President Klaus Iohannis welcomed at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Tuesday Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, who voiced hope that Romania will continue to progress with strengthening democracy and the rule of law, underlining that the United States is closely following the developments in Romania.
“The US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs has shown that President Klaus Iohannis enjoys the highest appreciation and respect for what he does for Romania and the full support of the US for his essential role in strengthening democracy and the rule of law in Romania. Wess Mitchell voiced hope that Romania will continue to progress in this area, stressing that the US is closely watching the developments in Romania,” the Romanian Presidential Administration said in a press statement released on Tuesday.
The US official also expressed his special appreciation for the solidity of the strategic partnership between the US and Romania, which is a reliable ally of the US in NATO, and thanked Romania for having met its fulfillment of NATO commitments. He emphasised the importance of Romania remaining a predictable, stable and responsible ally that respects and promotes democratic values and the rule of law.
According to the statement, President Iohannis thanked for the constructive support offered by the US to Romania, grounded in respect for democratic values, and showed that he will remain a staunch defender of these values and the rule of law.
He also reiterated the strong commitment of Romania and his to deepen all the dimensions of the strategic partnership between Romania and the US.
“The President of Romania underlined the clear and firm commitment of Romania to burden sharing within NATO by implementing the allocation of 2pct for defence spending, with an important role in achieving transatlantic cohesion. The US official conveyed praise to Romania for its commitments, both regional and as a NATO ally, including Romania’s decision to allocate 2pct of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for defence spending.”
Iohannis reiterated that strengthening the transatlantic relationship remains of vital importance, as Romania is a country that is equally committed to the European project and to the strategic partnership with the US. He underlined that the transatlantic relationship is not only important for the common security and prosperity of the European Union and the US, but also for the core set of democratic values of the western community Romania is part of.
“President Klaus Iohannis reaffirmed in this context that Romania is fully determined to act as a security and stability provider in the region and also as a promoter of this set of democratic values in a regional context where there is challenges to these values,” the Presidential Administration emphasised.
In addition, Iohannis said the Romanian presidency of the EU Council would be a great opportunity to promote and strengthen the transatlantic partnership, for which all stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic must act consistently and resolutely.
The two officials also discussed President Klaus Iohannis hosting the Bucharest Summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest on September 17 and 18. President Iohannis said that the main objective is to move to a new level of the initiative, that of concrete results, and highlighted that the initiative also contributes to strengthening the transatlantic relationship, encouraging an even stronger American representation at the summit.
“The assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs expressed strong support from the highest levels of the United States for the objectives of the summit to be held in Romania and the practical, pragmatic approach of Romania as a host. At the same time, he stressed the strategic importance that the Three Seas Initiative at a European level and for the transatlantic relationship.”
At the meeting, Iohannis encouraged the identification of creative and effective solutions to strengthen the economic dimension of the strategic partnership with the US, including through joint investment and business projects.
“For business people to feel encouraged, there is a need for stability, predictability and a strong system of justice, this being not an option, but the only choice we have to make,” according to the Presidential Administration.
Mitchell is further quoted as underscoring the importance of the energy dimension of the strategic partnership, namely support for the strategic BRUA Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria gas pipeline project, which implementation is essential for Romania and the region.
Deputy PM Birchall meets US Asst. State Sec. Mitchell, advocates Romania’s inclusion in Visa Waiver program
During a meeting on Tuesday at the Victoria Palace of Government with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, Deputy PM Ana Birchall asked for the support of the US side for Romania’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver program and also thanked the US for backing the country’s bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the government said in a release.
Ana Birchall welcomed the joint efforts of Romania and the U.S. that allowed the organization of the 6th annual U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership Dialogue meeting.
“Deepening our bilateral cooperation is key to ensuring security and stability in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in the sectors of energy, transport and digital infrastructure. The annual U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership Dialogue meeting is an excellent opportunity to coordinate on the major subjects of common interest of the Strategic Partnership,” Birchall said as cited in the release.
The Deputy PM also highlighted the interest of the Romanian side in identifying and carrying out new joint projects capable of contributing to the development and deepening of the Strategic Partnership with the US, highlighting in this respect the high potential of the energy, digital and filmmaking sectors.”
Birchall also mentioned the special attention Romania attaches to cooperating and coordinating with the American side on subjects of common interest.
“Deputy PM Ana Birchall requested the support of the US side for Romania’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver program and thanked the US for backing Romania’s candidacy for OECD membership”, the government’s release states.
ForMin Melescanu meets US official Mitchell; Romania-US Strategic Partnership, security and defence challenges on agenda
Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu met on Tuesday with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, whom he talked with about the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US, as well as about the security and defence challenges.
According to a release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), Teodor Melescanu hailed the presence of the US official in Bucharest, as head of the US delegation to the 6th round of the Annual Meeting of Strategic Dialogue between Romania and the US.
“The Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated the importance that Romania grants to the Strategic Partnership with the US and the ways to deepen it. During the discussions, also addressed were the emerging security and defence challenges, the relation between the US and the EU, and the economic dimension both at bilateral and multilateral level,” the release mentions.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy underscored that Romania remains a committed ally of the US and a firm promoter of the transatlantic relation both at European and regional level.
Furthermore, Teodor Melescanu expressed the openness of the Romanian authorities for identifying new cooperation projects both in a bilateral and regional framework, the MAE release informs.
Wess Mitchell after meeting Iohannis, Melescanu, Birchall and Dragnea: We had fruitful discussions. We had the opportunity to discuss the whole range of topics on which we are working as part of the bilateral relationship
Wess Mitchell, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, stated on Tuesday, for News.ro, before leaving Romania, that the visit to Romania gave him the opportunity to discuss the entire range of topics on which the two countries are working. He pointed out he met President Klaus Iohannis, Deputy Premier Ana Birchall, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and House Speaker Liviu Dragnea, and the talks were fruitful.
“I was in Romania for a meeting within the framework of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership Dialogue. Thus, we had the opportunity to discuss the ample cooperation between the United States and Romania in many areas, but especially in what concerns security and defence, energy sector cooperation. We have a very robust trade relationship. I am proud of the close friendship and alliance we have with Romania, of the spirit of initiative demonstrated by Romania on the economic plane, in what concerns the rule of law, security, energy and security at the Black Sea,” Mitchell stated for News.ro.
He explained that he had meetings with President Klaus Iohannis, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, Deputy Prime Minister Ana Birchall and House Speaker Liviu Dragnea.
“The conversations were fruitful,” the diplomat added. “We had the opportunity to discuss the whole range of topics on which we are working as part of the bilateral relationship.”
Moreover, he stated, “we are very pleased with Romania’s commitment to fulfil its share of responsibilities within NATO. It is an incredibly important task for all alliance members now, before the NATO Summit.”
Mitchell also mentioned the Three Seas Initiative and pointed out that he is looking forward to the summit this autumn.
On Monday and Tuesday, Wess Mitchell met senior Romanian officials and independent analysts. On Tuesday he travelled to Zagreb, where he was set to meet with senior Croatian officials to discuss developments in Croatia and the region, including Croatia’s contributions to regional stability and energy security.
On June 20 and 21, Wess Mitchell will be in Prague, to participate in the U.S.-Czech Republic Strategic Dialogue, meet with Czech officials, and deliver a speech co-hosted by the Prague European Summit.
Finally, on June 21-22, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs will visit Brussels to meet with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. He will also discuss areas of U.S.-European cooperation with EU officials, and he will give a speech at Carnegie Europe.