NATO Secretary General thanks Romania for contributions to NATO operations
The NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visited Bucharest on 9 October in order to meet with Romania’s political leaders and to address the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He met with President Traian Basescu, with with Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Baconschi and with Minister of Defence Gabriel Oprea.
During the meetings, the Secretary General thanked Romania for the valuable contributions to NATO operations and discussed preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago in 2012.
“Romania is a valuable Ally. You make an important contribution to our operations on three continents: in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya”, the Secretary General said. “I know the economic pressures Romania is facing. And I welcome your continued support to our operations despite the difficult economic times. This shows a sense of responsibility and commitment.”
In his address to the plenary session of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary General spoke about the need to maintain an Alliance that provides the best security for an affordable cost, despite financial constraints. “In my view, the way forward lies not in spending more, but in spending better. The idea is simple: Prioritise the capabilities we need the most. Specialise in what we do best. And seek multinational solutions to common problems. This is shared defence. It is efficient defence. I call it Smart Defence. And it is the key to improving our capabilities and distributing the defence burden more fairly.”, the Secretary General said.
The Secretary General noted that security is not an optional extra and that if nations cannot spend more, they must spend better. He said that Romania is giving an excellent example by taking part in multinational projects to acquire key capabilities, such as C17 transport planes and by hosting interceptor missiles that will be an important element of the overall NATO territorial missile defence.
During the visit, the Secretary General also met with the President of the Romanian Senate Mircea Geoana, with the President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Roberta Anastase and other parliamentarians. The Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea awarded Mr Rasmussen the "Honour of the Romanian Armed Forces".