Yesterday when appointing Liberal Teodor Melescanu a minister of defense, the Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu mentioned the need for a calendar on the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Afghanistan, in agreement with Romania's allies.
Tariceanu claimed the withdrawal wouldn't be a stormy one: "Romanian soldiers in missions abroad, those in Iraq in particular, will continue the operations they are part of, in keeping with the calendars drawn together with our allies. But I want to emphasize again that we don't intend to prolong these missions. Just like all the European states and the US have considered a calendar for withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Romania should do the same. Of course it won't be a stormy one. It will occur in agreement with our allies, on grounds of a calendar."
According to the new defense minister, Romania will accomplish its missions, but there is need to open domestic and international consulting to draw a troop withdrawal plan. (...) Melescanu mentioned he would start such talks, together with public debate on the issue. He argued: "Such a decision is not to be made by a group or by one single person."
Most ex ministers of defense, except for Democrat Sorin Frunzaverde, attended yesterday's official ceremony when Melescanu took over the Ministry of Defense.
Visit to Iraq
In the second Easter day the new minister paid a sudden visit to Iraq. Even if not a minister yet, he wanted to be close to the Romanian soldiers there for Easter. He managed to reach the Romanian bases there only in the second Easter day, because access is reached only with US special consent. (D.S.S.)