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Defence Minister Gabriel Les said on Tuesday at the repatriation ceremony of posthumous Sub-Lieutenant Ciprian-Stefan Polschi and diplomat Vasile Raduna, both killed in Kabul, that Romania remains "unwavering" in its determination to contribute to the international effort to fight against terrorism.

"Our comrades in Afghanistan bring the kindness and compassion of the Romanian people, they are commended by both the alliance and the Afghan partners, and especially by the civilian population, for their friendship, loyalty and humanity. Those who go there in the name of Romania and the international alliance must know that we remain unwavering in our determination to contribute to the international effort to fight against terrorism. The news of the deaths of the two heroes has fallen like lightning in their families and among the friends and fellow soldiers who knew and commended them. Since then, the Romanian Army has been weeping. It is also weeping today at their coffins decked in the national flag. Nothing and no one will bring them back, but their place is everlasting in our memory. I want once again to reassure their families that we are together in this terrible suffering and especially that we will continue to support and comfort them from now on, just as we did for the families of each of our heroes. May God comfort the bereaved families and bless Romania!," said Les.

Also attending the repatriation ceremony, which took place at the 90th Airlift Base in Otopeni, were Foreign Ministry Ramona Manescu and members of the bereaved families.

A religious service was officiated, followed by the reading out of the order under which the defence minister promoted Corporal Ciprian-Stefan Polschi to the rank of sub-lieutenant posthumously. Also read out was a decree under which the two were decorated posthumously by the President of Romania with Romania's Star in the rank of Knight, with war insignias.

Sub-lieutenant Ciprian-Stefan Polschi, a driver with the NATO command in Kabul lost his life on September 5, following the explosion of a car bomb near the Green Zone in the capital of Afghanistan, while at the wheel of a service vehicle.

Raduna of Romania's diplomatic corps in Kabul died during the night of September 2 in a terrorist attack that took place on the compound where the Romanian Embassy was located. AGERPRES (RO - author: Cristian Lupascu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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