BELGIUM–(ENEWSPF)–30 January 2012. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Romania’s President, Mr. Traian Basescu, and had a follow up discussion on the preparations for the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Chicago.
During a joint press conference, the Secretary General praised Romania’s valuable contribution to NATO’s operations and its active role in NATO’s working agenda. “You have provided valuable contributions to our operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and in protecting the people of Libya,” he said, underlining that Romania’s “solidarity and commitment are even more valuable in these difficult economic times. Because Romania knows that our security is priceless.”
The Secretary General commended particularly the Romanian active posture in Smart Defence projects. “You will host elements of the NATO Missile Defence System. This is an excellent example of Smart Defence, where many Allies provide different assets for a critical capability”, the Secretary General stated, mentioning that “in Chicago we hope to announce the interim capability for our missile defence system”. Mr Rasmussen has also highlighted Romania’s role “for building strong relationships with our partners, especially in the Western Balkans, but also to NATO’s East”, where “we all agree that Euro-Atlantic integration is the best way to spread security and stability”.
The Secretary General made clear NATO’s enduring commitment to Afghanistan, which remains the Alliance’s top operational priority. “Afghanistan is moving in the right direction. Transition to Afghan security lead is on schedule and is making steady progress. As transition proceeds, we will be able to shift our role from combat to training, assistance and advice to the Afghan forces”, he said.
Ahead of the Chicago’s Summit, Mr. Rasmussen reiterated the importance for all Allies to stay committed to their shared security and values: “We must shape an Alliance capable to face today’s challenges while providing tomorrow’s security,” and “Romania can continue to play an important role”.