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President Basescu confirms hiking number of troops in Afghanistan

On Thursday evening President Traian Basescu attended the working dinner given by US President Barack Obama to Central European leaders. The Heads of State of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and the Heads of Government of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary were among the participants. According to a press communiqué issued by the Presidency, ‘the talks touched on issues of interest on the transatlantic agenda, mainly those in the security domain.’ ‘The NATO campaign in Afghanistan was one of the central subjects of the meeting, with this currently being the Alliance’s most important military operation. The conclusion of the consultations was that although there has been a series of successes, the effort has to continue in order to accomplish all the planned objectives. Consequently, the allies have to remain united and faithful to the commitments taken,’ the communiqué adds.


‘All NATO member states should equally assume responsibilities in order to eliminate the terrorist elements in Afghanistan,’ the Head of State said before leaving for Prague. ‘The Alliance has to remain united. To me it seems unacceptable for some states to consider their mission in Afghanistan over,’ the President stated, being quoted by Agerpres. He underlined that Romania’s point of view is that the Alliance has to assume the responsibility of taking Afghanistan to the stage of a democratic state. In that sense, he reminded that starting in September Romania will have 1,800 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. ‘In fact, in order to guarantee the security of its own troops, considering the missions it has to fulfill, Romania has doubled the number of troops, going from 500 soldiers in 2008 to 1,038 in 2009. For this year we plan to hike that number by 150, reaching a level of 1,200 soldiers. In the last but one meeting of the Supreme Defense Council we noted that given our missions there we would leave our troops at risk without hiking their number by another 600 soldiers,’ he added.


According to a presidential bureau release, during the talks for the working dinner given by the American President, President Traian Basescu claimed that the development of NATO’s missile defense system would contribute in a complementary and efficient manner to the Alliance’s existing deterrent capability and would consolidate collective defense and transatlantic cohesion.

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