NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest – President Iohannis pleads for strengthening the Alliance, says Romania remains responsible ally

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President Klaus Iohannis has said on Monday that the North Atlantic Alliance needs to strengthen more than ever, Romania will do what it can to achieve this goal.

“Today, more than ever, NATO needs to strengthen. Romania, as a responsible ally, will do what is in its power in this regard,” the head of state said at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest.

“NATO is a powerful alliance not only by the collective defence decisions, but also by its values. If these values are well defended, this is the most valuable contribution to our security,” President Iohannis said.

He added that “Romania will remain a responsible ally and a trustworthy dialogue partner, as it has done until now.”

President Iohannis underscored that NATO’s goal is to preserve peace. “Our purpose is to preserve peace, not war. NATO is not looking for confrontation and it is not a threat for Russia, as the Warsaw summit underscored. However, the relationship with Russia needs a comprehensive and coherent allied strategy over long term. It needs to include dialogue, from a powerful defence and deterrence position,” Iohannis said.

The Romanian head of state underscored that “the presence on the Eastern Flank must be strengthened, especially in the South, at the Black Sea, on all dimensions. Also, the current differences between the decisions made for the north flank and its south flank must disappear, shaping a single, robust, persistent and predictable presence.”

President Iohannis after meeting NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg: NATO and EU must go together

President Klaus Iohannis also greeted on Monday, at Cotroceni Presidential Palace, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with talks due to focus on the future summit of the North-Atlantic Alliance and the Eastern Flank.

The two officials discussed the relation of the North-Atlantic Alliance with the European Union, with President Iohannis stating that the two are not separate, but clearly complementary projects and must go together.

“I consider it’s very important that NATO and the EU don’t have different, but common approaches, that their actions are not parallel, but complementary and that we have shared interests and goals. (…) I believe that everybody understands that the EU and NATO are not two projects to choose from, but are clearly complementary and they must go along together,” Klaus Iohannis said after the meeting with Jens Stoltenberg

“The agenda of the meeting will include the concrete assessment of the implementation stage of the decisions adopted in the 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit, and the high-level meeting in Brussels of May 2017, as well as the preparation of the agenda and the results of the future NATO Summit of 2018. The aspects regarding the Alliance’s further adaptation process to the complex international security environment, with a focus on NATO’s defence and deterrence posture on the Eastern Flank, will be at the centre of the talks,” informed the Presidential Administration in a press release.

After the talks, the two officials will jointly hold a press conference.

President Iohannis and Secretary General Stoltenberg will visit together on Monday afternoon, NATO’s South-East Multinational Brigade (MN BDE) in Craiova.

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