President Basescu: “The antimissile facility, a proof that Romania is a reliable partner both for the U.S. and NATO.” U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Policy, James Miller: “A new stage in U.S.-Romanian relations and for the NATO Alliance.”
Romanian, American and NATO officials attended yesterday the official ceremony marking the beginning of main building work on the antimissile facility of the military base at Deveselu, Olt County, of the implementation of the agreement between Romania and the United States of America on deploying the ballistic missile defence system. President Traian Basescu, Minister of Defence Mircea Dusa, Secretary of State with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) Bogdan Aurescu attended the event on behalf of Romania. The American delegation was headed by James Miller, Under Secretary of Defense Policy, and included other high officials in the Department of Defense, the State Department and the commands of the American forces in Europe. The North-Atlantic Alliance was represented by Ambassadors Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General, and Sorin Ducaru, Assistant to NATO Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. Representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Turkey, countries which are hosting or will host components of the American ballistic missile defence system and which thus contribute to the NATO antimissile system, were also attending the ceremony.
President Traian Basescu told the official ceremony that, for a country like Romania, the basis of development started with security. “The significance of today’s event shows that the allies have the capability to defend their citizens against any kind of threat,” said Basescu. “For the time being the investment at Deveselu is a Romanian-American investment and we hope that, when the investment is finished and the systems are operational, the system will be part of the NATO protection system,” added President Basescu. “I feel I have done my duty,” he concluded. Earlier in the morning, during the meeting he had with the delegation of the U.S. officials at Cotroceni Palace, President Traian Basescu said that the antimissile facility of the military base at Deveselu is a proof that Romania is a reliable partner both for the US and the NATO.
In his turn, Romanian Defence Minister Mircea Dusa said that the completion of the missile defence facility at Deveselu is the outcome of extraordinary cooperation between Romania’s Defence Ministry and the US Department of Defense and it provides security not only to Romania, but also to all the countries in the same geographical area as Romania. He underscored that the partnership between Romania and the US has meant special attention paid to the Romanian Armed Forces for their restructuring and modernisation, over the ten years of Romania’s NATO membership.
“The construction that this ceremony will kick off marks the beginning of a new stage in U.S.-Romanian relations and for the NATO Alliance. Romania has evolved into one of our most reliable and steadfast partners. Not only are you a strong transatlantic partner to the United States, Romania is a dependable security contributor to NATO, as shown by its recent purchase of F-16s a cornerstone partner in international missions, such as ISAF, and increasingly, a country that can “export” security around the world. Today’s celebration is also a reflection of the strong, enduring strategic partnership that Romania has with the United States”, said James Miller, Under Secretary of Defense Policy. “The United States looks forward to working closely with Romania to identify new ways for our two countries to collaborate, including the potential for a regional F-16 cooperation program (…)”, Miller added. Previously in the day, Romania’s Defence Minister Mircea Dusa bestowed the Romanian Army’s Badge of Honour with peace insignia on US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James N. Miller in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the implementation of an agreement on the ballistic missile defence system.
NATO Deputy Secretary General, Alexander Vershbow, also appreciated the inauguration of the construction works at the missile defence facility at Deveselu as a historic moment.