Assistant Secretary Nuland: I am so delighted to be back in Romania after a number of years and so early in my tenure as Assistant Secretary, and particularly on the Foreign Minister’s birthday. I thank you for taking some time out of your special day and particularly on a Saturday for this really rich, robust and important set of strategic consultations.
The Foreign Minister has made my job easy because I agree with his characterization of the very long, deep and robust consultations that we had today. I began by bringing the congratulations of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel, and the American people to Romania on the tenth anniversary of your accession to NATO and to celebrate all that we have done together strategically for the Transatlantic community and globally in those ten years, to thank Romania for all that it has done with us in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the Balkans, and on missile defenses. We have a very important strategic Alliance on all of those issues.
As the Foreign Minister made clear, it is a very important year in 2014 as well in our bilateral economic relationship, and in the United States’ economic relationship with the European Union and with the Transatlantic community, as we have launched the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations for a free trade area from Los Angeles to Lithuania, as I like to say. This will bring jobs and growth to all of our people. Romania is growing again. Europe is growing again. The United States is growing again. It’s not enough for us simply to recover, however; we need to really demonstrate to our people that when we work together we are all more prosperous, the world is freer and more open, and with more opportunities. So the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a key part of that. The U.S.-Romanian economic partnership, our investment here, is a key engine in that context. The United States has a profound interest in the continued development of the rule of law, justice, economic openness, and transparency in Romania. As the Foreign Minister said, we discussed those issues today. We will always be open about the United States’ profound interest in the continued reform and democratic trajectory of Romania, and in the interest we have in seeing rule of law strengthened, because a strong, democratic, prosperous Romania is the best partner for the United States, the best NATO ally, and the best EU member in service to all of the global responsibilities that we share and our strategic partnership.
So it’s been a very, very interesting and good 24 hours here in Bucharest and I am very grateful to the Government and to the President for the opportunity to be here, and I look forward to coming back. Thanks very much.