NATO PA President: Romania is one of NATO's and Euro-Atlantic security most important partners

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NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Paolo Alli on Friday said that Romania is one of the most important partners of the North Atlantic Alliance and is "actively involved in the common security."

"I believe Romania, today, is one of the most important partners of NATO and of the Euro-Atlantic security. Not only you have established to invest 2 percent of the GDP in defence, but you also contribute to the military missions of Afghanistan with troops and to the KFOR mission of Kosovo. Moreover, you have organised the ballistic missile defence systems. Romania is actively involved in the common security," Alli said in the opening conference of the NATO PA, which is taking place over four days in Bucharest.

He maintained that on the Alliance's eastern flank there are "increasing tensions with Russia and the security in the Black Sea is crucial not only for Romania, Bulgaria and other countries neighbouring the Black Sea, but also for Europe and for the North Atlantic Alliance."

"Russia's aggressive conduct, unfortunately, lately. They are still very aggressive in Crimea, in Ukraine, in Moldova, in Georgia. It is important for this reason for NATO PA to show how devoted we are to the military support and effort, but not only military, but also political, to deal with these challenges. That is why we had our spring session in Tbilisi in Georgia and we had initiatives in Ukraine, the North Atlantic Council had an official meeting in Ukraine and today we are here, in Bucharest, for this important session," the NATO PA President added.

Alli maintained that among the topics to be approached within the NATO PA in Bucharest there is also the cooperation between NATO and the EU in respect to the common defence system.

"It is a very long discussion in the EU about how to build a common defence system, which wouldn't be an alternative to NATO, but would go in parallel. This is a political matter which we'll discuss in our Assembly and I believe we can definitely focus on the south. You know that NATO has decided to create a new military centre in Naples, in the south. It is an important political decision for NATO to ensure an organisation centre in the south, to understand what are the threats coming from the east, but also coming from the south — the refugee crisis, terrorism, migration," Alli explained.

He added that "increasing the efforts in Afghanistan" will also be discussed, as well as the relations between NATO and Russia, mentioning, at the same time, as "a personal concern," the situation in the Western Balkans.

"I believe the situation here must be stabilised as soon as possible and that we, as NATO and EU, must make the greatest efforts together to improve and speed up the Euro-Atlantic integration of the most problematical areas in the Western Balkans, because in Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, too, there are very different situations and, unfortunately, they are very hard to counteract," the NATO PA President concluded. AGERPRES (RO — author: Doroteea Purcarea, editor: Andreea Rotaru; EN — author: Adina Panaitescu, editor: Rodica State)

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