US message to Bucharest: The rule of law should be strengthened, Hoyt Yee says

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Hoyt Brian Yee, US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs has said in Bucharest that the message from Washington regarding the anti-corruption fight is clear: the rule of law should be strengthened, not weakened. The US official added that the new government in Washington, US President Donald Trump, attach great importance to the rule of law. In this regard the US will express its concerns, if any.

“It was very notable and I think we appreciate that the Prime Minister, shortly after the demonstration, backed away from the initiative on the changes of the criminal code that was the cause of the demonstrations. This shows responsiveness to what the people were protesting against. That gives us confidence that democracy is strong in Romania, I also think it is also something that we want to continue watching. Just as I saw today, there are some protesters maintaining vigil outside the government buildings. I think that’s symbolically important, but also a reminder of that all of us should be interested in what the next step should be. We are hopeful the government will make the right steps to reassure the citizens of its commitment to the rule of law and that it will take the necessary steps to reassure its allies, including the United States, that the government remains committed to this very important value, on which the strategic partnership, the NATO alliance in fact, is based,” Hoyt Brian Lee said on Wednesday.

He added that he wasn’t surprised to see people in the streets to support the rule of law and democracy, as these are two of the fundamental values the US founds its relationships with every country in the world.

The US official stressed Washington and Bucharest have a solid alliance and a strategic partnership and looks ahead for an even stronger base, for strong partnership and cooperation, as there is potential for increasing the trade and investments relationships.

Hoyt Yee met on Wednesday, at the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), the Secretary of State for regional affairs Dan Neculaescu, talks focused on the strategic dialogue between Romania and the US on implementing the strategic partnership, on the Gov’t decision to contribute 2% of the GDP to defence, to meeting the commitments within NATO, on the fight against corruption. Regional issues such as the Black Sea region, Republic of Moldova and US-Romania coordination on security were also discussed, according to MAE.

photo: Foreign Ministry

 

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