Defence Ministry: 14 Romanian military men in Iraq to be relocated

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The Romanian Defence Ministry has announced today that it is ready to relocate those Romanian soldiers on mission in Iraq amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. Romanian military missions focused on training Iraqi military instructors.

“Following the decision taken at the NATO summit at ambassadors level on Monday, January 6, to temporarily suspend the training mission of the Iraqi troops amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, the National Defence Ministry took all necessary steps to interrupt the training and guidance missions carried out by the Romanian military deployed in Iraq”, says a MoD press release.

To ensure the safety of the military staff, those 14 Romanian soldiers on mission in Iraq will be temporarily deployed to another coalition base.

Romania stays firmly committed against international terrorism, both as ally and besides the partner within the anti-ISIS Global Coalition”, says the press release.

On Tuesday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis had a first stance on the US-Iran tensions after the murder of Iranian general Oassem Soleimani.

Iohannis said that Romania has soldiers in Iraq and that they are part of the NATO training forces. “Part of our military staff has been already relocated“, said the President, while also calling for calm.

“The situation in Iraq concerns us, for we have many Romanian citizens who live and work in the Middle East region, we have people in Iraq as well (…) There are several Romanian citizens exposed in the area. We are concerned and we’ll take all measures to be of real help if needed. On the other hand, we also have soldiers deployed in Iraq, who are part of the NATO training troops. They are instructor and obviously we are concerned about their safety. Part of them has been already relocated (…) I am in permanent contact with the Government and particularly with the Foreign and Defence ministers and I am convinced that the only solution for this crisis is a calm, diplomatic approach to redress stress and to restore the calm in this region“, President Iohannis stated while in Germany on Tuesday.

The Romanian head of state opined that the EU should have a stronger voice on the Middle East crisis and that the member states should act jointly.

At least 40 people died and other 213 were injured today in Iran after a stampede during Qasem Soleimani’s funeral, so the burial ceremony was postponed due to the tragedy.

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