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May 22, 2022
DEFENCE

French DefMin Parly gives assurances in Bucharest: France stands alongside Romania, it never abandons its allies and friends. Vasile Dincu: Romania has a special partnership with France

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, on an official visit to Bucharest, gave assurances on Thursday, during a meeting with Minister of National Defense Vasile Dincu, that her country will never abandon its allies and friends and that it will stand alongside Romania.

“France, as a founding member of NATO and the EU, has a role to play in reassuring and protecting its allies and close partners. That is why we have been present in Estonia and Lithuania since 2017 and since 2007 in Poland, Estonia and Lithuania to conduct regular air police missions. We are now patrolling this region, as planned. Mr. Minister, we are living in a difficult time and in this difficult time France stands alongside Romania. France assumes its responsibilities, as it has always done. France will never abandon its allies and friends,” said Florence Parly.

The French minister added that the situation is “worrying” on Europe’s Eastern Flank and that Romanians “are entitled to strengthen” their own security in the context of tensions in Ukraine.

“I know that the current security situation is worrying on Europe’s Eastern Flank. In this context, Romanians are entitled to strengthen their own security, given that tensions in Ukraine are steadily worsening. As ally and as Europeans, we understand your situation and we would like to bring our support. As the President of the Republic, Mr Macron, reminded us last week, we have made a significant contribution to the security of our European partners in NATO missions, and we will continue to do so in the long term. In the same spirit, he also indicated our willingness to go further and still within NATO to engage in new enhanced forward presence missions, especially in Romania, if these missions are decided by NATO,” the French minister said.

Florence Parly mentioned that an expert mission will arrive in Romania on Thursday to study the parameters of such a possible development.

“An expert mission with my ministry is arriving in Romania today to study the parameters of this possible development. Such a commitment would be perfectly in line with our current commitments. Our air forces, as well as our navy, are regularly conducting exercises alongside the Romanian navy. This was also the case last year, when the frigate Auvergne patrolled the Black Sea for several weeks and made a stopover in Constanta, and it will also be the case in the future, because we are considering other deployments through 2022. I would like to add that we have seconded officers among the NATO staffs in Bucharest and Sibiu. Thus, the hand extended by the President of the French Republic recalls our commitment to Europe’s security,” Florence Parly said.

The French official highlighted it is her first visit to an EU member state since France took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January.

“Since 2008, France and Romania have been linked by a strategic partnership that was reaffirmed ten years later, in 2018, during President Iohannis’ visit to Paris. But France and Romania are more than just partners. Our countries are friends and they share a long history. I remember one name, that of General Berthelot, who made a decisive contribution to the modernization of the Romanian Army a century ago. I like to believe that today our cooperation is the continuation of this beautiful legacy,” she said.

According to the French minister, France also supports the Romanian Army in the modernization process, mentioning in this sense the corvette program.

“France and its industry are fully engaged, involved in helping the Romanian armed forces to move to a new stage in their modernization, especially in the case of corvettes. Our operational cooperation is very strong as well. We have a long history of common commitments. We will soon be deployed alongside side by side, to fight terrorism, because your Parliament has authorized the deployment of a Romanian contingent in the midst of the European Takuba Task Force,” Florence Parly specified, according to Agerpres.

 

Vasile Dincu: Romania has a special partnership with France

 

The Minister of National Defence, Vasile Dincu, declared on Thursday, after the meeting with his French counterpart, Florence Parly, that Romania has a special partnership with France, highlighting that our country can rely on the support of France and stressed the Romanian side commitment in ensuring security of the West Balkans area and stabilizing the region of Sahel.

“The challenges that the democratic world is facing today can only be overcome through solidarity, unity and cohesion between all states that share these values. It is our moral duty to strengthen and maintain the spirit of freedom that governs our societies, to defend the values which we all believe in. France was alongside Romania in many of the key moments in history,” Dincu said, in a joint press conference with the French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly.

“I am glad to say that (…) we can continue relying on your firm support, which was proven by the most recent statement of president Emanuel Macron regarding France’s contribution and allied presence in the Black Sea Region. We are concerned with the recent evolutions in the region and we hope that dialogue and understanding among sides will prevail. In this sense I would like to also congratulate the announcement made by president Biden regarding supplementing the contribution of USA towards the posture of deterrence and defence in the Black Sea region, a proof of transatlantic solidarity,” Dincu also said.

“I am reiterating our firm commitment in ensuring the security of the West Balkans area and stabilizing the region of Sahel, increasing contribution in the case of operation EURofort Altea and the availability of involving a 50-soldier contingent in the Task Force Cuba Mission, these being only a few of the eloquent examples,” the Minister of National Defence also said.

“At the same time, I would like to thank you for the most recent announcement made by president Macron regarding the presence of a NATO battalion (…) in Romania, a request that Romania has made several times to NATO,” Vasile Dincu added.

 

PM Ciuca, French Defense Minister Parly discuss NATO’s eastern flank security, bilateral security and defense cooperation

 

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca discussed on Thursday with visiting French Defense Minister Florence Parly, with the two high officials reviewing NATO’s eastern flank security, French – Romanian security and defense cooperation, the development of new EU and NATO strategic approaches, as well as developments in Mali and the Sahel region.

According to a government statement, Prime Minister Ciuca expressed appreciation for the decision of the President of France to increase the French military presence in Romania, showing that this enhancement of the French contribution to NATO’s deterrence and defense stance on the eastern flank and in the Black Sea region adds even more substance to the Romania – France Bilateral Strategic Partnership.

“The Romanian Prime Minister underscored the importance of EU and NATO unity in upholding the principles underlying the current European security architecture, and the need to discourage the violation of the principles of the states’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Premier Ciuca condemned the pressure put by the Russian Federation and the threats against Ukraine, highlighting the importance of supporting resilience strengthening and attaching special attention to cooperation with Eastern partners,” the statement said.

The French Defense Minister tackled the issues of technical and military cooperation and the prospects of Romania’s corvette program.

With regard to the situation in Mali, Prime Minister Ciuca also reminded that Romania is ready to participate in the Takuba Task Force, the multinational anti-terrorism operational task force deployed in the three-country point joining Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

 

Photo: Valentin Ciobirca, www.mapn.ro

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