Defence Minister meets US Congress delegation, US Ambassador in Bucharest
A delegation of the US House of Representatives, including Mike Rogers, Scott DesJarlais, Ralph Abraham, Jim Banks and Steven Palazzo was received by Defence Minister Gabriel Les on Monday. The meeting was also attended by US Ambassador Hans Klemm and by the Chief of General Staff, General Nicolae Ciuca. Talks focused on the military cooperation under the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the USA and on the cooperation within NATO.
According to the MoD, the Romanian and American officials exchanged views on the recent developments in the international security environment, focusing on the situation in Syria and in the Black Sea region. In this context, the Minister of National Defence has stressed Romania’s commitment to the international efforts to counter terrorism as part of international anti-ISIL Coalition.
“Minister Les presented the strategic priorities of the government in the field of defence and security, focused on the decision to allocate 2% of the GDP on defence and pointed, as an important milestone, the level of over 40% of the total defence spending to be used to purchase major equipments, including for research and development,” the Defence Ministry informs in a press release.
According to the institution, Defence Minister Gabriel Les highlighted the great importance Romania attaches to the development of strategic partnership with the US and praised the strong commitment of the United States in strengthening the security in the Black Sea and the presence of US troops on the national territory, stressing that it is essential for the strengthening of defence and for deterrence against all threats and risks to European security, especially those coming from the eastern flank of the Alliance.
Regarding the implementation of this field of the consolidated presence, the Romanian side pointed also to the cooperation with the American partner by assuming the participation of the Romanian Armed Forces in the combat group under US command deployed in Poland in April.
The MoD, in regard to the missile defence, has highlighted the Aegis Ashore system in Romania substantial contribution to NATO’s collective security.
The US officials have emphasized that the operationalization of the Deveselu base is a crucial project that reflects the efficiency of the strategic partnership and have expressed appreciation for Romania’s investments and continued commitment to the full integration of the Aegis Ashore system into the Alliance’s architecture of command and control.
The US Congressmen have also emphasized the good cooperation between the armed forces in the theatre of operations in Afghanistan and have particularly appreciated the efforts Romania makes in the line of defence, considering that the allocation of 2% of GDP in this field has a special strategic significance and contributes to the strengthening of the transatlantic connection, to sharing the responsibilities within NATO and to the Alliance’s defence strengthening and deterrence posture as a whole.