The Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US is one of the pillars that our country’s defence is based on and has significantly contributed to Romanian Armed Forces development, Interim Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Tuesday.
Reserve General Nicolae Ciuca was awarded the Legion of Merit (in rank of officer) by US Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman, in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis and National Liberal Party (PNL) Chairman Ludovic Orban, in acknowledgement of the merits during his activity as Chief of the Defence Staff, in the period January 2015 – December 2019.
“It is an honour for me to receive this distinction. Each of us, military or civilian, in the institutions we carry out our activity, we are in the service of the citizen, in the service of the country, and the distinction granted today is an acknowledgement of the merits of the entire personnel of Romania’s Army, an acknowledgment of everyone’s sustained work. I am here today only as representative of those who offered their most precious gifts – their time, their health and even their life – for the fulfillment of the missions entrusted by the country,” Ciuca said at the ceremony organised at the US Embassy on the occasion of his decoration awarding.
He added that no commander, no matter how good, can win a battle without a strong army by his side.
“For those who wear the military uniform, team work is very important and I want, on this occasion as well, to thank my comrades, part of them are present here in the hall, the others are on duty in the country and in the theatres of operations, and assure them of high respect and consideration. In my activity I have always put the good of the structure and the institution I was part of. I have constantly acted to promote and support them and I am positive that this is the only way to reaching the own and institutional goals, at the same time being the guarantee of a real perception, including in the multinational environment,” Ciuca said.
The interim PM underscored that the multinational environment had a very big impact in the process of transforming and modernizing Romania’s Army.
“To me, the missions in the theatres of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq together with the US servicemen were moments when I understood we have to be proud of us because we are professionals and dedicated to fulfilling missions, that we have potential and that we must capitalise on it through an efforts of will and ambition, elements that need to be passed on from generation to generation. I didn’t think back then that I would be chief of Defence or that, one day, after years, I will be honoured with the highest US distinction that a foreign military can receive. Nonetheless, my entire career has definitely been influenced by the experience I lived there, in the first line, with the Romanian servicemen and our allies in the US, whom I am grateful to, because together we accumulated great part of the experience needed for the transformation and modernisation of Romania,” Ciuca also said.
The United States has consistently supported Romania and the military on the difficult path of meeting NATO-specific standards, he added.
“The strategic partnership between our countries is one of the pillars on which the defense of our country is based, it has significantly contributed to the development of the Armed Forces,” Ciuca underlined.
The interim head of the Executive has reiterated that the Legion of Merit awarded to him is a recognition of teamwork and that all those with whom he has worked over time deserve the merit of being awarded this distinction.
“I know what the Legion of Merit symbolises, but I believe, once again, that it represents a recognition of the teamwork, of all those with whom I have worked over time and they deserve, equally, the merit of this award. Thank you for the permanent and robust support you show to our country, Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman, and for the honor of receiving this medal, thank you on behalf of the entire staff of the Romanian Army,” Ciuca said.
Adrian Zuckerman: Nicolae Ciuca, perfect embodiment of Romanian-American friendship and partnership
The US Ambassador in Bucharest, Adrian Zuckerman, stated that Acting Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca represents the perfect embodiment of the Romanian-American friendship and partnership.
“There is no doubt Romania is a true Ally of the United States. Minister Ciuca is the perfect embodiment of our friendship and partnership. It is no wonder the United States has given this award to such an accomplished professional soldier and statesman. On behalf of President Trump and the American people I would like to offer our sincere congratulations on your achievements, your vision, and your friendship,” the US diplomat said at the ceremony.
The US ambassador said that Nicolae Ciuca, whom he called a “friend”, had helped strengthen the partnership between the US and Romania.
“Minister Ciuca’s dedication and selfless service to Romania is a model for all who serve their countries. The Legion of Merit is the highest award the United States Armed Forces can give to a non-U.S. citizen. It is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service and achievement. Minister Ciuca, today you join a small, but very distinguished, group of medal recipients. This group includes heroes such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, General George S. Patton and King Michael I of Romania. You richly deserve to be among them,” said Adrian Zuckerman.
