The Romanian and U.S. delegations, headed by strategic affairs senior official Dan Neculaescu and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, signed a joint statement at the end of the seventh round of the Strategic Dialogue between Romania and the US, mentioning security, investment and energy among the areas deemed of strategic importance to the two countries.
This bilateral engagement comes at a symbolic moment, as the United States and Romania celebrate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Joint Declaration on the Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century and the signing of the Agreement on the Deployment of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania, according to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE).
According to the statement, security cooperation is a consistent part and a key component of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership. Together the two sides will build upon significant achievements, such as the missile defense site in Deveselu, and will continue to enhance their joint endeavors within NATO to carry out their commitments on defense and deterrence, with a special focus on the Black Sea region, a key component of Euro-Atlantic security.
Both sides agreed to work together to strengthen the transatlantic relationship across all formats of cooperation.
The two sides acknowledged the strategic importance of developing infrastructure to facilitate interconnectivity between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including through U.S. support and potential investment. Both sides expressed support for the Three Seas Initiative and its potential to ensure economic resiliency for the region. At the same time, the two sides assessed the bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, with particular attention to the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement for cooperation on Romania’s nuclear power program signed last year.
Moreover, the United States and Romania both highlighted the importance of President Iohannis’ announcement, alongside Special Envoy Kerry at last week’s COP26 gathering in Glasgow, of Romania’s intention to deploy “first-of-a-kind” U.S.-built small modular reactors (SMR) by 2028.
The United States and Romania will closely cooperate on technology in the field of communications, given the importance of the security of the next generation of wireless communications networks in order to ensure prosperity, but also security for the two nations, the statement says. They also agreed to work together to become stronger and more resilient, including through common action to promote democracy, rule of law, and fundamental human rights both regionally and globally.
The two countries renewed their commitment to work together in combatting emerging threats and responding to attacks perpetrated with hybrid means, or in cyberspace, as well as fighting disinformation.
The United States and Romania will continue to prioritize educational, cultural, and professional exchanges and are committed to work together to move towards meeting the requirements for admission of Romania into the Visa Waiver Program.
“Our extensive people-to-people connections are a collective strength and both countries agreed to build on public diplomacy programming that addresses Holocaust issues and promotes mutual understanding across the full range of our shared priorities,” the document mentions.
The seventh round of the Strategic Dialogue was hosted by the U.S. Department of State and included interagency and inter-ministerial representatives from both governments. The meeting featured senior U.S. representatives from the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security, and from the Romanian side, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of the Interior.
Both sides expressed a strong interest in deepening the bilateral strategic partnership in the year ahead and through future strategic dialogues. The parties agreed to hold the next annual meeting in Bucharest, Romania in 2022, when they will mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of their strategic partnership in 1997.