Romania supports the development of a new NATO Strategic Concept to better reflect current security realities, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Tuesday at a meeting of heads of diplomacy from the Alliance’s member states, which is taking place in Brussels.
The agenda of the first day of the meeting included two working sessions in allied format, during which issues were addressed on the stability in the Southern Neighborhood of the Euro-Atlantic area, developments related to Afghanistan and the NATO 2030 strategic reflection process, reads a Foreign Ministry (MAE) release issued for AGERPRES.
On this occasion, Minister Aurescu spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, sending a message from Romania and other allies about the “firm” commitment to a strong transatlantic relationship, based on unity and allied cohesion. The head of the Romanian diplomacy invited his American counterpart to visit Romania this year.
Aurescu welcomed the US Secretary of State’s commitment to the North Atlantic Alliance, stressing that “the transatlantic relationship is the backbone of NATO and the collective defense provided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,” the MAE informs.
The foreign ministers discussed, in the first session, NATO’s approach to the threats in the Southern Neighborhood of the Euro-Atlantic area and the Alliance’s contribution to ensuring stability in the Middle East and North Africa region. In this context, the situation in Afghanistan was mentioned – the prospects for the peace process and the implications for the Allied operational presence in that country.
The Romanian official pointed out the importance of NATO’s increased commitment to supporting its partners in the Middle East and North Africa and stressed the need for the Alliance’s continued involvement in the efforts of the international community to combat terrorism.
At the same time, he reiterated Romania’s support to continue the participation in the efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and showed Romania’s substantial contribution to the Resolute Support mission, with 670 troops deployed in the field. Aurescu also underscored the importance of Allied coordination, given security developments on the ground and progress in the peace process.
According to the MAE, the second working session of the ministerial meeting was dedicated to the NATO 2030 strategic reflection process, in preparation for this year’s Alliance Summit.
Minister Bogdan Aurescu underlined the special importance of this process from the perspective of consolidating the political dimension of the Alliance, ensuring a solid military position and developing NATO’s partnership relations.
He reaffirmed Romania’s active support for the NATO 2030 process and for proposals put forward by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, “designed to strengthen NATO’s capacity to respond effectively to current and future security challenges,” the MAE said.
Aurescu said that in the current international context, marked by a proliferation of threats, it is essential that “the Alliance strengthen its position of deterrence and defense, especially on the Eastern Flank, and increase its resilience.”
He mentioned, in this regard, the contribution that Romania makes to efforts to increase resilience, including through the initiative to establish and host a Euro-Atlantic Center for Resilience.
At the same time, Minister Bogdan Aurescu supported the continuation of NATO’s “open door” policy, pleading for the revitalization of partnerships, especially with the European Union.
Bogdan Aurescu also highlighted the importance of agreeing on a new Strategic Concept of the Alliance in order to better reflect the current security realities, the approach being proposed by the Romanian Minister since the ministerial meeting in November 2019, before starting the reflection process.
“Updating the Strategic Concept will contribute to increasing Allied unity and cohesion and ensuring a consolidated profile of the Alliance, dedicated to the collective defense of its members and able to project stability through cooperation and dialogue,” the MAE said.
The talks held by the Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken focused on the bilateral Strategic Partnership relationship, as well as other topics of mutual interest in international relations.
Aurescu underlined “the solidity and depth of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States of America”. He invited his American counterpart to visit Romania this year, on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century between Romania and the United States and the entry into force of the Agreement on locating in Romania the missile defense system of the United States. The US Secretary of State received this invitation openly, recalling previous visits to Romania, according to the MAE.
The two officials also discussed the initiative of President Joe Biden to organize a Summit of Democracies, Aurescu reiterating Romania’s support in this regard.
The meeting of NATO foreign ministers will continue with a regional security session on Wednesday. This session will be attended by the Foreign Ministers of Sweden, Finland, as well as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.