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2005-10-12 11:54:00
Embassy Sofia
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SOFIA 001741 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/11/2015


B. SOFIA 1719

C. SOFIA 1730

Classified By: DCM Jeff Levine, Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY. Ambassador Beyrle met the evening of October
10 with President Purvanov at the President's request to
discuss Purvanov's upcoming visit to Washington. Purvanov
provided a non paper outlining "key points" for his meeting
with President Bush (ref A and para 4 below). He confirmed
that Bulgarian troops would not begin their pullout from Iraq
until after the December Iraqi elections, and said the
government would announce its decision on a follow-on mission
before Purvanov leaves for Washington. Purvanov said the
government is considering donating some of the Bulgarian
battalion's equipment to the Iraqi security forces, but that
the army has not been very forthcoming He responded very
positively to the Ambassador's suggestion that he add
democracy promotion to his Washington agenda, saying that
Bulgaria could use its experience to play an important role
in the Balkans, Black Sea region and the Middle East. END

2. (C) On Iraq, Beyrle said it was important for the two
Presidents to be able to highlight Bulgaria's continued
participation. On the "basing" issue, Purvanov was
optimistic about the near-term prospects for an agreement on
joint U.S.-Bulgarian military facilities. He said he had
pushed the government to focus less on compensation and other
"material" issues and more on the strategic relationship.
Bulgaria's only red line is the constitution, he added,
saying it was important for legal experts to reach an
agreement that expresses the political will of both sides to
move forward. Purvanov also said he would meet with editors
of Bulgarian news media to urge more responsible coverage of
the issue. In a subsequent meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister
Todor Churov told the DCM that FM Kalfin would ask the
Secretary to take a "more flexible" approach in the base

negotiations, taking into account Bulgaria's desire for a
more comprehensive agreement on security cooperation and
addressing Bulgarian concerns about sovereignty and legal

3. (C) Purvanov asked for the President's support for
Bulgaria's EU membership on January 1, 2007, and for the
President's "personal" commitment to helping Bulgaria gain
the release of the five nurses unjustly imprisoned and
sentenced to death in Libya for allegedly spreading the HIV
virus. Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Grancharova told us
October 12 that any positive statement by President Bush on
Bulgaria's EU membership or the nurses would play extremely
well in the Bulgarian press, as will any reference to a
"strategic partnership" between Bulgaria and the U.S.

4. (SBU) Text of Purvanov's non paper follows:

Bulgaria will remain a reliable, predictable and loyal ally
in the fight against world terror and in the spread of the
values of democracy.

Bulgaria will continue to participate in the stabilization
and restoration of Iraq and will have its commitments to the
coalition beyond 01.01.2006.

Bulgaria remains in Afghanistan and is making serious
preparations for the protection of the Kabul International
Airport in the second half of 2006.

Bulgaria will accept US military installations on its
territory. The political will for this was expressed in a
position of the National Security Consultative Council and in
a Declaration of the National Assembly. Negotiations of the
specific terms are underway between the two governments and
are to be finalized in the nearest future.

The new government - a coalition that is unique for the
Bulgarian transition period - has declared firmly continuity
in pursuing the main strategic foreign policy goals and
democratic values. Bulgaria continues to be a politically and
economically stable ally in this region of Europe.

Bulgaria, as well as the USA, has a great stake in
guaranteeing regular supplies of energy at normal prices. The
country's geographic and geostrategic location makes it an
important factor in guaranteeing the security and the transit
of supplies. This is why we have a keen interest in having
the planned oil and gas pipelines running through our
territory. We are also interested to develop our national
nuclear energy production. There is an untapped potential for
active involvement of American business in the modernization
and development of the infrastructure of South East Europe.

Bulgaria has succeeded in building its unique ethnic and
political model, which is a guarantee against the spread of
radical Islam. By its stable and democratic development,
Bulgaria will guarantee the protection of this model and its
promotion in other neighboring countries. Along with its
involvement in NATO military missions, Bulgaria will continue
to generate security and promote good neighborly relations in
the region.

In order to lock in the positive trends in the country, we
need to achieve membership in the EU in the agreed terms,
that is, 01.01.2007. We count on the US for their relevant
support. As a EU member Bulgaria will be even better placed
to act as a stabilizing factor for security and democracy
throughout the region. Bulgaria will fulfill strictly the EU
requirements, but we hope that our accession will not be
postponed due to internal EU problems.

Bulgaria is a good place to do business. Political, financial
and economic stability, and the ever-improving investment
climate, are all reasons to expect a sharp rise in the
investment and economic activity of US companies here. It is
a good time for the excellent political relations and
strategic partnership of the two countries to open the way
for American business in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria lies on the border zone with conflict regions and
its role in the Euro-Atlantic security structures is growing.
The tasks of safeguarding the borders of the Alliance,
guaranteeing freedom of movement and security call for a new
quality of the systems for their solution. Bulgaria needs
more active support from the USA for modernizing its armed
forces. We would like to be involved in a more active and
full-fledged manner in the current American programs to this
effect and to accede to existing programs where we have no
access yet. There is an untapped potential for cooperation in
the military industrial complex and auxiliary industries.

Bulgaria appreciates the US assistance in the case of the
Bulgarian medics in Libya. This is a problem of vital
political significance for Bulgaria and we expect the
American side to continue its pressure on Libya for the
earliest possible conclusion in a fair and satisfactory
manner, and for the defendants to be released.