the situation in Iran and Syria.
Over the week, Bulgarian media quoted anonymous Bulgarian government sources, who said that Secretary of State Clinton is expected to request that one of the 4 contracted US military bases in Bulgaria be open for use for an operation against Iran.
End of 2011, the USA had requested a similar move from neighboring Turkey, which has however demonstrated strong and friendly relations to Iran, so the American plan did not go through.
The military base Bulgarian media mentioned was Bezmer in south-eastern Bulgaria, a transportation air force military facility.
Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov has however said that Bulgaria has no intentions of allowing the US to use army bases on its territory for a strike against Iran.
Tensions around the Iranian nuclear programme and increased hostile rhetoric from Israel have raised fears that a conflict might be imminent.
Mladenov has added that US-Bulgarian relations should not be reduced to defense and security matters, as ties and cooperation between the two countries are broader and deeper.
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