“Under Minister Ciuca’s leadership, Romania achieved the ability to credibly defend itself and other members of the NATO Alliance against threats to its territorial integrity and citizens. Minister Ciuca also understood the necessity of a strong economy to a strong defense posture and has helped advance Romania’s economic prowess by expanding research and development capabilities through the defense sector. A strong economy makes for strong defense capability and a strong defense protects a robust economy. A strong Romania means a strong Europe and security for future generations.
To maintain and preserve freedom and democracy in the face of Russian, Chinese, and other malign influences, it is crucially important to maintain vibrant economies as well as effective militaries,” said the ambassador.
He reminded that “in just a few months, Romania will receive and deploy the state of the art high mobility artillery rocket system, HIMARS. Romania will be the first NATO Ally to receive and deploy HIMARS – this is another reminder of the special relationship Minister Ciuca crafted between the United States military and Romania military. By incorporating the HIMARS system into its defense strategy, Romania solidifies its place as a guarantor of European and Black Sea security. HIMARS is also an integral piece in Romania’s defense modernization program which includes F-16s, Blackhawk helicopters, Piranha armored vehicles, the Naval Strike Missile, Maritime Domain Awareness, Anti-Submarine warfare equipment and the Patriot missile system.
The Patriot missile system is a battle-tested, modern surface-to-air missile system that is primed to face the threats of the newest round of great power competition. Romania is at the tip of the spear, being the first partner in the Black Sea region to host the Patriot system. The Patriot represents one of Europe’s greatest shield’s against emerging threats. It is also an integral piece in Romania’s defense modernization undertakings, all of which are buttressed by Romania’s respected training centers, military educational institutions, and human resources management. Romania’s collective efforts over land, air, sea, cyber, and human domains enhance its ability to advance and expand security on NATO’s eastern flank. This assures a high-level of readiness for unforeseen threats.
The Ministry of Defense, under Prime Minister Ciuca’s leadership, in a sign of true friendship, sent a medical team to Alabama earlier this year to assist Americans dealing with the pandemic. This gesture has not been, and will not be, forgotten by the American people.
On October 8 of this year Minister Ciuca traveled to Washington, D.C. with me where he and Secretary of Defense Esper signed a 10-year ‘Roadmap for Defense Cooperation’ between Romania and the United States. This agreement formalizes our bilateral strategic priorities and establishes the framework to build the capabilities and military readiness of our two nations.
The ties between our two countries have never been stronger. Romania’s military readiness and capabilities will continue to increase. The U.S. will continue to support the modernization and interoperability of Romania’s Armed Forces and continue to assist Romania in defending itself and Allies in the Black Sea region,” said Adrian Zuckerman.
President Iohannis: Strengthening extending of the Strategic Partnership with the USA represents a basic pillar of Romania’s foreign policy
President Klaus Iohannis stated that the strengthening and extending of the Strategic Partnership with the USA represents a basic pillar of Romania’s foreign policy.
“Strengthening and extending the Strategic Partnership with the United States of America represents a basic pillar of Romania’s foreign policy, for the promotion of the fundamental interests of our country, in the spirit of continuity and predictability. I hail the significant progress recorded in recent years of putting in practice our common vision, of an extended, durable, dynamic Strategic Partnership, profoundly anchored in Euro-Atlantic values, capable of responding to the need to manage the risks and threats that we face,” said the head of state at the US Embassy, at the ceremony to decorate interim PM, Nicolae Ciuca.
He emphasized that defence and security, commerce, investments and energy security, democracy, rule of law, human rights and good governance, education, science, research and technology are defining dimensions of the Partnership with the US which are constantly developing.
Iohannis indicated that, in the difficult context of the current pandemic, Romania maintained a continuous dialogue with the US Administration and efficient ways of cooperation for the management and mitigation of the effects of this virus have been found.
The head of state mentioned that there are excellent premises for the deepening of cooperation on all levels, from that of defence to the economic domain in the larger sense, including the area of energy and infrastructure.
“We appreciate, especially, the cooperation in the domain of defence endowments with corporations in the United States of America, which is beneficial to the modernization of our army. The Romanian state maintains as a major objective the extension and deepening of bilateral cooperation in the future,” said Iohannis.
He congratulated Nicolae Ciuca and showed that the decoration the latter received represents recognition for the particularly important role that he had in developing bilateral military relations between the United States of America and Romania.
Compiled from Agerpres