The connections between France and Romania have a long tradition and are unique, as they have stood the test of time, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday, as he paid a homage to the WWI heroes together with his Romanian counterpart Mihnea Motoc.
The two officials attended a brief ceremony at the monument of French servicemen in Cismigiu Park, alongside France’s Ambassador in Bucharest Francois Saint-Paul and Romanian veterans.
“The connections between France and Romania have a long tradition and are unique, as they stood the trials of the past century. The inauguration of this monument, in 1922, in the presence of Marshal Foch and General Berthelot, was both a symbol and a promise,” the French Minister said in the speech in which he evoked the outstanding figures of WWI, but also the Romanian and French victims of the great war.
He also spoke of the current situation in Europe and the connections between Romania and France.
“While Europe is going through a major crisis today, our presence here is the symbol of the force which the French-Romanian friendship has, France’s and the French people and government’s attachment to Romania. (…) May this gesture be, at the same time, the promise to keep alive the European ideal the guarantors of which we are,” Jean-Yves Le Drian added.
In his turn, Minister Mihnea Motoc spoke of the importance of the Romanian-French relations.
“Your presence, Mr Minister, in today’s ceremony, does nothing but bring us joy and strengthen, once more, the attachment and the profound relations between our nations,” Motoc said.
The Romanian official underscored that the ceremony on Tuesday is part of a series of events marking 100 years since Romania’s entering WWI.
“Mr Minister, I want you to know that we, Romanians, grant a high respect to the memory of the French servicemen who died on our country’s soil, and, in this respect, the monument in Cismigiu Garden represents the living testimony of the joint efforts of Romanians and French in WWI. (…) I see your visit as an expression of the fraternity of our peoples and the almost 150 year common history of Romania’s modernisation. The traditional and profound friendship between France and Romania is grounded on mutual respect and support. (…) I cannot help but notice the very close cooperation of our armed forces at difficult times, which to us has meant and means so much,” Motoc showed.
Romanian, French defence ministers point to unpredictable Black Sea zone security context
Regional security and the decisions taken by the NATO Summit in Warsaw were the main themes of a meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday of Romania’s Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“The meeting was an excellent opportunity for a discussion of actual ways to deepen relations between the two countries regarding issues of shared interest on the European and NATO agendas, as well as their bilateral strategic defence dialogue, including military education and industry,” Romania’s Defence Ministry said in a press statement on Tuesday.
The two ministers exchanged opinions on the decisions passed by the NATO Summit in Warsaw and priorities for the period immediately ahead for the implementation of the decisions within the agreed deadlines.
Also mentioned was the security context in the Black Sea zone, which they called it complex and unpredictable, with the two ministers underscoring the special importance of the measures approved at the highest level that concern the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on its eastern flank, including the Black Sea region. When discussing the advanced presence of NATO on the southern portion of the eastern flank, Le Drian voiced support for the implementation of the relevant decisions adopted by the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
At the same time, the main items on the European security and defence agenda in relation to the new EU global strategy was discussed, along with consolidating the EU capabilities in support of security and development as well as the EU’s response to all terror threats.
Le Drian thanked Motoc for Romania’s quick response and commitment to participating in military training missions under the UN and EU aegis in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Sahel region, following a call for European solidarity launched by France under Article 42.7 of the EU Treaty
The French Defence Minister has been paying a visit to Bucharest on Monday and Tuesday.