State Secretary Aurescu in Washington: Romania – close ally, partner of US

The Foreign Ministry State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu sustained a lecture on Tuesday at the Center for Transatlantic Relations of the Johns Hopkins University of Washington, highlighting Romania’s profile of ‘close ally and strategic partner of the United States of America’, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informed in a release on Wednesday.
‘State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu’s intervention highlighted Romania’s profile as close ally and strategic partner of the US, emphasizing Romania’s assets as a NATO and EU member state in geostrategic, economic, and military terms relevant for the transatlantic relations. Among the topics mentioned, besides Romania’s valuable participation in the operations, were its important contribution to the protection of the United States and of the whole allied territory in Europe through the missile defence base of Deveselu [southern Romania], and the vital role of the Mihail Kogalniceanu [south-east] base as a transit center for American military forces in Afghanistan,’ the release adds.
Aurescu presented in his speech the importance of the Strategic Partnership with the US in the architecture of Romania’s foreign policy, and the fact that there is a strong support for ‘a sound transatlantic relation’ among the political forces and public opinion in Romania, ‘the most pro-Atlantic in the European area.’
He also discoursed about the implications of the current regional security context on Romania and on the Black Sea region and on the options and instruments available to the US in order to formulate short, medium and long-term responses to the new challenges in this region.
‘These might aim at consolidating a dynamic and solid transatlantic partnership, with an agenda adapted and prepared to effectively respond to the new threats in the international environment. They might also consider the redeployment of some of the Alliance’s capabilities to Southeastern Europe, at NATO’s eastern border, including to Romania; shifting focus on NATO’s Eastern Neighbourhood, a source of tensions and conflicts; substantiating the open doors policy by offering the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia, and inviting Montenegro to join [NATO] at the Summit to be hosted by the United Kingdom in September,’ Aurescu said, as quoted in MAE’s release.
‘The Romanian State Secretary saluted the deeper commitment of the United States in the relation with the authorities in Chisinau, in support of the European aspiration of the Republic of Moldova, a goal strongly supported by Romanian authorities; he also stressed the vital importance of fully coordinated support from the US and the EU,’ the document continues.
Aurescu met representatives of the academic community in the US capital, including a meeting with leaders and experts of the RAND Corporation. The State Secretary also met US Representative Cristopher Smith, Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission) and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives.
‘Bogdan Aurescu restated Romania’s aspirations of the soonest possible inclusion into the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), underscoring the importance attached by the Romanian authorities and public opinion to the achievement of this goal; he voiced his hope that the US Congress will soon adopt legislative changes of the VWP access criteria,’ the aforementioned document details.
The State Secretary also met former Romanian students in Washington DC, members of the Romania Club; it was an opportunity to discuss the perspectives of development of the bilateral relation with the United States, the ways in which the Romanian-American academic milieu can contribute to the promotion of Romania’s interests in the US, and the perspectives available to Romanian students that complete their studies in the US and wish to return to Romania to put into practice their accumulated expertise to the benefit of Romania’s development and modernization.

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