On September 19, 1903, John B. Jackson, Minister to Greece, Romania, and Serbia, presented his credentials to serve as the first U.S. Diplomatic Agent to Bulgaria – six years prior to Bulgaria’s proclamation of full independence from the Ottoman Empire. Today, we celebrate the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of that act and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two great nations. Our relationship as bilateral partners, and our friendship as members of the transatlantic family of nations, has never been stronger.
The United States and Bulgaria work closely together on a multitude of issues. Our shared commitment to provide military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal war of aggression remains firm. We continue to deepen our collaboration on vital regional and global security issues as NATO Allies, working side by side in the NATO battlegroup hosted by Bulgaria and training together on a regular basis. Our nations are expanding cooperation on economic and energy issues to increase prosperity, address the climate crisis, and reduce Bulgaria’s reliance on Russian energy sources. Together, we are working to strengthen the rule of law and to boost democratic resilience against state-sponsored disinformation and malign influence. We also partner to promote innovation and economic opportunity through academic and professional exchanges and robust commercial relationships.
People-to-people ties have been the bedrock of our relationship since even before Asen Kermekchiev (“Ace Kermek”), a Bulgarian-American, began serving as the first U.S. Consular Agent in Bulgaria in 1912. Today, there are nearly 250,000 Bulgarians living in the United States, and nearly 90,000 Americans living in or traveling to Bulgaria every year. The warm relationship between our nations, based on shared transatlantic values, common interests, and family and cultural ties, continues to grow. We look forward to another one hundred and twenty years of friendship.