Romania’s President: Support to Afghanistan will continue, Algerian attack asks questions that need answers

Romania will continue to provide assistance in Afghanistan in the upcoming years and NATO membership remains “a pillar” of Romania’s foreign and security policy, said President Traian Basescu at the annual meeting of the Heads of the Diplomatic Missions in Romania on January. “Romania will continue to lend support to the Allied training and assistance efforts in Afghanistan, even after 2014,” said President Basescu. He also reconfirmed Romania’s commitment to the NATO missile defense shield, which will use sites in the country for ground to air rockets.

Romania’s President promised a continuing and active role in NATO’s projects and also referred to the Algerian gas plant hostage crisis, in which two Romanian nationals died. “The events in Algeria have confirmed, once more, that strong terrorist groups are able to kill our citizens,” said the President. He added that the attack in Algeria cannot be passed over without asking serious question about the ability of Romania to defend its citizens. “When people leave with our companies to work abroad, they leave with the feeling that the state will defend them.”

The President’s speech came at an annual meeting of diplomats to Romania. During his speech, the President also referred to last year’s political crisis saying the event of July and August 2012 were a “step back” for Romania. He also said that Romania is yet to fully benefit from NATO and EU membership. “We cannot say that we have managed to make the best use of all the political, economic and security benefits stemming from our membership in the two aforesaid [EU and NATO] organizations.”

Liam Lever, [email protected]

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