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SRI Director George Maior awarded French Legion of Honour, degree of Chevalier

The Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) George Maior has been awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, degree of Chevalier by the President of the French Republic Francois Hollande.

According to a SRI release, the decoration received on Thursday by the head of the Service is an acknowledgement of the special quality of the strategic relation between Romania and France, especially in areas less known to the public, such as intelligence work.

\\\'There are many things we do together all over the world, providing to our countries and citizens security, peace, and a dimension of the ultimate values that form the foundation of our society,\\\' Maior declared on this occasion.

In his speech on this event, the SRI Director underlined the fact that nowadays, whenever challenges to the security of the region, of Europe, and of NATO intensify, Romania and France have the kind of mature, consolidated partnership that allows generating solutions for the appropriate management of such challenges.

\\\'All along history, Romania has always seen France as its natural ally, despite the ideological direction forced upon our country during the Cold War. Therefore, after Romania\\\'s return to democracy, the interaction between the French and Romanian intelligence services was only natural, and has now reached remarkable intellectual and operational performance levels. The Romanian and French intelligence services share the same views on the contemporary world and also have the operational capability necessary to approach the challenges and to diminish the uncertainty that looms on the security of our states and citizens. All these are even more important now, considering the worrisome evolutions at the eastern borders of the European Union and NATO. The strategic relation between Romania and France has the potential of contributing to the understanding of this special situation for the European Union and NATO on one hand, and to find smart solutions for avoiding a neo-cold war that might impact the whole Euro-Atlantic space,\\\' Maior said.

He voiced his hope that, in the spirit of the natural historic alliance with Romania, \\\'France will understand Romania\\\'s interest related to the meaning of the eastern frontier of the European Union and of NATO, including our intentions of acceding into [the] Schengen [Area], a legitimate topic, on which a lot of work was done, and for which we meet all the criteria, at least from the technical point of view.\\\'

According to the SRI Director, the value of this approach by Romania presently develops a new dimension, as the whole world witnesses the evolutions in the Black Sea region, which is important not only to Romania, but also to the whole space of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The ceremony hosted by the French Ambassador in Bucharest Philippe Gustin was attended by prominent members of the diplomatic, academic, governmental, and civil society circles.

The Order awarded by the French president is France\\\'s highest decoration; it was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.