ForMin Aurescu, SecState Pompeo discuss forward Black Sea NATO presence

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Wednesday met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the sidelines of a meeting in Brussels of NATO chief diplomats. The two senior officials reviewed the agenda of the NATO ministerial meeting and highlighted the importance of advancing NATO's adaptation process in step with developments in security in the Euro-Atlantic area. "In that context, the Romanian minister underscored the importance of implementing the Black Sea package, adopted by the NATO foreign ministers in April 2019 in Washington. He mentioned the importance of increasing NATO participation in the Multinational Brigade in Romania, as well as enhancing NATO navy presence in the Black Sea and air patrols," reads a press statement released by Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE). Aurescu talked about "the constant US support for strengthening NATO's defence and deterrence posture on the eastern flank, and provided arguments backing up the need to increase the US military presence in Romania, in the volatile security context of the Black Sea region." He also reiterated the firm commitment of the new Romanian government to the equitable sharing of the defence burden, confirming the continued allocation of 2pct of the GDP for defence spending and Romania's participation in military missions abroad, an aspect particularly appreciated by Secretary of State Pompeo." Aurescu gave assurances regarding the priority attached by the new government to the commissioning of two memoranda of understanding recently signed by Romania and the USA in the areas of civil nuclear cooperation and 5G infrastructure. He also made a brief presentation of the political situation in the Republic of Moldova and underlined the importance of the Transnistrian file for the security of Romania and NATO. The head of Romanian diplomacy "also provided backing for Romania's accession, as a dedicated strategic partner and ally of the US, to the Visa Waiver programme." AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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