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Romania's main objectives in the defence field, in the context of the Strategic Partnership with the US, were approached on Tuesday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, at a meeting with the CEO of the US company of military products and services Lockheed Martin Corporation, Marillyn A. Hewson, who is currently paying a visit to Bucharest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informed in a press release.

Also attending the meeting was US Ambassador to Bucharest Adrian Zuckerman.

According to the MAE, Minister Aurescu underscored that Romania and the United States have a very strong strategic partnership, with an "important" development potential, and remarked the role of cooperation with the US partners, such as the Lockheed Martin company, in strengthening this partnership on its defence, economic and research dimensions.

Moreover, he highlighted how important is for Romania to ensure national and regional security and to observe its commitments made under the North-Atlantic Alliance.

In this context, the Minister of Foreign Affairs specified that Romania maintains its commitment to earmark 2 per cent of its budget to defence and to continue efforts to strengthen national defence capabilities, shows the MAE release.

The head of the diplomacy maintained the main objectives of Romania in the defence field, the cooperation with the US being especially important, both in terms of endowment with the equipment needed in the specific security context in the Black Sea region and when it comes to ensuring a substantial military presence of the US partner in Romania.

They also reviewed on the same occasion the tradition and diversity of cooperation between Romania and Lockheed Martin, and also the opportunities in strengthening collaboration, both in the defence industry and through projects related to maintenance and modernisation of certain equipment in the aviation field, and in research.

The Romanian Minister underscored the interest in developing research projects in Romania, through the involvement of researchers in our country, with an emphasis on the new technologies. Moreover, Aurescu also evoked the possibility of some projects part of the cultural dimension of the Strategic Partnership that might support Lockheed Martin in Romania.

In her turn, Marillyn Hewson showed interest in continuing Lockheed Martin Corporation's involvement in our country and, "while underscoring the existence in Romania of skilled and talented workforce and a solid industrial foundation," and she supported the objective of developing common projects in the defence and research field, with an emphasis on the new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

According to the MAE, Lockheed Martin is the largest company of military products and services worldwide in terms of revenue. In 2018, the corporation's sales reached 53.8 billion US dollars, and the company ranked 59th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest industrial corporations. Lockheed Martin is present in 75 countries worldwide, including Romania (since 1997) and has approximately 105,000 employees. AGERPRES (RO - author: Catalina Matei, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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