Press statement

Teodor Baconschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Signing of the Agreement between Romania and the USA on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania
Washington D.C.

Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for the warm welcome.

Our visit to the United States occurs two days after the entire world commemorated, in deep sympathy with the American people, the horrible terrorist attacks of 9/11 2001.

We stand by you, as we have always done.

The wind of change in the Arab world demonstrates that democracy is worth fighting for and, once gained, it must be jealously protected.

As a member of the free world and as a Strategic Partner of the United States, Romania is determined to participate in the effort towards global security.  

President Traian Băsescu’s visit to Washington confirms this common approach to global security, and the signature, today, of this Agreement – which is one of the focal points of this visit – expresses our commitment most eloquently.

It also sets a new stage in our relation, confirming that our Strategic Partnership has broadened and deepened.

The provisions of the Agreement allow for the establishment on the territory of Romania of elements of the US European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense.

This is an integral part of the effort to implement the decision NATO took in November 2010, in Lisbon, to develop a missile defense capability, providing full coverage for all our European populations, territories and forces.

In this context, the Romanian airbase at Deveselu represents an extremely valuable contribution to the missile defense of NATO, the most important pillar of our security.

By participating in this project, Romania will be able to have actual insight in one of the core missions of NATO, to establish privileged channels of dialogue with the US, so as to strengthen Transatlantic cooperation, both bilaterally and within NATO.

I am also happy to hail de adoption of the Joint Declaration on the Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century, which was just issued.

This is a concrete, outstanding result of the meeting our two Presidents had this morning.

It confirms our excellent, long-term and ever developing Partnership. It also sets the pillars of our relation: political dialogue, security, economy, people-to-people contacts, science and technology, research, education, culture.

Indeed, substantive trust in the bilateral relation is an incentive for trade and investment.

It is our wish to pursue deeper and broader cooperation in this field, by promoting trade and business opportunities that generate employment and growth.

The troubled financial and economic context is not a deterrent for trade, but rather an opportunity for new links between the largest economy in the world and one of the most investment-oriented countries in the European Union.

Cultural ties and people to people contacts are goals we want to develop more actively.

I am confident that endorsement by President Barack Obama of co-sponsored legislation modifying the criteria for the Visa Waiver Program shall trigger rapid inclusion of strong Allies, like Romania.

The high level of confidence in the political dialogue will spur greater movement of tourists and businessmen, increase academic exchanges, and create more opportunities for innovation. We will continue our joint efforts for Romania to be included in the Visa Waiver Program, as soon as possible.

Madam Secretary of State, please allow me to finish by congratulating everybody involved in the success of the Agreement we have signed today.

Thank you!