*The topics of their talks with the President and the Premier included the drawing of American investors to Romania, the Visa Waiver Programme, administrative reform and the ballistic missile defence shield in Deveselu
A bipartisan United States Congress delegation consisting of 11 members of the House of Representatives, led by Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was in Bucharest on Thursday. The U.S. delegation met President Klaus Iohannis and Premier Dacian Ciolos. The topics of the talks included the reform of Romanian public administration and economic aspects with a focus on investments. Likewise, the talks also tackled aspects related to the bilateral strategic partnership, the ballistic missile defence system in Deveselu and other topics of common interest.
The delegation’s visit to Romania is part of a world tour.
According to photos from the meeting, posted on the government’s website, the U.S. Congress delegation was accompanied at the Victoria Palace by Dean Thompson, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim.
During the meeting at the Victoria Palace, Premier Dacian Ciolos emphasised that Romania is a factor of stability in a “fairly turbulent” region marked by uncertainties, and thanks to her strategic position she can be considered a pillar of stability, safety, security and defence of joint interests in the region, a Government communique informs.
According to the aforementioned source, the main topic of the talks concerned the assessment of the strategic partnership with the United States and of its results, context in which Premier Dacian Ciolos reaffirmed Romania’s interest in strengthening cooperation within its framework.
He emphasised that the Partnership has already delivered security and defence results through the inauguration and operationalisation of the missile shield in Deveselu.
The Premier said he hopes the missile shield in Deveselu would become important within NATO’s regional defence posture too.
“It’s an important element not just for Romania and the United States but we hope it would become important within NATO’s regional defence posture too,” Ciolos stated.
The Prime Minister added that Romania is a factor of stability in a fairly turbulent region.
“Romania is a factor of stability in a fairly turbulent region marked by uncertainties, and thanks to her strategic position she can be considered a pillar of stability, safety, security and defence of joint interests in the region,” Premier Ciolos pointed out.
According to the Government, aspects concerning economic cooperation with the United States, particularly investments in the energy, pharmaceutical, infrastructure, auto and defence industries domains, were also discussed at the meeting.
“In this context, the Premier underscored the ongoing public administration reform’s progress and importance for drawing investment,” the communique reads.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Ciolos also talked about the importance of including Romania in the Visa Waiver Programme. “Likewise, the Premier reiterated during the meeting the importance and positive effects – from the standpoint of security and economic growth – that would stem from a decision to include Romania in the Visa Waiver Programme,” the aforementioned communique reads.
President Iohannis: Romania, one of US’s staunchest allies
In a press statement released on Thursday, the Presidential Administration says Iohannis hailed the presence in Romania of the visiting US delegation, underscoring Romania’s interest in deepening its strategic partnership with the US as an essential pillar of its foreign policy. He also mentioned the excellent stage of political and military cooperation between Romania and the US, reiterating the need for the development of the economic component of the strategic partnership, as well as of interpersonal relations between the citizens of the two countries.
Iohannis is also quoted as underscoring that Romania is one of the staunchest and trustful allies of the United States in its geographical region.
At the meeting, the importance of Romania increasing its defence spending to 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as from 2017 was highlighted, along with the significance of the defence facility at Deveselu in Romania having been made operational and its inclusion in the NATO ballistic missile defence system. Romania’s President also mentioned the importance of the US active involvement in the NATO measures for adaptation and reassurance of its eastern allies, including Romania, and the implementation of the collective defence decisions adopted at by the recent NATO Warsaw Summit.
Talks also focused on very topical issues such as Brexit, the latest developments in Turkey, migration, the latest developments in Ukraine, as well as the importance of ensuring energy security in the region under a project where Romania can play an important part.
The US Congress members thanked President Iohannis for the substantive strategic partnership between Romania and the US, for Romania’s stabilizing part in the region, as well as for Romania’s significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security, including by participating in various theatres of war. They also voiced the existing large bipartisan support within the US Congress for the strategic partnership between the US and Romania.