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  Nr. 4199 de miercuri, 2 aprilie 2008 
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NATO, a factor of stability in the Balkans

Romania would like to see a comprehensive round of enlargement, with candidate states from the Balkans NATO has been instrumental in building peace and stability

I am confident that the 2008 NATO Summit will mark a major step forward in implementing the ambitious agenda the allied states have set for this organization.

From the beginning, Romania has been an active participant in the Allies’ dialogue and an important contributor to all the main NATO operations and missions along with the armed forces of the other allies. The Romanian military contribution to these operations is an expression of our solidarity within the Alliance, a necessary investment in our own security, in our future and in the common future of our Allies.

Romania has high expectations regarding the decisions on enlargement and the development of partnerships, and we are aware that consensus is essential among the Allies. We hope the Bucharest Summit will bring a new wave of enlargement, by inviting the new democratic nations in the Balkans to start the accession negotiations to NATO.

Romania does believe that enlargement is one of the driving forces for the development of NATO goals for peace and stability. Moreover, the enlargement process means bringing the Alliance closer to the areas of instability as the Balkans. NATO has been instrumental in building peace and stability to this part of the world, but more must be done to fully integrate the countries in this region into the European mainstream.

Alliance has to assume new responsibilities and new roles

The strategic insight and the experience new members bring to NATO will contribute to the extension of transatlantic policies to this new neighbouring region. We are convinced that the new members will bring political and strategic value to the Alliance, and will support the transformation with their forces and their willingness to invest in a strong and efficient organisation.

As in previous rounds of enlargement, the Bucharest decision will ultimately be a political one, based on the accomplishments of each candidate and on the regional context. Romania would like to see a comprehensive round of enlargement, with all three candidate states from the Balkans.

In a globalized world, Romania, as a part of an Alliance with a global outreach, has to assume new responsibilities and new roles to cope with the current security challenges. It is part of the new NATO shift from its prior inward focus on threats within Europe to a new outward look to the challenges beyond Europe.

That is why we are talking today about a renewed Alliance for a changed world. Our security depends on meeting global threats at a strategic distance, like in Afghanistan. NATO has transformed fundamentally to meet these new security challenges, such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber attacks, energy security etc.

NATO must further strengthen its relations with its partners

The Alliance should remain relevant at its 60s, which means investing additional political will and resources to improve our capabilities to become more flexible and capable of carrying out the new missions. Furthermore, there is still much to be done to develop stability at Europe’s periphery, and NATO has to find new ways to expand and develop its partnerships.

As for global security, NATO must further strengthen its relations with its partners by working with nations across the world to share our security concerns. For sure, a global partnership would not dilute the unique transatlantic character of NATO. Conceptually, both the enlargement and the transformation start from the same premise of promoting and defending democratic values and principles. These values are at the core of the membership, as well as at the basis of the commitment to develop NATO’s new roles and missions.

Teodor MELESCANU, Minister of Defence
A r h i v a
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