Monday, March 27, 2006

Bulgaria, US agree on final text of bilateral accords on military bases

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria and the United States have agreed on the final text of the bilateral agreement on locating US military bases in the Balkan country, US Ambassador John Beyrle and Bulgarian Ambassador to NATO Lyubomir Ivanov said Friday (24 March). They said talks on the accords were completed the previous day, and only minor technical details remain to be settled.

The deal will be valid for ten years, and could be unilaterally halted by any of the parties with a one-year warning period. According to Beyrle, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is expected to seal the accords during an April visit to Sofia for an informal NATO meeting. The Bulgarian legislature will likely approve it soon afterwards. Beyrle said the first US troops could be deployed in Bulgaria in 2007 and 2008, while the overall number of deployed soldiers could reach up to 5,000. (Sega - 25/03/06; Mediapool - 24/03/06)


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