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Lecture of Roderick Moore: US Policy Toward Bulgaria in the aftermath of 9/11 - a Deepening Partnership
 

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On 27 June, 2003 the Bulgarian Defense and Staff College hosted the first of a series of lectures delivered by foreign lecturers to senior staff from the security forces. The lectures organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy will focus on issues related to good governance in the context of the new security threats. Mr. Roderick Moore, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia put forward the U.S. government’s perspective on bilateral partnership development and the problems Bulgaria needs to tackle.

Mr. Moore, who also served at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria in the early 1990s, noted that bilateral relations have evolved in fundamental ways in the last decade. At the start of transition the country was at the periphery of strategic U.S. interests, but in the aftermath of 9/11 and Bulgaria’s entry in the global war against terrorism it is regarded as a key partner to the USA.

The two foremost problematic areas are organized crime and corruption, since they undermine public confidence and deform the economy. Roderick Moore pointed out that money counterfeiting, human trafficking and trade in dual-use goods are all chief sources of financing for criminal groups and that criminals are also assisted by corrupt civil servants and prosecutors.

In response to questions by General Staff members, the audience at the Defense and Staff College and reporters, Mr. Moor stated that the U.S. government does not underestimate the social reforms underway and Bulgaria should not be confronted with the choice to carry out social reforms or combat terrorism.

Commenting on the status of the International Criminal Court and the two countries’ divergent positions on the subject, Mr. Moore said bilateral relations will not be compromised and that U.S. government expects to sign an agreement regulating the exclusion of U.S. and Bulgarian nationals from the Court’s jurisdiction. As Bulgaria backs up EU position on the issue, Mr. Moore affirmed that the USA does not oppose, but, on the contrary, supports Bulgaria in its course to full EU membership since its future stability would guarantee a further stabilization in the region.

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