Bulgaria One Step Closer to US Visa Regime Lift

Diplomacy | October 10, 2012, Wednesday // 13:30|  views

Janet Napolitano (l) with PM Boyko Borisov (c) and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov during their meeting in Sofia. Photo by BTA

Bulgaria and the United States signed Wednesday an agreement on boosting cooperation in preventing serious crime.

The document was signed by United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was also present at the ceremony held in the Council of Ministry building in downtown Sofia.

After it, Napolitano stressed the new pact was another step towards lifting the visa regime for Bulgarians, adding it is very important for both countries in providing real-time exchange of information. Much to Borisov's delight, she noted how Bulgaria is among the few countries that managed to fulfill this requirement and gave high marks to the partnership between Sofia and Washington in security and counterterrorism.

On his part, the PM praised Tsvetanov's work and advancement in comparison to previous Cabinets when "even ministers have been denied American visas."

"Our services are working hard to identify and capture the perpetrators and the masterminds of the terrorist attack at Sarafovo and to prevent the counterfeiting of money. Bulgaria will strictly adhere to any NATO decision on Syria. Helpless and innocent people died in Turkey over the Syrian conflict. Syria even apologized to Turkey. We would support what we have said all along – this slaughtering, this destruction of the beautiful Syrian State must stop," said Borisov.

Tsvetanov expressed gratitude for the US donation in the amount of USD 20 000 to be used to improve security at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. He explained there was some pressure on Bulgaria from neighboring Turkey over the Syrian conflict. The Minister also highlighted the great cooperation between all Bulgarian and American law enforcement bodies.

Janet Napolitano, who is paying a working visit to Bulgaria, is also scheduled to confer with President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

*The July 18 bus bombing killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver at the Sarafovo airport in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas.

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Tags: Napolitano, Boyko Borisov, Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Prime Minister, Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, US, Bulgaria, United States, security, visa regime, counterterrorism, cooperation, crime, turkey, Syria, border, donation


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