12 February 2010, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia
On 12 February 2010, at the Sheraton Hotel, in Sofia, The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, with the cooperation of the Open Society Institute, organized a keynote speech by the US Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. James B. Warlick. The topic of the speech was: “New Partnership: Shared Values, Common Interests”.
H.E. began his speech with the historical roots of US-Bulgarian relations, by making a reference to the newspaper articles by the American journalist Januarius MacGahan, who reported on the Bulgarian April Uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire. “His articles created enormous sympathy for the Bulgarians among average Americans, and are the foundation of a relationship between our peoples that has been strong ever since“, said the Ambassador.
Mr. Warlick talked about the past and current partnership between the USA and Bulgaria: “The partnership between the United States and Bulgaria has experienced profound changes, in a short period of time. We have overcome the burdens of history and geography, of Cold War animosity and post-Cold War uncertainty. Today we stand together as treaty allies sworn to protect each other’s security, and as political partners working together to enhance stability throughout this region“. In addition, H.E. expressed his country’s great satisfaction with Bulgaria’s achievements in the areas of political stability, economics, fiscal discipline and social harmony. The Ambassador also presented his vision about the future role Bulgaria could play: “Our task now is to turn to the future. I envision a new partnership where Bulgaria looks beyond its borders and is a partner in addressing challenges in the region and beyond.“
At the end of his speech, H.E. talked about the bilateral partnership between Bulgaria and the U.S. in the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency: “A major U.S. investor will soon open the largest wind farm in Southeast Europe. I applaud Bulgaria for welcoming this project, and facilitating its completion“. Mr. Warlick acknowledged the need for reducing energy dependence and diversification of the energy sources that Bulgaria uses: “Just as in the United States, we are taking steps to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East, so too Bulgaria must diversify its sources”.
The Ambassador concluded his speech with the following words: “We share Bulgaria’s goals of energy diversification and transparency. And we stand ready to share our experience and expertise in any way that will be of help to the Bulgarian people. This, too, is a part of the new partnership.“