Ministry of National Defence
Information and Public Relations Directorate
No.161 - 22 July 2015
The Minister of National Defence on official visit in Portugal
Defence Minister Mircea Duša emphasized the excellent collaboration between the two armed forces during his visit in Portugal over 20-21 July. Thus, the two ministers agreed upon the establishment of a working group made up of specialists from the Romanian and Portuguese Ministries of Defence that will identify new cooperation fields with respect to certain common projects, EU Common Security and Defence Policy common objectives and the participation in NATO missions. The strengthening of the bilateral military relations will contribute to the efforts to bring stability and security to the Euro-Atlantic space and its vicinity.
During the official talks, minister Duša thanked his Portuguese counterpart, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, for the coherent implementation manner of the F-16 Fighting Falcon strategic procurement program since all assumed obligations have been accomplished according to the schedule. “I value the high training standards set by the Portuguese Armed Force as well as the professionalism of the instructors that decisively contribute to the Romanian pilots’ training by setting the premises of a long-term bilateral collaboration especially at the air forces’ level”, the Romanian defence minister added.
Also, the defence minister emphasized Portugal’s contribution to the strengthening of NATO air policing missions and expressed his appreciation for the outstanding manner in which the common mission of the Romanian Air Force and Portuguese Air Force detachment (consisting of four F-16 Fighting Falcon and 95 troops) was accomplished.
Minister Duša stated that the political agreement signed by Romania on the phased increase of the defence budget up to 2% of the GDP for a 10-year period starting with 2017 will allow for the continuation of the implementation of the Gradual building of the air defence capability conception as stipulated in the Air Force Multirole Fighter Program. “At present, the institutions involved are running an assessment process with respect to the options for the continuation and development of the multirole fighter procurement program”, minister Duša declared.
During the talks, the two officials also approached the cooperation in the context of EU Common Security and Defence Policy, minister Duša specifying that the participation in the development of EU’s defence and security field remains one of Romania’s defence policy priorities.
When referring to the collaboration within the North Atlantic-Alliance, minister Duša reiterated “the satisfaction of the Romanian authorities for reasserting the support for collective defence of the allies from the Eastern and Southern flanks of NATO (offered during June Reunion from Brussels) in the context of a complicated strategic environment.”
Also, the Romanian official highlighted the importance of the continuous support provided to the Alliance’s general adaptation process to the current and near-future evolution of the security environment especially through the implementation of the NATO Readiness Action Plan and by initiating the long-term strategic adaptation process of the organization. Minister Mircea Duša restated Romania’s determination to continue its participation in NATO-led missions and operations, as previously assumed.
During his visit in Portugal, defence minister Mircea Duša also met with the Romanian military personnel deployed at Monte Real Air Base and visited the Land Forces Command and two research and development centres of excellence from Porto.