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Pentagon Chief Chuck Hagel pays today a visit to Romania


US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will pay a visit to Romania on Thursday at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart Mircea Dusa, on which occasion the American official will also meet with Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

According to the Romanian National Defence Ministry (MApN), Mircea Dusa and Chuck Hagel will meet on Thursday in Constanta (south-east Romania) to approach topics such as the military dimension of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, with emphasis on the US support for Romania amid the current crisis in the eastern neighborhood, the importance of the measures aimed at reassuring the allies, the stage of turning the US projects in Romania operational, as well as topics regarding the Alliance's agenda for the NATO Wales Summit.

At the end of talks, Minister Dusa and Secretary of Defense Hagel will visit the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf  that arrived in Constanta on May 3. On this occasion, the two officials will issue joint press statements.

Also on Thursday, the Pentagon Chief will have a meeting with Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

''Yes [I will meet the Pentagon chief on Thursday] and the message to be conveyed is the same I conveyed to US Vice-President Biden that Romania is a very serious and important ally to the US, to the Euro-Atlantic community. Romania has met all its obligations and is a stability factor in its region,' Ponta said Wednesday at Parliament Palace.

Hagel's Spokesman Rear-Admiral John Kirby two weeks ago announced Hagel will be going on a tour that includes Romania and will be attending a meeting of NATO defence ministers as well. Hagel will end his tour in France, where he is schedule to meet his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and attend D-Day celebrations.