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AGERPRES special correspondent Florentina Peia reports: Romania is "fully devoted" to a strong transatlantic relation and a close cooperation between the EU and the US and between the EU and NATO, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday.

"A strong transatlantic cooperation has always been and will remain an essential prerequisite for our economies' and our citizens' prosperity. The transatlantic partnership remains the essential strategic relation on the global arena. Together, our countries represent by far the group of countries with the highest influence in the world, which shouldn't represent, nonetheless, a reason for negligence. Romania is fully devoted to a strong transatlantic relation, a close cooperation between the EU and the US, as well as between the EU and NATO. As a strategic partner of the US, Romania believes its mandate at the Presidency of the EU Council represents an opportunity to promote a positive cooperation agenda between the European Union and the United States," the head of state maintained at the Annual Transatlantic Conference, organised by AmCham EU in Brussels.

He underscored that the transatlantic relation is an "anchor" of global stability and "the engine" of common prosperity.

"A strong, united Europe, with a successful economy remains a necessity for the US. Europe's security and prosperity cannot be separated from America's security and prosperity. The economic relation between the US and Europe is the most comprehensive and the most important in the world," Iohannis said.

Iohannis pointed out that commercial exchanges take place each year worth one trillion dollars in goods and services on the transatlantic relation, with round 7 million jobs created in the US and 5 million in the EU. He added that over 70 percent of the foreign direct investments in the US come from Europe.

"Europe is good for US business and we are glad to see this. (...) It is true that the EU exports more goods to the US than it imports, but the situation compensates when it comes to services. Each side benefits from competitive advantages, but together we are stronger than the sum of parts," Iohannis maintained.

He pointed out that the EU would have to adapt its commercial policy to defend the strategic interests of its members and to reflect the new realities in the world economy, including in the context of the situations involving anti-competitive practices.

In context, the head of state pointed out that Romania supports the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation.

"More transparency is needed, as well as establishing some mechanisms meant to approach, in incipient stages, the commercial tensions among partners," Iohannis mentioned.

He showed that a renewal of the US commitment in Europe is needed in strategic areas such as energy, new technologies and critical infrastructure, as well as strengthening cooperation in the cyber security and digital infrastructure area. Iohannis also said that additional measures are required in order to support entrepreneurship and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises and the strategic cooperation in the energy area must be intensified.

"The US can play an essential role in regards to our continent's energy security. US companies have started a true energy revolution in America, and this evolution can prove essential for Europe's energy security from the perspective of the energy options of the region. I am encouraging US companies to seriously and on long-term shift their attention to their counterparts in Europe and to the business opportunities on this coast of the Atlantic," Iohannis said.

According to the Romanian President, the world is confronted with serious challenges such as climate changes, migration, terrorism and populism. He added that the security and defence area becomes increasingly more important.

"The real economic difficulties are felt by far too many citizens, on both sides of the Atlantic. We must act together and show there's a future for all and that no one will be left behind," the President said.

In his opinion, the world will further face challenges and difficulties, however these could be overcome with "a little wisdom and collective moderation."

"Our close political, economic and strategic alliance is the result of our common interests in our recent history, but what truly connects us is sharing the same values," Iohannis pointed out.

President Klaus Iohannis will participate in the European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, he will also participate in the EPP Summit and have a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Adina Panaitescu, editor: Rodica State)

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