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President Klaus Iohannis declared on Monday that the B9 Summit is a very important format for the North-Atlantic Alliance, and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, said that the participation of the head of the American administration in these talks, Joe Biden, as well as the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, further highlights that the situation in Eastern and Central Europe deserves to be regarded with special attention.

The two presidents were asked during a joint press conference, at the Cotroceni Palace, about the presence at the Bucharest Format Summit (B9) of the president of the United States and the NATO secretary general.

"This B9 format is formed within the NATO framework and here we are meeting before the NATO summits in order to discuss about the common and specific problems. Before we gather, we had the preparation phase of this summit and I can gladly say that both the president of the United States of America, Joe Biden, as well as the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, have accepted my invitation of joining the talks of the B9 Format. For us, the strategic partnership with the USA and the NATO membership are the essence of our national security, and as a result, the role of the president of the USA and the NATO secretary general within these talks is natural, and that is why I believe it is a very important format for NATO, a format which is important for both Romania as well as for Poland," Klaus Iohannis said.

He specified that within the B9 Summit there will be talks regarding Ukraine.
"The Eastern flank, the problems specific to the Eastern Flank are the priority topics which we will discuss within B9, along with the positions which we will be adopting within the NATO Summit," the head of state explained.

I would not say that it is a B9 Format plus, because B9 is part of NATO, and the NATO secretary general and the US president represent a part of NATO, maybe the most important one, so it is is not a B9 plus format due to their presence. It is just a presence of friends within a NATO meeting, even if it refers to this part of Europe, but we are not separating from the rest. And I want to be very clear that we will always lean towards important matters for us, but we never forget that the general rule of NATO is the 360 degree rule. So, all areas of potential threats, even the ones which are further away from us are being considered, are important to us and we are always taking them into account. We are ready to act, to react, to collaborate, to bring allied help at any given time. (...) The presence of the US president and NATO secretary general (...) shows that the B9 format is an important forum within the Alliance where matters of security are being discussed, and the fact that the two are taking place additionally highlights that the situation from this part of Europe is a situation which deserves to be regarded with special attention, said Andrzej Duda.

He added that both the Ukraine matter, as well as this country's journey towards NATO, its security and the security of the Eastern Flank will definitely have a "special" importance at the NATO summit in Brussels.

So, it is even more important that these matters to be discussed today and to be well prepared in order to present a common position. This format proved its efficiency and I could say that it even impressed our allies the fact that we, the states of Central and Eastern Europe, are very seriously regarding the policy which we are making within the Alliance, regarding the responsibilities that each of us has within this alliance, the president of Poland declared.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, along with the American secretary of state Antony Blinken are taking part on Monday, via video-conference, in the Bucharest Summit Format (B9), hosted by president Klaus Iohannis, along with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. Furthermore, other heads of state will take part in the video-conference from the Bucharest format, as well as the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

The Bucharest Format (B9) is an initiative launched by president Klaus Iohannis and the president of the Polish Republic, Andrzej Duda, where the Alliances' Eastern flank NATO member states participate: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

The first B9 Summit was organized in Bucharest in November 2015. The later high level reunions took place in Warsaw (June 8, 2018) and Kosice (February 28, 2019).AGERPRES(RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Catalin Cristian Trandafir, editor: Maria Voican)

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