CANCELLATION of news item broadcast on Saturday at 15:15 on the English section of the public website

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The news item with the title "DefMin Fifor: We are very aware of bureaucratic procedures at borders; we spoke in gov't of so-called military Schengen," broadcast on Saturday, at 15:12 on the English newswire is being cancelled, following the notifications coming from the National Defence Ministry (MApN), according to which, "from the first verifications, the Defence Minister's statements were erroneously translated, deeply changing the sense of those stated."

We hereby mention that the translation does not belong to the AGERPRES National News Agency, as the simultaneous translation was ensured by the organisers of the 63rd annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, carried out at the Palace of Parliament.

We are broadcasting below the MApN clarifications on this topic:

Following the media taking over National Defence Minister Mihai Fifor's statements made during the works of the committee on defence and security of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Press Department of the MApN is making the following clarifications:

We firmly deny the idea launched in the public space, according to which the set-up of a military Schengen area was discussed in Romania's Government. We mention that the phrase 'military Schengen' generically refers to the simplification of the procedures and legislation of the European countries, in order to facilitate the movement of NATO troops, from one country to another, so that the participation in exercises with a large number of troops and equipment take place swiftly.

Since 2014 until now, NATO and Romania's Army made substantial efforts in order to increase the operational capacity of the NATO Response Force for an efficient response of the Alliance in crisis situations.

Minister Mihai Fifor, in the speech delivered, pointed out that a military Schengen cannot be done without our country continuing its demarches to join the Schengen area. Romania has met all the requirements that were imposed, according to the agreed and assumed terms.

We are broadcasting below the exact statement of the Defence Minister on this topic:

"We also speak of bureaucracy. We are very aware of the bureaucratic procedures at Romania's borders. This is the reason why we insist, and I do it on behalf of the Government, too, we cannot talk about a military Schengen, without talking about the Schengen area itself. Of course, the military convoys stay in line at the borders, because these are the rules. We are trying to create new rules, but they are part of the general policy of the Schengen area. I am pointing this out once more: if we must discuss a military Schengen, we must go back to the agenda of Schengen itself and discuss it once more. I strongly believe that Romania deserves to be part of the Schengen area, this is an important aspect to us in our efforts to prove that we are a trustworthy partner of the Alliance, as well as of the US.

The Press Department

*** The clarifications come in the context in which, according to the official translation of the organisers, the National Defence Minister, Mihai Fifor, would have made on Saturday, during the 63rd annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the following statement:

"You have also spoken of bureaucracy. We are very aware of the bureaucratic procedures at Romania's borders, that is why we insisted and we also discussed in our Government, we discussed about a so-called military Schengen, not to mention Schengen itself. Of course, the military convoys stay in line at the border, because these are the rules. We are somehow trying to create new rules, but all are part of the general policy referring to Schengen. I underscore this once more. If we must discuss a military Schengen, let's go back to the agenda of Schengen itself and discuss it once more. I believe Romania deserves to be part of the Schengen area. This is an important aspect to us in our efforts to prove that we are a trustworthy partner for the Alliance, as well as for the US."

DefMin Fifor: We are very aware of bureaucratic procedures at borders; we spoke in gov't of so-called military Schengen

Romanian National Defence Minister Mihai Fifor on Saturday said that in the Government there have been discussions on a so-called military Schengen

"You have also spoken of bureaucracy. We are very aware of the bureaucratic procedures at Romania's borders, that is why we insisted and we also discussed in our Government, we discussed about a so-called military Schengen, not to mention Schengen itself. Of course, the military convoys stay in line at the border, because these are the rules. We are somehow trying to create new rules, but all are part of the general policy referring to Schengen. I underscore this once more. If we must discuss a military Schengen, let's go back to the agenda of Schengen itself and discuss it once more. I believe Romania deserves to be part of the Schengen area. This is an important aspect to us in our efforts to prove that we are a trustworthy partner for the Alliance, as well as for the US," Fifor said in the committee on defence and security within the 63rd annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which is taking place at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest.

Further on, the Defence Minister also spoke of Romania's naval endowment.

"We are also planning on renewing the maritime capacities, our endowment programme, one of the 8 programmes approved, refers to four corvettes that will be made here in Romania, at least we want to make them in Romania, under an industrial cooperation programme. We're still looking for partners to be able to initiate these works and we hope to begin in 2018 to be able to see this programme through. No one can speak of confronting with them the capacities of the Russian fleet which is quite present in the Black Sea regions, but we believe we have a deterrence role, here in the Black Sea regions, that is why we also want to consolidate the naval forces. These four corvettes are but a part of our endowment programme," Fifor mentioned.

The Defence Minister drew the attention on the terrorism issue, as well.

"We weren't saying that terrorism in the Balkan states increased as numbers, but it is among the main threats, same as migrants, same as Russia, they all must be had in view. There are challenges and threats and we must be prepared for them. Romania has recently become a door for migrants on the Black Sea coast and we are confronted with these problems and we believe this is a new issue for Romania and we are granting it an enhanced attention," he showed. AGERPRES (RO — author: Dana Piciu, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN — editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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