MAE’s Aurescu calls on White House, Pentagon to intensify strategic partnership

Intensifying the bilateral strategic partnership in the areas of policy, defence and security, as well as the progress recorded with the implementation of the bilateral agreement on the deployment to Romania of part of the US ballistic missile defence system were the main topics discussed by State Secretary for Strategic Affairs with Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) Bogdan Aurescu and officials of the US Administration in Washington DC during the weekend.
MAE reports in a press release that at the White House, Aurescu met Special Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia on the US National Security Council Celeste Wallander, while at the Pentagon he met Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet.
In his conversation with Wallander, Aurescu discussed mainly ways to intensify the bilateral strategic partnership in the areas of policy, defence and security, amidst worrying developments in the immediate vicinity of Romania. He also underscored the importance Romania attaches to its strategic partnership with the US in the context of Romania’s foreign policy, reiterating arguments in favour of boosting the presence of the US and NATO in the NATO member state making up the eastern flank of the organisation, Romania included. Aurescu made a detailed presentation of Romania’s assessment of the prospects for future developments in Romania’s neighbourhood. Both officials noticed that the assessments of Romania and the US of the security situation in the eastern neighbourhood of NATO are perfectly convergent and actual measures have to be sought to increase the security of the eastern NATO member states. ‘Besides aspects of the strategic and security dimension of the strategic partnership with the US, also discussed were aspects of the need to appoint a new US ambassador to Romania and including Romania in the Visa Waiver programme of the US,’ reads the MAE release, quoted by Agerpres.
In his conversation with Chollet, Aurescu touched on the progress with the implementation of the bilateral agreement between Romania and the US on the deployment to Romania of part of the US ballistic missile defence system, the most important strategic project in the history of Romanian-US relationships. The two officials reconfirmed the shared objective of the two countries to make the Deveselu system operational somewhere in 2015, and that there are no delays in the process. Aurescu spoke in favour of bilateral military cooperation being expanded in the current regional security context. He presented Romania’s perspectives on the regional security climate, arguing for the need for the US and NATO to increase their presence in the NATO member states at the eastern border of NATO, Romania included. Aurescu pointed out that, because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, NATO cohesion and the strong commitment of all the NATO member states to the principle of collective defence gets an added importance. ‘Bogdan Aurescu showed that consolidated cooperation with the US in the Black Sea region, increasing the US presence besides the presence of other NATO allies in the same zone will contribute to strategic stabilisation of the region and to deterring instability factors. He also underscored the part of NATO’s open-door policy in promoting stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic space,’ reads the release.

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