US ambassador Ries meets Bulgaria’s interior, foreign ministers

Newly-accredited United States ambassador to Bulgaria Marcie Ries held meetings on October 3 with the country’s interior and foreign ministers.

During an “introductory call”, Ries and Tsvetan Tsvetanov – Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister – discussed “issues of mutual interest in the bilateral relationship” according to statements issued by the US embassy and by the Interior Ministry.

Separately, meanwhile, the government press service said on October 3 that the Cabinet that day had approved a draft intergovernmental agreement between Bulgaria and the US regarding the enhancement of co-operation in preventing and fighting serious crime.

The Bulgarian Interior Minister was authorised to sign the document under the conditions of ensuing ratification, the government statement said.
The draft contains important elements necessary for the effective bilateral law enforcement co-operation in dealing with the challenges of cross-border serious crime and establishes a high standard in the two countries’ joint efforts to prevent, uncover and investigate serious crimes, the statement said.
The agreement envisages equal and reciprocal exchange of information – dactyloscopic data and DNA profiles in accordance with the legislation of the country giving the information, in order to prevent and investigate serious crimes.
The agreement is of vital importance to the enhancement of security and protection and the two countries’ citizens, especially in the context of preventing terrorism-related people from travelling, according to the statement, as quoted by local agency Focus.
US ambassador Marcie Ries and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Photo: Interior Ministry

“The relationship between Bulgaria and the United States is a relationship between partners and friends who share common values,” Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said after his first meeting with Ries, a Foreign Ministry statement said. Mladenov expressed thanks for the support that Bulgaria has received during its transition over the past 20 years, the statement said.

Mladenov said that the two countries share common priorities, not only bilaterally, but also as allies in Nato. “We have common priorities in policy towards the countries of the Western Balkans, as well as a shared vision for the democratic future of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

The statement said that Mladenov and Ries had expressed confidence that the successful co-operation between Bulgaria and the US could be extended, especially in the economic and investment fields.

“I hope that we also can achieve progress on two issues important to Bulgarian society – the signing of an agreement on social security and addressing the visa issue, once the legal requirements have been met,” Mladenov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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