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Bulgaria: U.S. Official Pledges Support For Reforms

Sofia, 30 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The top U.S. foreign aid official yesterday pledged U.S. support for Bulgaria's economic reforms.

Brian Atwood, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), on a visit to Sofia, told RFE/RL that the United States supports Bulgaria's privatization program, which he characterized as "aggressive and ambitious."

Atwood discussed the development of the market economy and private business with newly elected Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. He also met Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Bozhkov, the cabinet minister responsible for the privatization program.

Atwood also said the United States is encouraged by Bulgaria's new emphasis on decisive market reforms and stamping out crime and corruption. Speaking of Eastern and Central Europe in general, Atwood promised U.S. support for the development of democracy and free markets in the region.