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ForMin Aurescu, NATO SecGen Stoltenberg discuss enhanced Black Sea NATO presence in phone conversation

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu had a phone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday to discuss, among other things Romania's part in enhancing NATO presence in the Black Sea region.
According to a press statement released by Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), the head of the Romanian diplomacy assured Stoltenberg of the full support of President Klaus Iohannis, the Government of Romania, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and of his staff for the achievement of the NATO objectives and the continuity of Romania's policies and commitments inside NATO, as provided for in the programme of the new Romanian Government.

The two officials reviewed the priorities going forward, with Aurescu underscoring the importance attached by Romania to increasing NATO's part in the Black Sea region by enhancing its presence on the south side of the Eastern flank.

He also underscored the importance of implementing the Black Sea package NATO, adopted by foreign ministers in April 2019 in Washington. At the same time, he underlined the need for an enhanced NATO naval presence in the Black Sea and increased NATO contributions to the Multinational Brigade in Romania. He also informed about the new Government's support for the continuation of the commitment to allocate 2pct of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for defence spending.

Stoltenberg congratulated Aurescu on taking office and thanked Romania for its support and contributions to NATO, referencing Romania's involvement both on the south and north sides of the eastern flank, in Poland, the allocation of 2pct of GDP in defence spending, participation in NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. He also pointed to the importance of the NATO missile defence system in Romania. Stoltenberg reconfirmed, in turn, "the need to implement all the measures adopted by the Alliance in order to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security, including in the southern area of the Eastern Flank."

The two senior officials also reviewed the agenda of the NATO ministerial meeting this November and highlighted the importance of the meeting of NATO heads of state or government to be hosted by London in December 2019, to advance the Alliance's adaptation process. At the same time, they agreed to deepen the dialogue, including on the occasion of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers this November.

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