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Bulgarian leader, President discuss NATO expansion

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

WASHINGTON -- President Bush met on Tuesday with Prime Minister Simeon Saxcoburggotski of Bulgaria, whose nation is seeking membership in NATO.

Saxcoburggotski said after his Oval Office session that he discussed with Bush what Bulgaria has to offer NATO.

Immediately after Sept. 11, Bulgaria opened its air space to American and other aircraft heading for Southwest Asia.

Bulgaria's neighbor, Romania, also is considered a strong candidate for NATO membership, as are Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Additions to the 19-member alliance will be considered at a November summit.

Saxcoburggotski was a child monarch in the 1940s before being forced into exile.

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