Two Romanians killed in Algerian hostage standoff

PM Victor Ponta announced on Saturday, at the end of the military intervention in Algeria, that a Romanian has been killed by terrorists there, while four others have been freed and that they will be repatriated soon. Three Romanians have been handed over to the Romanian diplomatic authorities in Algeria, while another one is still in the care of the Algerian Army and will be handed over soon to Romanian diplomats. According to the latest news, another Romanian has been killed at the Amenas site during the Algerian attack. “During January 20, the Algerian authorities have informed the Romanian Embassy in Alger that another Romanian citizen died, after the attack in Amenas,” the Foreign Ministry informs, quoted by Mediafax. “The man died in hospital, due to the wounds,” MAE further states. The Romanian foreign ministry states it regrets the fact that the Algerian authorities failed to inform the Romanian authorities completely. Condolences were sent to the family.

Romania’s presence in Mali to be discussed on February 5

During the same press conference held at the Foreign Ministry on Saturday, PM Victor Ponta also said he and President Traian Basescu had discussed the subject of a Romanian military presence in Mali, pointing out that any concrete decisions would be made in the CSAT meeting due on February 5. Asked to comment on FM Titus Corlatean’s recommendation for sending Romanian military trainers to Mali and asked about a possible time frame for that, Ponta’s answer was: ‘I have talked to the president on that, too and will also address the matter at the CSAT meeting that will happen in a few days from now and we’ll make concrete decisions then’. Ponta noted that the decision, in principle, was one to be made by all political decision makers in Romania, meaning the president and the Government. ‘We will say if and when we also need to inform the Parliament as well, because we need to show solidarity with our European partners in the Mali case. I stress with our European partners, for it’s not a conflict France has with somebody, it is an operation assumed by France and the EU to combat an imminent danger of extremism and terrorism, but any concrete decisions will be made on CSAT,’ Ponta said.Ponta stressed that there is no concrete information as to an imminent threat on Romanian soil but invited the general public to stay vigilant, warning that what it’s going on in Mali and Algeria nowadays ‘can affect us all’, adding that it’s Romania’s duty to actively take part in the fight against terror.

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