SOFIA, Bulgaria

The US will deploy up to 2,500 military personnel in Bulgaria as part of the 10-year Defense Cooperation Roadmap signed between the two countries last week.

The agreement was reached on Oct. 7 during a meeting between Bulgarian Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and US Defense Minister Mark Esper in the US capital.

The two NATO countries aim at deepening the cooperation in Black Sea region, as well as supporting the implementation of NATO capability targets, according to Karakachanov.

The roadmap establishes a framework for the development of Bulgaria’s military readiness and capabilities over the next decade through sustained defense cooperation, a readout by the US Department of Defense said.

The soldiers will be deployed at four military bases used by the US in Bulgaria, Chief of Defense Admiral Emil Eftimov told Bulgarian media.

The first defense cooperation agreement between the US and Bulgaria came into force in 2006.

The Balkan nation has also purchased eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft from the US, which will be delivered in 2024.

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