US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a working visit to Sofia on May 6-7, held separate meetings with President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Friday.
Plevneliev said that strategic partnership between Bulgaria and the United States forms a basis for more active joint steps for coping with the common security challenges. He stressed that amid numerous crises in Bulgaria's neighbouring regions, it remains a predictable, reliable ally, and is a key factor of stability in Southeastern Europe.
The Bulgarian institutions will continue working towards the implementation of the nine projects for modernization of the armed forces. The acquisition of a new type of combat aircraft is the top priority, the President said, urging NATO for active support for this process.
He welcomed the US government's decision to increase funding for the European Reassurance Initiative to 3.4 billion dollars in 2017. The head of State called for equal security guarantees for all countries on NATO's Eastern Flank.
Blinken voiced his country's resolve to defend the security of all its European allies, stressing that this would be confirmed at the upcoming Warsaw NATO Summit. He highlighted the importance of the security situation in the Black Sea region.
The two officials concurred that the Bulgaria-US working groups on security and defence, energy security, the rule of law, the fight against terrorism, and education had deepened the strategic dialogue between the two countries and were already achieving results.