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Bulgaria: Newly Elected Parties Complete Talks With Socialis

Sofia, 22 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's United Democratic Forces (ODS), an anti-communist coalition that won a majority in Saturday's parliamentary elections, completed talks today with former communists in the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

The state news agency, BTA, says the meeting was aimed at reaching an all-party agreement to back the future government's reform policies. Socialists said they would review ODS Leader Ivan Kostov's proposals and announce their position later this week.

Kostov, the ODS' prime minister designate, has vowed that his government will respect agreements reached by the caretaker cabinet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF and other international institutions recently pledged a total of $1,2 billion in emergency aid to Sofia on condition that market reforms are carried out.

Kostov says other priorities are to fight organized crime and corruption, open secret police files on public figures, and bring Bulgaria into the European Union and NATO.