''Romania is a strong Ally'' says NATO Secretary General
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Brussels on Friday (16 January 2015) to discuss the Alliance’s response to current security challenges and the importance of investing in defence. Mr Stoltenberg thanked President Iohannis for his personal commitment to the Alliance, Romania’s substantial contributions to NATO, and the recent decision to spend 2 % of Gross Domestic Product on defence by 2017. “Romania is a staunch and strong NATO Ally,” the Secretary General said.
Mr Stoltenberg said Romanian troops had made a remarkable contributions over many years to the NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan, and continue to contribute substantially to the new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. “When I met Romanian soldiers in Kandahar,” he said, “I was impressed by their professionalism and dedication". He stressed that Romania also plays an important part in other key areas, such as building stability in Kosovo and NATO’s missile defence system. The Secretary General thanked Romania for its commitment to keep NATO’s neighbourhood stable by assisting Ukraine through the trust fund on cyber security and supporting the Republic of Moldova.
Secretary General Stoltenberg and President Iohannis discussed the ongoing implementation of the Readiness Action Plan, which will boost the readiness of NATO forces to deploy at short notice. They stressed the importance of increased NATO presence in the Eastern part of the Alliance, as well as the establishment of a very high readiness force and command and control presence, including in Romania. “This is an ongoing process, but it will strengthen and increase the readiness of NATO forces to protect and defend all Allies, which is the core mission of NATO,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
Welcoming the agreement between all Romanian parliamentary parties to reach the benchmark of spending 2% of Gross Domestic Product on defence by 2017 and to keep that level for the following ten years, the NATO Secretary General said it was an “important example .”