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Sunday, April 18, 1999 Published at 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK

World: Europe

NATO asks to use Bulgarian airspace

The Bulgarian prime minister, Ivan Kosotov, has called for a consultation with parliamentary groups over a NATO request to use Bulgarian airspace for its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

The Bulgarian government has already agreed in principle, but final approval rests with parliament.

When NATO began the air strikes parliament issued a declaration saying that it would participate neither directly nor indirectly.

The Bulgarian President, Petar Stoyanov, turned back from a planned trip to the United States after being informed of the NATO request during a stopover in Paris. Earlier, the Hungarian Defence Minister Janos Szabo said his country would not allow the alliance to stage ground operations against Yugoslavia from its territory because ethnic Hungarians in the Vojvodina region of Serbia might be affected.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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