President Klaus Iohannis laid a wreath on Tuesday at the Tomb of the Unknowns in the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, being greeted with 21-gun salute and by the honor guard, reports a press release of the Presidential Administration.
“The wreath laying ceremony saw the highest honors for a head of state being rendered: the President of Romania was greeted with a 21-gun salute and by the honor guard, and the national anthems of Romania and the United States were played. President Klaus Iohannis was accompanied to the Unknown Soldier’s Monument by Major General Michael Howard, commander of Washington Military District,” reads the quoted source.
As the release reads, President Iohannis’ gesture was a tribute to the memory of the U.S. soldiers fallen in the two World Wars, but also in other conflicts.
“The wreath laying by the President of Romania during a solemn ceremony was a tribute to the memory and heroism of the U.S. military committed to giving their lives for peace, freedom and democracy in Europe and around the world, and marked the acknowledgment of the supreme sacrifice of generations of American soldiers fallen on the fronts of the two world wars and in other conflicts,” the source said.
The Tomb of the Unknowns was erected on March 4, 1921, to pay tribute to unidentified U.S. soldiers on the front.
“Within the Memorial [Arlington Memorial Amphitheater – e.n.] there are distinct sections for soldiers fallen in World War I and World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The laying of wreaths with military honor for the U.S. soldiers fallen in the line of duty is a traditional gesture of every American president of the United States. On January 19, 2017, President-elect Donald Trump marked the first official event in the inauguration ceremony in office by laying such a wreath at the Unknown Soldier’s Monument,” the release further reads.
Combating terrorism and transatlantic solidarity, among topics tackled during Iohannis – CIA Director meeting
President Klaus Iohannis met the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) leaders on Tuesday, during the visit to the United States, and the discussions with the Director Mike Pompeo tackled issues such as combating terrorism, transatlantic solidarity, or the stabilization of Afghanistan, reads a press release issued by the Presidential Administration.
According to the quoted source, the head of state has expressed his appreciation for “the excellent and complex cooperation between the CIA and the Romanian intelligence partners, based on trust, openness and mutual support in specific areas of expertise, which further strengthens the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.”
Klaus Iohannis pointed out that Romania is a “valuable partner” for the United States, “due in particular to the expertise in the Black Sea region, the Western Balkans and the Eastern neighborhood, including the compound threats on the eastern flank of NATO.”
At the same time, adds the source, President Iohannis showed that Romania is also willing to act “including through the intelligence services” as a security provider in order to contribute to the international efforts in this regard.
“President Klaus Iohannis and Director Mike Pompeo also exchanged views on current political and security issues: the fight against terrorism (with the emphasis on the annihilation of Daesh in Syria/Iraq), the North Korean ballistic/nuclear threat, transatlantic solidarity, as well as the stabilization of Afghanistan,” reads the press release.
According to the same source, the CIA leadership has appreciated the cooperation with the Romanian services.
“The CIA leadership highlighted their recognition for the excellent level of cooperation with intelligence partners in Romania, which are among the top European intelligence services the American agency has ties with, in terms of the level of trust and consistency of its activity, adds the press release.
According to official sources, the Romanian Ambassador to the United States, George Maior, the Romanian Intelligence Services (SRI) Director, Eduard Hellvig and the U.S.Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm also attended the meeting.
Iohannis, first Eastern European leader to be welcomed by Donald Trump
On Sunday, President Klaus Iohannis left for the United States of America, for a six-day visit during which he will meet his American counterpart Donald Trump at the White House, on June 9, Iohannis being the first Eastern European leader to be welcomed by the new U.S. President at the White House.
President Klaus Iohannis’s visit to the U.S. was announced last Thursday evening, via a presidential communique. “Romania’s President Mr Klaus Iohannis will pay a visit to the United States of America on June 4-9. The central element of this visit is the official meeting that Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will have with U.S. President Donald J. Trump, on June 9,” the communique reads, pointing out that the meeting “will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the outlook for deepening and expanding the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States, on all relevant levels, including against the backdrop in which this year marks 20 years since its launch.”
In fact, President Iohannis himself wrote on Facebook on Thursday that he will meet American President Donald Trump on June 9, to discuss the deepening of the Romanian-American Strategic Partnership and “the reconfirmation of Romania’s firm commitment to remain a trusted ally of the United States.”
Iohannis attached to his posting a photograph showing him and President Trump, photograph taken at the recent NATO summit.
The visit to Washington also includes other schedule items, including a meeting with the representatives of the Romanian community in the U.S.
Klaus Iohannis is the first Eastern European leader to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.
Since he was sworn in, in December 2014, Klaus Iohannis has paid two other working visits to the United States, in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, on the occasion of the UN General Assembly meeting, he met then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. His second visit, in 2016, was occasioned by a nuclear security summit in Washington, on which occasion he was able to have a brief meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.