Melescanu: Partnership for Peace signed in 1994 sent Romania into the spotlight

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The signing of the Partnership for Peace in 1994 turned Romania into the country of the hour at that time, marking an important step in the evolution of its relations with the United States of America and NATO, director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Teodor Melescanu on Tuesday told a round table conference marking the 20th anniversary of Romania's signing the Partnership for Peace Framework Document.

According to Melescanu, the signing of the document sent Romania to the forefront of Central and Eastern European countries in terms of relations with NATO.

"The signing by Romania of the Partnership for Peace may appear as a haphazard element, that happened for nobody knows what reason. We only know it was a first and that Romania was the first country to sign the Partnership. But this was a thoroughly prepared action, as concerns the relationship with the U.S. in the first place. (...) We were the country that broke the ice, as it was considered that once a country signs the Partnership, this will be a signal for the other states to do so too," said Melescanu, a Foreign Minister at that time.

A key element, in Teodor Melescanu's opinion, was the establishment on November 3, 1993 by all the political parties represented in the Romanian Parliament, of a National Advisory Council for Euro-Atlantic Integration.

"The central objective was to create the fundamental political support for achieving the integration of Romania into the European, Euro-Atlantic structures, NATO included. Back in 1993 Romanian politics were experiencing a fairly complicated time. We must credit the then policy-makers representing various currents in Parliament for having known how to put behind their petty battles and reach across the aisle for achieving an objective of genuine national importance. (...) We saw that when Romania sets itself clear foreign policy objectives and gains political support, our diplomacy is capable of carrying through whatever project, no matter how difficult," added Melescanu.

Attending the event, among others, were former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana and Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu. AGERPRES

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