U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland praises Romania’s substantial progress in fighting corruption

President Klaus Iohannis received on Monday U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland at the Cotroceni Palace.

“It is a pleasure to welcome you. It’s been exactly one year since we have met in the same place. Some things have changed for the better, other less so, and I’m glad that we have the opportunity to discuss some of these things,” the head of state said at the start of the meeting at the Presidential Administration seat.

In her turn, the American official said that her visit to Romania was an opportunity to stress that the two countries are allies, and called the day a good one, with a lot of progress.

During the talks, Victoria Nuland noted the “substantial” progress that Romanian authorities have made in the fight against corruption, a Presidential Administration communiqué informs.

According to the aforementioned source, the privileged character of Romanian-American bilateral relations was emphasised during the meeting and the desire to continue consolidating, on all levels, the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States was reiterated.

“Another topic concerned Romania’s efforts in the judiciary reform and anticorruption domain, Ms. Nuland noting the substantial progress made by Romanian authorities,” the aforementioned communiqué informs.

During the talks, the Head of State stressed our country’s determination to fulfil her commitments as NATO member, particularly against the backdrop of the security challenges the international community currently faces. The two officials agreed that Romania and the United States should closely cooperate in view of preparing the NATO Summit in Warsaw, scheduled for July 2016.

The two officials also exchanged views on the topic of developments in the European Union’s eastern neighbourhood, expressing their preoccupation with the situation in the Republic of Moldova, emphasizing against this backdrop the need for her to continue the process of reform and her European path.

Another topic discussed concerned the situation in Ukraine, which has a direct negative impact on the regional situation.

The meeting also tackled topics that concern the European agenda, such as the refugee crisis, energy security and the situation in the Western Balkans.

The meeting lasted almost one hour and was also attended by the U.S. ambassador in Bucharest, Hans Klemm and the presidential advisors Dan Mihalache, Leonard Orban, Andrei Muraru and Ion Oprisor.

Defence Minister Motoc, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland discuss “consistent and pragmatic” military cooperation

Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland discussed on Monday the bilateral military cooperation, deemed consistent and pragmatic both within strategic projects developed in Romania and in theatres of operations abroad, the National Defence Ministry (MApN) informed in a press release.

During the meeting, Motoc stressed the importance of the Strategic Partnership for the 21st century between Romania and the United States, in military cooperation terms, within the security architecture developed by Romania.

The talks also addressed regional security developments, including those in the Black Sea region.

The press release also mentions that the Romanian defence minister estimated that keeping the pace of the implementation of the NATO Readiness Action Plan (RAP) is a priority of allied efforts to adapt to new realities of the world security context.

“Within this context, emphasis was placed on Romania’s efforts to meet all the obligations taken on a national level under the RAP until the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Minister Motoc emphasized the consensus among all national political forces on the need to modernize Romania’s armed forces and to increase their operational capabilities, as expressed in the national agreement on the allotting of at least two percent of GDP to the defence budget over 10 years, starting in 2017,” the document adds.

The minister mentioned two milestones reached in 2015 in the Romania-NATO relation, namely the setup of two allied structures in Bucharest – the NATO Forces Integration Unit (NFIU) and the South-East Multinational Division Command.

As regards the political and conceptual preparation of the Warsaw Summit, expected to tackle long-term adaptation measures for the Alliance, emphasis was placed on Romania’s contribution, consisting among other things of hosting a meeting of directors responsible for the defence policies of allied countries, in April 2016, the MApN release also stated.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs arrived on Sunday in Bucharest and met Premier Dacian Ciolos.

From Romania, the American diplomat will leave for Sofia, where she is scheduled to meet Bulgarian Government officials.
Victoria Nuland last visited Romania on January 14, 2015, back when she met President Klaus Iohannis. On that occasion, Nulad stated that her visit to Bucharest was due to the Head of State, pointing out that she wanted to meet him.
“I am very glad you have decided to pay a visit at the start of my term, I don’t know if the visit is due to me, but I am very glad,” Iohannis stated at the start of their meeting.
In that context, Victoria Nuland answered: “It is definitely due to you. I have come to see you.”

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