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Minister of National Defence, Gabriel Oprea, met with Admiral James G. Stavridis, Commander of Supreme Allied Command Europe at the ministry HQ on Wednesday, April 28.

During the talks, the two officials approached topics related to ongoing NATO-led operations and the Romanian participation in them, our country`s contribution to the allied decision-making process, NATO operations and initiatives.

Minister Gabriel Oprea said that "it is one of the priorities of our efforts within the Alliance to consolidate our presence there by identifying new cooperation opportunities and by contributing consistently in the allied operations". This implies "correlating internal reforms with participating in NATO initiatives on capabilities and increasing our national contribution to NATO missions and operations."

Speaking of the Romanian troops` participation in theaters of operations, minister Oprea emphasized that "we are highly interested in participating with forces and capabilities in the whole range of allied operations and it is the reason why Romania contributed troops and capabilities from the early stages of the missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balcans and the Mediterranean Sea".

The defence minister said that "our country is fully engaged in ensuring security and stability in Afghanistan. As of may this year, we will enhance our presence there with some 600 troops. It is vital that all forces and international organizations involved in Afghanistan should rethink their priorities and goals according the present coordinates, namely the need train Afghan security forces and a balanced distribution of the military effort in close connection with the effort for social and diplomatic development".

Admiral James G. Stavridis thanked Romania for the efforts it made and its contribution to NATO-led iniiatives and missions. He said he was here, in order to convey the message of the US President and State Secretary for Defence who wished to thank our nation for its substantial contribution, along with American and allied troops, in the missions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in other initiatives in which Romania is a reliable partner. He said they were proud of the Romanian troops` actions in Afghanistan, where progress can be noticed and belief is shared that together the mission could be seen to the desired end - training the Afghan security troops and ensuring stability in the country".
Admiral James G. Stavridis also had talks with the Chief of General Staff, Admiral Gheorghe Marin.

The two officials discussed the latest developments and perspectives of NATO-led military operations and the Romanian Armed Forces contribution to them. "As always, the presence of a high NATO military official is moment of reference for the Romanian military” the Chief of General Staff said, thanking Admiral Stavridis for having accepted the invitation to visit Romania.

The NATO official was presented aspects of the Romanian Armed Forces transformation in the context of the Alliance transformation and the way the decision on increasing our presence in Afghanistan is implemented. "We explained that our presence in Afghanistan will consist of two battalions, several monitoring and liaison teams, more staff officers who will man a mixed Romania-American battalion. I assure you all Romanian troops approach with responsibility and seriousness both training and participating in each mission", Admiral Marin said.

Admiral Stavridis in turn said he recalls the day when Romania became a NATO member very well. He said he considered Romania registered extraordinary progress, had a remarkable development within the Alliance since that day. He was happy to be in Bucharest and be given the chance to thank the Romanian people, the Romanian President, the Chief of General Staff and this nation`s military for their contribution to the mission in Afghanistan, the Balkans, at sea, and along three continents as part of the over one hundred allied troops working together.

At the end of his visit in Bucharest, Admiral Stavridis participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Hero.

MoND Press Office


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Actualizare: 21.01.2019