Thank you very much. Mr. Prefect, Mayors, Secretary Aurescu, let me thank you for meeting with me today and for being a part of this very important occasion, and let me also thank Secretary Aurescu for his excellent statement.
It is a great honor for me to be back in Romania on behalf of the United States as we mark this important milestone and also a great privilege for me to travel to Olt County to discuss the deployment of a United States missile defense interceptor site.
The United States and Romania have a strong and cooperative relationship. Romania is a close friend and a valued NATO Ally. Our two countries are working together on some of today’s most pressing security challenges, such as Afghanistan and Libya.
The announcement we have made today is a very important milestone for our two countries and for NATO. It provides Romania with a leading role in NATO’s new missile defense capabilities. This cooperation demonstrates how our two governments are working together to make NATO’s landmark Lisbon decision on missile defense a reality.
The site also provides a new mission and new opportunities for Deveselu Air Base and the nearby towns. We are very appreciative of the excellent cooperation we received from the Romanian Government as we conducted our review of potential sites. Of all the sites we reviewed, Deveselu ranked the highest in terms of suitability, as well as ease of development. The site has many advantages, including existing infrastructure and advantageous geography.
The United States looks forward to continuing and enhancing our bilateral relationship with Romania over the coming years and working together to strengthen NATO. Doing so will increase the security and protection of both of our nations and our Allies.
Thank you very much.