SOFIA, Bulgaria — U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and U.S. European Command commander, visited Bulgaria April 26-27, to meet with the Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense.
As part of his plan to visit every NATO nation during his tenure as SACEUR, Stavridis met with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Minister of Defence Anyu Angelov. He also attended detailed discussions with Chief of Defense, Gen. Simeon Simeonov, at the Council of Ministers.
The topics of discussion ranged from Bulgaria's role in NATO's security plan to their contribution in the United Nations mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, where Bulgaria currently contributes 525 troops.
After these meetings, Stavridis attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier at the Bucharest Carol Park, honoring those service members who have died while serving Bulgaria.
Stavridis commended Bulgaria on its contributions to NATO's efforts around the world.
"You have been proud members of the alliance since 2004, we appreciate your continued support and the way you are prioritizing Afghanistan,” Stavridis said during the visit. "Training the Afghan National Security Forces is a significant part of our success strategy, so the additional Operational Mentoring and Liaison teams are most welcome. Bulgaria also plays an important role in the Black Sea area."
Before departing, Stavridis indicated his pleasure with the productive talks and expressed his gratitude to those who had contributed to the preparation and execution of the visit.
Stavridis took command of NATO's Allied Command Operations in July 2009. He is the 16th SACEUR and the first U.S. Navy admiral to hold this title.