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Bulgaria's parliament ratified conclusively the agreement for the location of US military bases on bulgarian's territory

Bulgaria's parliament ratified conclusively the agreement for the location of US military bases on bulgarian's territory
27.05.2006
Источник: Novinite Ltd.
Bulgaria's parliament ratified conclusively the agreement for the location of US military bases on the territory of the Black Sea country.

At the first reading a total of 155 MPs voted in favour, 22 were against and two abstained. At the second reading 150 MPs supported the agreement, 20 voted against and 2 abstained.

The agreement's opponents came predominantly from the nationalist and leftist formations. A few independent MPs also voted against.

"The agreement with the United States contains very solid guarantees that the use of military bases in Bulgaria will be based on partnership principle, after consultations with our country," Foreign Minister Iavylo Kalfin said.

He underlined that the agreement defends our national interests, creates jobs and lessens the political and economic risk in Bulgaria, which secures good business climate for foreign investments.

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed April 28 the agreement for the location of US military bases on the territory of the Black Sea country.

Bulgaria and the US reached an agreement on the defence cooperation accord, including the conditions of the shared use of several military facilities on Bulgarian territory, at the end of March.

Under the agreement the US will be able to use three Bulgarian military bases - the Novo Selo range and the Bezmer both near Bulgaria's border with Turkey, and the Graf Ignatievo airfield in central Bulgaria. US forces will also use a storage facility near Bulgaria's port of Burgas.

As many as 3,000 soldiers can be deployed on short rotation in Bulgaria, which at some point may overlap and reach 5,000. The first US troops will arrive in 2007 and 2008.

The agreement, which will be valid for 10 years, provides mechanisms for bilateral consultations over the actions of the US forces in Bulgaria.

According to the agreement if an American soldier commits a crime on Bulgaria's territory, he will be sued according to local laws. Washington will also inform Sofia about the actions of the US army that concern the bases in Bulgaria.

The bases will remain Bulgarian property and will be jointly operated by the US and Bulgarian militaries.

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