“The United States looks forward to continuing to deepen our partnership through our strategic dialogue on security and defense, energy security and diversification, rule of law, educational exchanges, cultural preservation and people-to-people ties,” the statement published on Monday said.
The statement was issued on Bulgaria's National Day and stressed that United States' Article 5 NATO commitment to Bulgaria is “rock solid.” Article 5 stipulates that an attack against a NATO-member is considered an attack against the whole alliance, also known as collective self-defense.
“We deeply appreciate the sacrifices your soldiers have made to promote global stability and to enable the citizens of the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq to live in peace and security,” the statement added.
Earlier on Monday, US Colonel Michael Foster told Sputnik that in the next four months the United States will be expanding its commitment to NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve with a brigade-level deployment to Bulgaria and Romania.
NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve was launched in June 2014 in response alleged Russian aggression. The mission is intended to reassure NATO allies in Eastern Europe of the Alliance’s collective security commitment to all member states, according to NATO publications. Russia has repeatedly denied NATO’s claims of aggression.