President Traian Basescu yesterday decorated Lieutenant-General Tad Oelstrom and Sergei Konoplyov, who are in charge of the Harvard University Black Sea Security Program. Mediafax reports that the decorations were conferred “in sign of high appreciation for the decisive contribution the recipients had to consolidating democracy and security between Black Sea riparian countries, by promoting good neighborliness relations, and for their contribution to the setting up of an expert community in the field”.Basescu thanked for the training of the 25 Romanian experts part of the program.“Also, I publicly express Romania’s wish to carry out this program starting with 2014, so that this program dedicated to increasing trust in the region could continue,” Basescu also said.The Presidential Administration is organizing March 18-20, in partnership with the Romanian Intelligence Service the conference “15 years of commitment, success and way forward” under the aegis of the Harvard University Black Sea Security Program. The program was launched in 1997 with the main goal of contributing to regional security through cooperation and reintegration.The program brings together major political decision-makers from the Greater Black Sea Area and US officials towards development of dialogue understanding the challenges of regional security and encouraging the settlement of issues in joint interest areas.The Program is aimed mainly at senior military officials and civilian experts on security issues from the United States and ten regional states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.Lieutenant-General Tad Olstrom was conferred the “Loyal Service” National Order in Commander Rank, and Sergei Konoplyov, the “Loyal Service “ National Order in Officer Rank.Olstrom is also director of the National Security Program, at “John F. Kennedy School of Government” of Harvard University, and Konoplyov is also director of the USA-Russia Security Program at the same university.Also yesterday, Traian Basescu decorated representatives of the Jewish Federation Communities in Romania.
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