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ForMin Melescanu attended a counter-ISIS/Daesh ministerial conference in Washington

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Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu on Wednesday attended a counter-ISIS/Daesh ministerial conference in Washington, meeting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the side-lines of the convention to assure him of Romania's commitment to developing its relationship with the US as arising from the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Melescanu voiced interest in high-level meetings with officials of the US Administration, while Tillerson displayed openness toward the bilateral dialogue continuing between the two countries, including at the level of their heads of state, according to the schedules of the two dignitaries, Romania's Foreign Ministry (MAE) reported in a press statement on Thursday.

The schedule of the Washington conference comprised an introductory session that introduced the participants to the latest developments in the fight against Daesh in military terms and in terms of stabilising and reconstructing the liberated territory; a plenary session opened by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi; a working lunch with US state officials, including Secretary of Defence James Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as well as Director of the National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Melescanu also reiterated Romania's commitments to the world efforts to eliminate the terrorist organisation and continue support for the coalition, including to combat Daesh on-line propaganda. For the coalition's successful operations to liberate territory from Daesh occupation, Melescanu confirmed Romania's contribution to humanitarian, stabilisation and reconstruction efforts, according to MAE.

At the end of the ministerial conference, the coalition passed a joint declaration setting up common objectives for the period ahead.

The Romanian chief diplomat also met his counterparts from Qatar, Singapore and Malaysia. At his meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Melescanu reviewed the latest developments on the schedule of bilateral actions.

Talks with Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan centred on sectorial cooperation, especially in the areas of defence and education.

In his conversation with Malay Foreign Minister Dato' Sri Anifah Haj Aman, Melescanu voiced interest in political dialogue between Romania and Malaysia being furthered and economic cooperation between them broadened. He also reiterated a call to clemency to Malay authorities in regard to Romanian nationals in detention in Malaysia.

The US announced in September 2014 the creation of a counter-Daesh/ISIL coalition that now has 68 members — 64 countries plus the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the European Union and the INTERPOL International Police. In order to facilitate prompt reactions to Daesh challenges, five working groups were set up to deal with military aspects, counter-finance, countering foreign terrorist fighters, counter-messaging, as well as stabilisation.

On February 13, 2017, Romania's Parliament approved the Romanian Armed Forces continuing their mission with the counter-Daesh/ISIL coalition by deploying up to 50 troops and enlarging the deployment areas to include Kuwait. Funding is provided from the budget of the National Defence Ministry (MApN).

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