*Trump: A true ally; we have a great Partnership
The US President, Donald Trump, showed appreciation, on Friday, at the start of discussions with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, for the relation between Romania and the US, dubbing the Partnership between the two countries as “great”.
“It is an honor to have you here, a true ally, a wonderful country and a great relationship,” said Donald Trump, at the beginning of the meeting with Klaus Iohannis.
In his turn, Klaus Iohannis said it is an honor to be at the White House.
“It is a great pleasure and an honor to be here and I’m looking forward to discussions on our Partnership,” said President Iohannis.
In this context, Donald Trump replied: “Yes, a great Partnership”.
American President praises Romania’s lead in increasing NATO financing
President of the United States, Donald Trump, has showed appreciation on the lead taken by Romania in increasing NATO funding by increasing its defence budget from 1.4 pct to over 2 percent of the GDP.
At the joint press conference with President Klaus Iohannis, after the high-level meeting at the White House, Trump thanked for his Romanian counterpart for his leadership role in the anticorruption fight.
The President of the USA also recalled the military contribution of Romania in the fight against terrorism, including through the sacrifice of 23 servicemen.
Iohannis: Partnership with the US must become stronger; it has shaped Romania
The Strategic Partnership between Romania and the USA must become stronger, should define the bilateral relations between the two countries, said President Klaus Iohannis at the press conference held together with his American counterpart, Donald Trump.
The Romanian President mentioned that this year marks the celebration of 20 years of Strategic Partnership, thus being very important for both nations. He continued by adding that the partnership with the US has shaped Romania as it stands today: a solid democracy, with a solid and durable economy, with a strong economic growth, a Romania that stands together with American troops in Afghanistan, in Iraq.
The partnership contributed to all that Romania is and was very important and it must become stronger, must define bilateral relations and must contribute to solving so many problems, the head of state said, in Washington.
Romania’s President We cannot stand alone on Eastern Flank, we rely on Partnership with USA
President Klaus Iohannis also stated at the joint press conference that Romania relies on the Partnership with the USA in what regards the Eastern Flank.
“Romania is very aware of the fact that we stand on the Eastern Flank and we heavily rely on your Partnership, President Trump, because we cannot stand there without the US, we cannot stand there alone, on the other hand, our partnership has a huge opportunity to step up, not only in security matters, but also in commercial and economic matters, and this is very important. Romania is a member of the European Union and I think it’s the best interest of you, Mr. President, to have a strong European Union as a partner”, the head of state said at the joint press conference held at the White House together with his US counterpart, Donald Trump.
The Romanian President also emphasized that Romanian-American relations and the transatlantic link are vital.
“The transatlantic link is not about diplomacy, about policy, it’s at the basis of our Western civilization. Together we will make it stronger, together we will make it better. NATO and the European Union do not have to compete against each other, they have to work together, they have to work in such a manner as to produce synergetic effects, make NATO stronger, make Europe stronger, make the United States of America stronger,” Iohannis specified.
He also showed that strengthening the Strategic Partnership will lead to higher commercial trade.
“This is what we discussed, what we wish, because we are responsible, President Trump and I, not only for the security, we are responsible for the wellbeing of our citizens,” the head of state concluded.
President Donald Trump explicitly affirms US commitment to Article 5 of NATO
The US President has explicitly affirmed the USA’s commitment towards Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, by which member-states stand in solidarity with any member under attack. Trump had not mentioned this commitment in the first NATO summit that he took part in, in May, in Brussels.
At the joint press conference after the meeting at the White House with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, Trump answered a question from a Romanian journalist regarding the threat represented by Russia and a potential American reaction to a military aggression against a NATO member-state: “I am committing the United States and have committed, but I am commiting the United States to Article 5 and certainly, we are there to protect and that is one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force. But yes, absolutely I’d be committed to Article 5.”
The question mentioned the concerns of countries on the Eastern Flank of NATO, Romania included, that “see Russia as a threat of the security and peace of the region.”
Iohannis: NATO is the strongest alliance on Earth, we want to keep it that way
Romania’s President stated that he liked the statement made by his US counterpart, Donald Trump, regarding burden sharing in NATO, arguing that the alliance is the strongest on Earth and it must be kept as such, responding to a question regarding Donald Trump’s request for NATO members to contribute more.
“I was in Brussels, and I met President Trump, and I listened to his speech, and I liked it. Because, you see, NATO is based on values but it is ultimately a military alliance, and, you know, military spending is complicated and you need a lot of money. Because NATO is the strongest alliance the Earth ever saw and we want to keep it that way, so we have to spend money for defence purposes (…) if you’re in an alliance, everybody has to spend money, this is called burden sharing, and I fully agree, Mr. President to that. Some people liked this better, and some didn’t like it so much, but it’s a simple fact that we need to do this not as a purpose in itself, but we have to do this to stay strong, to be strong and to defend our nations,” said the Romanian head of state at the press conference held together with his US counterpart, Donald Trump.
Romania’s President: Everybody is concerned with what Russia is doing; dialogue and deterrence are needed
Everybody is concerned with what Russia is doing, said, on Friday, President Klaus Iohannis, at the White House, during the press conference held with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, adding that dialogue is necessary for a feasible solution.
“Everybody is concerned, but you see, being concerned should lead you to being prepared, so in my opinion, we have to be very clear, very simple, and very straightforward if we talk about Russia and with Russia. In my opinion, we need dialogue, but on the other hand, we need what we all together decided in NATO, a strong deterrence. So this combination – strong deterrence and dialogue – should lead to a solution which is feasible for every part,” said the head of state, responding to a question whether the actions of Russia should cause concern.
Secretary of State Tillerson appreciated Romania’s progress in anticorruption during meeting with Iohannis
President Klaus Iohannis had, on Friday, during the visit he is conducting to Washington, a meeting at the US State Department with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, context in which the American official emphasized the vital importance of the Black Sea for Euro-Atlantic security and showed appreciation for Romania’s progress in the anticorruption fight.
“Secretary of State Tillerson thanked Romania for the strength of its commitment as a strategic partner of the USA, but also as a NATO ally, recognizing the vital importance of the Black Sea region for Euro-Atlantic security. Furthermore, Secretary of State Tillerson expressed particular appreciation for the significant progress recorded by Romania in the anticorruption fight and in the support of the rule of law, that casts it as a model in the region,” the Romanian Presidential Administration shows, in a release.
The American official expressed his commitment for extending the Strategic Partnership with Romania.
According to the Presidential Administration, the meeting also was the scene of an in-depth discussion on the most relevant dimensions of the Romania-US Strategic Partnership, with an accent on the potential for common action that can bring added value, from the point of view of regional security.
“The Romanian President emphasized, in this context, the fact that one of the key priorities for Romanian foreign policy remains the strengthening of the transatlatic link, Romanian being a state that is dedicated in equal measure to the European project, as well as to the Strategic Partnership with the USA,” the Presidential Administration mentions in the release.
Furthermore, the two officials agreed that it is necessary to amplify the rhythm of consultations on specific topics, especially on the topic of the Black Sea.
The Presidential Administration emphasizes that special attention was granted also to the objective of strengthening economic cooperation and the topic of energy security in the Black Sea region, Romania being one of the least dependent states from this point of view, with a potential to become, on the basis of resources in the continental shelf of the Black Sea and through the interconnection projects, a regional supplier.
President Iohannis presented his evaluation regarding the security situation in the Eastern Flank of NATO. The two high officials also had an exchange of opinions on other topics of interest in the international agenda.