President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday welcomed, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, visiting US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin to discuss the latest developments in the strategic partnership between Romania and the US and its prospects for further growth, with emphasis on defence co-operation.
According to a press statement released by the Romanian Presidential Administration, Iohannis “appreciated the remarkable developments and results of bilateral co-operation between Romania and the US and reiterated the importance that Romania attaches to strengthening the strategic partnership, both in terms of political dialogue and in the areas of defence, economy, and energy.”
Iohannis pointed to his substantial dialogue with US President Joseph Biden on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Brussels in June 2021, as well as the importance of the White House leader’s participation in the B9 Summit hosted by Iohannis in Bucharest this May.
He welcomed the excellent level of co-operation between the Romanian and American armed forces, confirmed in exercises, missions and operations, and encouraged further development of joint projects in a bilateral and NATO context to strengthen regional security and, implicitly, the Euro-Atlantic one.
At the same time, Iohannis offered assurances that Romania will continue to be a strategic partner and a reliable ally, firmly committed to the political and military consolidation of NATO, including NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on the eastern flank and in the Black Sea region.
Referring to the global security, Iohannis mentioned the essential nature of a solid transatlantic relationship for managing common security challenges.
He pointed out the impact of recent developments in the energy area at the level of the European Union, highlighting Romania’s efforts with diversifying energy resources, such as nuclear energy, and increasing the energy independence of Romania.
US Secretary of Defence Austin commended the consistency of the strategic partnership with Romania and underlined an increased interest of the US in further development and diversification of the excellent co-operation relations with Romania.
The American official voiced US gratitude to Romania’s major contribution to NATO, pointing out the importance of co-operation between the Romanian and American armed forces in almost 20 years in the Afghanistan war zone, to building and deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Austin also underlined the US determination to keep up its commitment to the security of the Black Sea region and to strengthen bilateral relations with Romania, Agerpres reports.
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby : Secretary Austin reaffirmed in Bucharest the U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Romania strategic partnership and NATO’s Eastern Flank
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Minister of National Defense Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă in Bucharest today. In both meetings, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Romania strategic partnership and NATO’s Eastern Flank and recognized Romania’s leadership in the Alliance on responsibility-sharing, the Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby stated on Wednesday.
“The leaders marked the 10-year anniversaries of both the bilateral Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration and the bilateral Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement that paved the way for Europe’s first Aegis-Ashore site established five years ago. The Secretary also discussed Russia’s malign activities in the Black Sea region, cooperation among Black Sea regional Allies and partners, and new challenges presented by the People’s Republic of China. Minister Ciuca and Secretary Austin spoke at length about defense modernization. They agreed that implementing the bilateral 10-year Roadmap for Defense Cooperation is key to achieving this aim,” Kirby also said.
He also mentioned that Secretary Austin concluded his visit to Romania by meeting with rotational U.S. forces deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base near the Black Sea coast. “He thanked our service members for their dedication and working with our Romanian Allies to help ensure deterrence and security along NATO’s Eastern Flank”, John F. Kirby concluded.