Well, good day. And it’s a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Romania. He and I will soon exchange, and after signing, the Protocols of Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the U.S.-Romania Mutual Legal Assistance Protocol and the U.S.-Romania Extradition Treaty.
These twin agreements between the United States and Romania will allow police and prosecutors in both countries to employ state-of-the-art tools to cooperate more effectively to bring criminals to justice on both sides of the Atlantic. The agreement will form part of an important network of similar agreements that the United States is reaching with all the countries of the European Union.
Our signing today demonstrates the growing law enforcement cooperation between the United States and Romania. And this fruitful cooperation has already led to the prosecution of internet hackers and the seizure of tons of illicit drugs destined for Europe. The United States looks forward to not only our future cooperation, but future successes such as that.
This law enforcement cooperation is in addition to our longstanding work together on global security priorities. We are particularly grateful for Romania’s commitment to missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, as well as Romania’s decision to host joint military exercises with the U.S. military.
I must say that I had the great privilege of visiting Romania about ten years ago. I hope to have the opportunity to return sometime in the future. But Romania is one of our most dependable allies and most respected partners. The agreements signed today represent yet another facet of our close and valuable relationship.
Thank you very much, Mr. Minister, and I welcome you to make remarks.FOREIGN MINISTER DIACONESCU:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. I appreciate your remarks and I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet together with our delegation, and also extremely grateful for the kind words addressed to my country.
It was a timely opportunity to reconfirm together the strategic partnership between our countries, the soundness of the Romanian-United States bilateral relations. And I was pleased to discuss with you today the way ahead on political, economic, and strategic dimensions of this partnership.
The protocols that we are about to sign represent an important step forward in our commitment to a more secure Euro-Atlantic area. And we agreed together that the Black Sea and Eastern Europe are areas of great potential for democratic and economic development in the future. And I can tell you that United States together with Romania will work hard in order to address democracy values, in order to respect standards, and to engage in projects for stability and security of these regions.
Also, we discussed about energy security. And I can inform you that we figured out opportunities to work together in this field, and to have the necessary political-economic decision in the near future for the projects of energy security, which really are extremely important for both countries.
At the same time, in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, Romania proved readiness and willingness to assume our shared responsibility, also in the future in support of freedom and democratic developments which really together with United States, we hope to be fulfilled as soon as possible.
In our bilateral dialogue, beyond the economic field, of course, we addressed the issue of how we are going to work together to facilitate reciprocal travel for our citizens through Romania’s inclusion in Visa Waiver Program.
I thank you very much, Madame Secretary, for your cooperation and the dialogue.SECRETARY CLINTON:
Thank you so much, Mr. Minister. Thank you. Please.MODERATOR:
The Secretary and the Foreign Minister will now begin signing, as noted, the Protocol of Exchange of Instruments of Ratification of the Extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Romania, and the Protocol of Exchange of Instruments of Ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty between the United States of America and Romania on Mutual Legal Assistance and Criminal Matters.
(The agreements were signed.)MODERATOR:
This concludes our ceremony. Thank you for joining us.