Joint press statements

Teodor Baconschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General

Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Baconschi:

Good morning! I am greatly honoured to welcome at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, who is on a visit to Bucharest. The visit’s agenda is quite busy. Yesterday evening Mr. Rasmussen had talks with Mr. Traian Băsescu, today he met with me, then he is going to see the Minister of Defense, will also have a dialog with Romania’s Parliament and a public conference in the Auditorium of the Law School for a direct dialog with the young generation of academics in Romania.

As far as we are concerned, we would like to express our satisfaction with the method chosen by the Secretary General to prepare the Lisbon Summit, due later this year and implicitly the launch of the New Strategic Concept of the Alliance, through a systematic consultation with the 28. We are happy to find that our visions with regard to NATO’s role in the 21st century coincide, that we share the same standard of ambition, that we have a similar view of the central role of Article 5 of the current Treaty; we hope that the Alliance will be first and foremost an organization of collective defense focused on the national territories of the 28 Member States and, at the same time, a political-military instrument capable to adapt itself to a wide variety of new threats, be it terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, various forms of trafficking – that is all the negative phenomena which, if not stopped in due time, might jeopardize the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area we belong to.

We are also very happy to see the intention of the NATO Secretary General to promote within the Alliance a realistic open-doors policy, which should allow, on the basis of national option and compliance with all the criteria, the enlargement of the Alliance first of all through integration of the states in the Western Balkans. We were happy to see that the decision made at the ministerial meeting in Tallinn – to grant Membership Action Plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina – has already aroused a favourable response in the Western Balkans and we stood for the continuation of this process which we hope that, some time in the future, will also include Serbia, the main player and key-element for the stabilization of the Western Balkan region.

We also focused our talks on the Eastern Neighborhood of the Alliance. I presented to Mr. Rasmussen our standpoint on the strategic importance of the Black Sea region. We made a stage evaluation of the dynamics in several countries of the region, whether or not in the immediate proximity of Romania.

I pleaded in favor of an increased NATO presence in the region and of our interest for a diversification of NATO’s partnerships, along both the eastern and the Mediterranean dimension of the Alliance.

We reconfirmed our wish to see, on the occasion of the Lisbon Summit, the missile defense system transformed into a NATO mission, therefore a mission which the European Allies, too, will assume so that we may be able to cover the entire territory of our continent and protect it against any ballistic-type threats.

Finally, I would like to mention our discussion about the NATO-Russia relationship. I shared the NATO Secretary General’s realism and wisdom concerning this relationship. It all comes down to a dual approach. On the one hand, we remain committed to the basic principles which substantiated the political-military construction of the Alliance and, on the other hand, we are ready to identify all the issues of shared interest between NATO and the Russian Federation, because there is a series of threats facing Russia and the NATO countries simultaneously: Afghanistan, the common interest of containing, through an effective barrier, the spread of drugs, of terrorist cells, and cooperation in fighting cyber attacks.

I would like to thank Mr. Secretary General for his visit which greatly honors us. We will continue to be a loyal, predictable, transparent and responsible ally. As to what you told me yesterday – your wish to meet more frequently with the Foreign Ministers of the Alliance – I would be happy if this could be put into practice.

Once again, welcome to Bucharest!