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Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and US Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm on Monday discussed the possibility of lifting the short-stay visa requirements for Romanian citizens travelling to the US in 2018, by including Romania in the Visa Waiver Program.

The Government said in a press statement that Dancila welcomed Klemm at the Government House on a presentation visit.

The Romanian prime minister and the US ambassador reviewed the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States, pointing to "very positive dynamics" in 2017 and its development prospects.

"Prime Minister Viorica Dancila voiced the firm commitment of her and her entire Cabinet to further expand and deepen the Strategic Partnership on all its dimensions, highlighting Romania's special role in the relationship with the United States in the economy of Romania's foreign and security policy."

At the same time, Dancila and Klemm discussed the visa requirements for the Romanian nationals travelling to the US.

"Upon reviewing the decisive aspects of the Romanian-American bilateral cooperation, the Romanian prime minister approached prospects for lifting this year the short-stay visa requirements for Romanian citizens travelling to the US by including Romania in the Visa Waiver Program."

The Romanian official also highlighted a significant increase in the allocation of resources for Romania's defence acquisitions and an increase in its defence capabilities, while voicing her belief that procurement programmes will play an important role in the entirety of the Strategic Partnership, and will have effects beyond security cooperation, including boosting economic cooperation between Romania and the US.

"Both officials expressed their determination to work together to strengthen the economic component of the Strategic Partnership, building on the very good results of bilateral co-operation in 2017," the statement said.

Dancila underlined the openness of the Romanian economy to US investors, encouraging the US diplomatic mission in Bucharest to submit as soon as possible a list of US companies interested in investing in Romania.

"The prime minister stressed the importance of American investors to the Romanian market, highlighting the importance attached by the Romanian Executive to this major investment project," the statement said.

Dancila added that the completion and success of this project are essential for the deepening bilateral economic cooperation.

She also highlighted the consistency of Romania's candidacy for OECD membership, asking the US for support to advance it.

"Prime Minister Viorica Dancila expressed concern about the fall last week in the Dow Jones index and hopes that this situation will not continue because it would generate potentially global effects."

At today's meeting, the Romanian prime minister extended the US side an invitation to participate, at the highest level in Bucharest, this September, in the "Three Seas Initiative" summit meeting.

In his turn, Klemm voiced his conviction that the positive dynamics in the bilateral relationship will continue, as well as the interest of the US diplomatic mission in Bucharest to continue dialogue with Romanian institutions in order to implement the joint projects and capitalise on the opportunities provided by the Strategic Partnership for promotion of values and interests of the two partner countries.

"The US ambassador conveyed the appreciation of the United States for the fact that Romania is promoting a gender equality model by appointing a woman at the helm of the Executive, voicing his readiness to support its efforts to strengthen Romania and the Romanian-American relations," the release also reads. AGERPRES (RO - author: Madalina Cerban, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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