GERB Floor Leader Tsvetanov Attends Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

February 6 (BTA) - Bulgarian National Assembly
 Internal Security and Public Order Committee Chairman and GERB
Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who is in Washington for the
traditional Prayer Breakfast with US President Donald Trump,
took part in a conference on security in Southeastern Europe and
 the Black Sea region, the GERB Party said in a press release on

Addressing the forum, which was organized by US Senator James M.
 Inhofe (Republican of Oklahoma), Tsvetanov stressed the
importance of the region for the overall development of
trans-Atlantic relations. "It is precisely in this respect that
the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council included the European
 perspective for the Western Balkans among its priorities. The
accession of Albania and Montenegro to NATO and the positive
prerequisites for Macedonia joining shortly the North Atlantic
alliance substantially enhance regional security, blocking the
influence of third countries in this sensitive part of the
world. The resolution of the Bulgarian Parliament to mandate the
 Government of Bulgaria to start negotiations with the US on the
 acquisition of F-16 fighters also helps build regional
security," he said.

Participants in the conference included Albanian President Ilir
Meta, Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel Les, OSCE Parliamentary
Assembly President George Tsereteli, Balkan and Black Sea region
 politicians and US Congressmen and Senators.

Within the framework of the forum, Tsvetanov conferred with Sen.
 Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. The
Senator expressed support for the forthcoming negotiations on
the F-16 purchase and described Bulgaria as a good and reliable
partner of the US in military political cooperation. It was
argued that by building up the combat operational capability of
the Bulgarian Air Force, NATO's Southeastern Flank will be
reinforced by fighter aircraft interoperable with Bulgaria's
neighbours and NATO Allies.

The GERB Floor Leader also met with Fiona Hill, Senior Director
for European and Russian Affairs at the White House National
Security Council. The sides discussed various aspects of
security in Europe and voiced a shared concern over the
escalation of tensions in the Black Sea and more specifically in
 the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

Tsvetanov and Hill concurred that the rules of international law
 should be applied in full measures and that violating the
sovereignty of any one State is inadmissible. Both sides
expressed strong concern over the increase of asymmetrical
threats in the regions and over the calling into question of
fundamental democratic values, including the freedom of movement
 of people and transport vehicles. Hill commended the Bulgarian
Government's position concerning the situation in Venezuela, the
 press release says.

Matters of energy security and the diversification of gas and
oil supplies to Bulgaria were also on the agenda.

Tsvetanov also conferred with Albanian President Meta, with
Montenegro's Parliament President Ivan Brajovic and with
Romanian Defence Minister Les. The sides exchanged views on
current security threats in the region, including cyber threats
from third countries. LI/LG

Source: Washington, D.C.