Update: NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest – Jens Stoltenberg commends Romania’s contribution to the Alliance

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has commended on Monday Romania’s contribution to the North Atlantic Alliance, stressing the participation to the missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and the increase of budget expenditures for defence to 2% of the GDP in his speech at the 63rd NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest.

Stoltenberg has also underscored the importance of the anti-missile components on Romanian territory.

The NATO Secretary General thanked Romania for hosting this meeting and for its contributions to the Alliance, for the common security and defence. Romania is important in many regards – its contributions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as host of the ballistic defence and for spending 2% of the GDP for defence, Stoltenberg said, adding that Romania wants to keep safe the almost 1 billion citizens of the NATO states.

In his speech, Jens Stoltenberg stressed the importance of allocating funds for defence by the member states, in the context of new threats against security. He mentioned that in 2016 only 5 allied countries allotted at least 2% of the GDP for defence (an objective set at the NATO summit in Wales, in September 2014) and has commended Romania’s decision to spend 2% of the GDP for defence, the same level is expected to be reached by Latvia and Lithuania in 2018.

NATO Secretary General said that the collective defence clause is reaffirmed by an alliance that says what will do and does what it says. He mentioned the meetings with the multinational groups and members of the allied troops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They know that an attack against one of the allies means an attack against all of them, Stoltenberg said.

He mentioned that Canadian pilots fly along with Romanian pilots and the Italian ones with the Bulgarian colleagues, as the troop deployment is a direct reply to Russia’s threats against Ukraine, and this NATO reaction is proportionate with the alliance’s national and international commitments.

Jens Stoltenberg made an appeal to Moscow to get involved in the international commitments, because NATO does not want to isolate Russia and does not want a new ‘cold war’.

He also mentioned the current situation in Afghanistan, Middle East and northern Africa, the NATO role in fighting terrorism. The Alliance has 13,000 military deployed in 39 member and partner countries, he said, warning about the risk in Afghanistan, if NATO leaves too early it might return to the level of a state marked by chaos, a paradise for international terrorism.

Stoltenberg has also mentioned NATO’s role in the anti-jihadist campaign

President Klaus Iohannis will greet later 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 will visit together, Monday afternoon, the NATO’s South-East Multinational Brigade (MN BDE) in Craiova.

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