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Defence Minister’s Meeting with Secretary of Defence James Mattis


The Minister of National Defence, Mihai Fifor, met with the US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, at Pentagon, on Wednesday, September 26th. The goal of this official visit was to continue the excellent dialogue between the Romanian minister and his American counterpart initiated a year ago, on the occasion of Mihai Fifor’s visit to Washington. The dialogue was increased at Brussels, during the various NATO defence ministerials.

The talks agenda included topics on the defence cooperation between Romania and the USA, with focus on the security developments in the Black Sea region and the Western Balkans, implementation of the decisions made at the July NATO Summit, participation in the fight against terrorism, bilateral cooperation, the US forces stationed on Romanian territory, as well as aspects related to the cooperation in the field of defence and the major procurement programs run together with the American partner.

During the talks, the officials emphasized the dynamics of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership between Romanian and the United States, as well as the intensified cooperation in the field of defence, as essential elements for the security and stability of our country and the region it is located in. In this context, Romania’s intense cooperation with its strategic Partner was highlighted, both at bilateral level and within the Alliance.

The two officials had an exchange of opinions on the important role Romania is getting ready to assume on the Eastern flank of the Alliance and the Black Sea region, as part of the cooperation within NATO. On this occasion, the Romanian defence minister reiterated the fact that our country is a steady and credible partner which fulfils all its commitments and responsibilities deriving from its NATO membership quality. In this context, James Mattis emphasized Romania’s important role in the Black Sea region.

Minister Fifor highlighted that Romania is one of the few Allied states that meets all the 3’Cs of NATO burden sharing principle: cash – through the budget allocated to defence budget, capabilities and contributions. First of all, the allocation of 2% of the GDP for defence expenditures in 2018, for the second consecutive year, represents a major national goal. Secondly, the development of capabilities required to counteract the threats against the Allied security is achieved by means of the ambitious acquisition program strategy of the Romanian Armed Forces. And thirdly, the solidarity of the national commitments is confirmed by Romania’s significant contributions in projecting security and stability, among which the most important are the troops’ participations in Afghanistan, as part of NATO Resolute Support, and in Iraq, recently initiated at the July Brussels Summit, as well as Romania’s contribution to anti-ISIL Coalition in the fight against terrorism.

Taking into account the fact that Romania will soon hold the Chairmanship of the European Union Council, starting with January 2009, defence minister Mihai Fifor emphasized the fact that the Romanian Government pays a special importance to the consolidation of the Euro-Atlantic connection: “We consider that we cannot discuss about a European defence without the trans-Atlantic connection. Moreover, in the BREXIT context, Romania does not believe in building European Defense without a strong trans-Atlantic relation”, minister Fifor stated.

During his official visit at the Pentagon, Defence Minister Mihai Fifor participated in a ceremony to commemorate the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks’ victims by laying a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial from the Pentagon, in the presence of the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, John Rood.

The Press Office

 

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Actualizare: 18.10.2018