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6 February 2006 -- Bulgarian Defense Minister Veselin Bliznakov said today Bulgaria expects to sign a deal in April to host U.S. troops in military facilities.
Bliznakov said talks on allowing U.S. troops access to two Bulgarian military bases will be completed during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Rice is expected to visit Bulgaria for an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers at the end of April.
Bulgaria has offered two locations, both in the southeast of the country -- the Bezmer air base, and the Novo Selo training area.
U.S. officials have said they plan to deploy troops on rotational training tours as part of a broader U.S. strategy of shifting Europe-based forces further east.
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