The United States of America (the United States) and Romania share a history of close ties between our people, a commitment to democracy, an enduring strategic relationship, and a willingness to confront common challenges and threats. Strong, deep ties connect the people of the United States and Romania through cultural, economic, and scientific relations. This Strategic Partnership reflects the excellent and broadening cooperation between our countries to promote security, democracy, free market opportunities, and cultural exchange.
We believe that the continued development of a durable and long-term Strategic Partnership increases the security of the United States and Romania, as well as the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. The cornerstone of our cooperation is the solidarity embodied in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which provides that an armed attack against one or more North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries shall be considered an armed attack against them all. The United States and Romania acknowledge the importance of enhancing their individual and collective security by working within NATO, the United Nations, and other international organizations, consistent with United Nations Charter and international law.
Today, security cooperation between Romania and the United States is robust. We welcome the fact that the United States and Romania have reached agreement on stationing in Romania elements of the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense, which is an extremely valuable contribution to the development of a NATO missile defense capability. In this context, on May 3, 2011, the United States and Romania announced the selection of Deveselu Airbase as the site of the facility, thus reaffirming the commitment of both our countries to missile defense. The deployment is anticipated to occur in the 2015 timeframe. The United States and Romania welcome the November 2010 decision by NATO to develop a missile defense capability to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory, and forces. The Deveselu facility is an important component of that capability.
Romania and the United States also cooperate broadly and successfully on security, including through Task Force East, enabling U.S. European Command and its service components periodically to deploy to Romania to work with Romanian partners and effectively conduct training exercises with military forces from the Central European and Black Sea regions. Such cooperation has proceeded on the basis of the Agreement between the United States of America and Romania regarding the Activities of United States Forces located on the Territory of Romania, done in Bucharest on December 6, 2005. We are seeking to work together on a regional approach that can help interested European countries modernize their air forces.
Romania and the United States also have partnered effectively, both bilaterally and in the context of NATO operations, such as the NATO Training Mission in Iraq, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, the Kosovo Force (KFOR), and Operation Unified Protector in Libya and other operations, such as Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The United States welcomes Romanian approval for a U.S. request to use Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase and the nearby port of Constanta as a logistical hub for U.S. materiel in transit to and from Afghanistan and other areas of operation. Both nations believe that such cooperation brings long-term mutual benefits for our security relationship and strengthens the NATO Alliance.
We continue to support opportunities for increased trade and investment, cooperation between our business communities, and the development of deeper industrial and technological cooperation.
President Obama has endorsed legislation co-sponsored by several members of Congress that would reform how countries qualify for the Visa Waiver Program to ensure that strong Allies get proper consideration. This legislation requires that aspirants to the Visa Waiver Program commit to enhanced counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States. We look forward to Romania meeting this objective.
In pursuit of a common vision of broader and deeper United States – Romania Strategic Partnership, the United States and Romania have identified the following areas for strengthened cooperation:
Our resilient and dynamic Strategic Partnership can enhance the security and prosperity of both Romania and the United States, and we look forward to our future cooperation.
Washington, D.C., September 13, 2011