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Bulgaria: President Addresses Parliamentary Assembly

By Michael Shafir and Joel Blocker

Prague, 23 April 1997 (RFE/RL)- Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov says his country "has opted irrevocably" for full integration in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. Stoyanov says that Europe's "open door" should not be replaced by new divisions.

Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this morning, Stoyanov said Bulgaria has made an irrevocable choice in favor of reforms and democracy and an end has been put to the previous "tactics of imitation of reforms." Stoyanov said that in the last months a new social contract has emerged between the people and the government in his country. He pledged to be the "guarantor" of the human rights of all Bulgarian citizens and to fight any forms of racial intolerance, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

He told the assembly that "democracy cannot be established once and for ever" and needs to be "mastered and rediscovered by every generation."