Romanian president visits White House, commits to expanding strategic partnership with US on defense, energy, rule of law 

Anca Alexe 21/08/2019 | 09:23

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis met with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday and their meeting resulted in the signing of a joint statement that commits the two countries to an expansion of their strategic partnership on issues such as regional security, energy, and the fight against corruption. 

In a statement after the meeting, Iohannis said that he and Trump had discussed increasing the US’s military presence in Romania as well as the country’s potential to become an energy supplier for the region.

The two leaders’ joint statement also referred to efforts to “avoid the security risks that accompany Chinese investment in 5G telecommunications networks.”

This was Klaus Iohannis’s second White House visit in two years. Trump praised the Romanian president for his role in upholding the rule of law, adding that he was “a man that can solve the corruption problem in Romania.” Trump also mentioned the upcoming presidential election in Romania and said he was sure Iohannis would do very well.

“Our excellent law enforcement and anti-corruption partnership is firmly based on a mutual commitment to the rule of law and an independent judiciary, which are strongly supported by the Romanian people. We further stress that good governance forms the basis of our shared security and prosperity,” the joint statement said.

The US president expressed his openness to a visa waiver program for Romanian citizens, which would allow them to travel to the US for up to 90 days without needing a visa.

“Our militaries stand shoulder to shoulder in defense of freedom and look to bolster our defense and deterrence posture on NATO’s Eastern Flank, including in the Black Sea, which is of strategic importance for transatlantic security,” the leaders said in the joint statement.

Romania and Poland currently host the Aegis Ashore, a key NATO missile-defense system.

“The United States and Romania recognize that energy security is national security. We underscore our opposition to Nord Stream 2 and other projects that make our Allies and partners dependent on energy from Russia. Natural gas resources in Romania have the potential to increase the prosperity of our nations and to enhance Europe’s energy security. The United States and Romania will consider how best to improve the energy investment climate in Romania in ways that benefit both countries. We further urge our industries to work closely together to support Romania’s civil nuclear energy goals,” the statement reads.

The leaders also agreed to strengthen the two countries’ trade relationship, as well as to shape an investment climate that offers “transparency, predictability, and stability.”

 

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