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AGERPRES special correspondent, Florentina Peia, reports: On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis met with members of the Romanian community on the West Coast of the United States of America, in which context he stated that Romania is in a complicated situation due to the war in Ukraine, but that our country is doing well and the economy is growing.

"Romania is in an extremely complicated situation, on the one hand, for reasons related to the war waged by Russia against Ukraine, (...) on the other hand, I think it is good to know that the Romanians and the Government of Romania they don't sit around for nothing, they get involved, they work and surprisingly, for many, for me, naturally, Romania is doing well and the Romanian economy is growing. It is very, very positive news. Regarding the crises we are facing in Romania, I think that we are in a situation that we have not been in for a long time, it is crisis, over the crisis, over the crisis and yet we manage. (...) I wanted to describe these things to you, so that you understand that we have a situation which, on the one hand, it is full of difficulties, on the other hand, it is full of opportunities and only the ingenuity and inventiveness and dedication of the Romanians means that in all these crises we still have, surprisingly, an economic growth and, unsurprisingly, this innovation, ingenuity and diligence makes you too do well here," Iohannis said.

The president said that Romania received almost 2 and a half million Ukrainian refugees and contributed to the export of grain from Ukraine.

"Until now, 60% of Ukrainian cereals have been exported through Romania, and we are still making efforts to increase this supply," Iohannis said.

He also spoke about the energy crisis, stressing that it is gratifying that the Government managed to keep prices at a reasonable level.

"We can guarantee the Romanians in the country that in winter they will not have to stay in the cold or in the dark, even though the situation is complicated," President Iohannis said.

The president also spoke about the Strategic Partnership with the USA.

"If we want to see what happened in the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the USA in 25 years, we can certainly see, first of all, the security area. And at this moment when we speak, a lot of American soldiers, equipped with of the most modern equipment, are located in the bases in Romania. On the other hand, and thanks to the American support, Romania is in NATO. It is the strongest security guarantee that Romania has ever benefited from, but it is not the only area. The economic zone of the Strategic Partnership has developed a lot lately. There are many companies from the United States that operate in Romania. There are still, unfortunately, very few Romanian companies that operate in the United States, but maybe here there is still room for development," Iohannis also said.

He appreciated the fact that Romanians settled in the United States represent an extraordinarily important bridge between Romania and the USA.

The president was accompanied to the event by his wife, Carmen Iohannis. The two took photos of the participants in the event.

The Romanian Ambassador to the U.S., Andrei Muraru, said that it is more than 17 years since a President of Romania arrived in San Francisco, on the U.S. West Coast.

"I am glad that this meeting with Romanian Americans takes place at a special moment, in the year in which we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States. As the history of the 25 years has proven, we have, indeed, something worth celebrating: friendship, security, prosperity, and in the last year, the value of this partnership has become more evident than ever. This partnership is about people, about what we have achieved together. When I say together, I don't just mean institutions who worked on this edifice, but also to the simple Romanians, who transformed the Strategic Partnership from an idea into a reality: soldiers, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, athletes and many others, who meant to our American friends simply Romania. We have not only allied armies, but we have also allied souls and I am thinking, at the same time, of the members of the Romanian-American community, who contribute with their talent, work, energy and dedication to what the American dream means," Muraru said.

About 300 people took part in the event, being invited representatives of the Romanian community on the West Coast of the USA, as well as the general and honorary consuls of Romania in the USA.

The community of Romanians in the USA is the fifth in number after those in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, and Germany. In 2020, the number of Romanians in the USA was estimated at over 450,000.

On Friday, the president is going to meet with Romanian entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.

President Klaus Iohannis led, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Romanian delegation that participated in the UN General Assembly. In New York, the president also took part in the Global Food Security Summit and had a meeting with the president of the World Bank Group, David Malpass. He also participated with his wife, Carmen Iohannis, in the traditional reception offered by the President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden, and the First Lady of the USA, Jill Biden, in honour of the heads of delegations participating in the UN General Assembly.AGERPRES(RO - editor: Florin Marin; EN - editor: Maria Voican)

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