Could Obama Visit Sofia in April 2009 - Report

Politics | November 6, 2008, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Could Obama Visit Sofia in April 2009 - Report: Could Obama Visit Sofia in April 2009 - Report Publication in Bulgarian media about Obama's forthcoming visit to Sofia could prove premature. Photo by BGNES

There is a strong possibility that the US President-elect Barack Obama might visit Bulgaria in April 2009, as reported by publications in the Bulgarian media on Thursday.

The likely reason for such visit, according to the articles, would be the Energy Forum organized by the Bulgarian government, which will take place in Sofia in April 2009.

During the the 7th Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit in Beijing, Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov officially announced the plans for the Energy Forum and invited leaders of EU, USA, Russia and Asia to take part in the Forum, which is titled „Natural Gas for Europe".

The publications that Barack Obama might arrive in Sofia for the Forum are mainly based on the promise given by US President George Bush to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev in June 2008.

During Stanishev's official visit to the US, President Bush pledged his participation in the Forum.

Stanishev has also invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who reportedly has already accepted the invitation. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has also welcomed the idea.

One of the main tasks of the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador to the US, Luchezar Petkov is to secure American participation at the Forum at the highest possible level.

According to Petkov, it was highly unlikely that Obama would arrive to Sofia to participate in the Natural Gas for Europe conference.

Petkov has stated that the new US President-elect would certainly visit Bulgaria at some point, but not in the next two years.

According to Petkov, the highest level of a possible US participant in the Forum would be at the level of the US Secretary of State.

The discussions during the Natural Gas for Europe Form will focus on the possibilities for gas supply to the EU and Europe's energy stability.

Russia's PM Putin has made a commitment to assist in assuring the participation of all major Caspian gas suppliers in the forum.
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