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DefMin Ciuca and his U.S. counterpart discuss NATO priorities, bilateral relations, military acquisitions

The talks held on Wednesday by the interim Minister of National Defence, Nicolae Ciuca, with the U.S. Secretary of Defence, Lloyd J. Austin III, currently visiting Bucharest, focused on NATO priorities in the perspective of the meeting that starts on Thursday in Brussels, bilateral relations and military acquisitions, informed the Ministry of National Defence (MApN).

Minister Ciuca welcomed the receipt by Romania of the Dependable Undertaking status, which facilitates access to the latest American technology, highlighting the development of significant projects for the endowment of the Romanian Army in relation to the USA, based on the relevant budget allocations of 2% of GDP: ground-to-air missiles (PATRIOT), the multi-shot missile launcher system (HIMARS), the F16 multi-role aircraft, the Piranha 5 armored personnel carriers and the mobile anti-ship missile launcher system, a press release of the MApN issued for AGERPRES informs.

Ciuca expressed appreciation for the significant American investments at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and Campia Turzii, as well as to the Cincu and Babadag Shooting Grounds, worth over 225 million dollars.

The two officials also addressed current issues on the Allied agenda, which will be discussed at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

"The Alliance is preparing for the Madrid Summit at the end of June 2022, with a view to defending common positions on adapting the Alliance, through what is known as the NATO 2030 process, and on strengthening a position of deterrence and defence effective in countering threats to Allied security, regardless of their origin," said Minister Ciuca.

He reiterated the importance Romania attaches to strengthening Allied cohesion and the transatlantic relationship: "We want the Alliance to remain strong and able to protect all its members and respond to their concerns. That is why for Romania, the transatlantic relationship is an important pillar of our defence policy".

In turn, Lloyd J. Austin III characterized the U.S.-Romania relationship as one based on trust and mutual respect and the political will to promote common goals in the field of defence, the MApN said.

The U.S. Secretary of Defence thanked Romania for its support and commitment to host, on a rotating basis, a significant number of U.S. troops, emphasizing Romania's leading role in the region in ensuring its essential infrastructure against adverse actions.