President: Romania to keep its military in Kosovo, Afghanistan

Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Friday that his country is going to keep its troops in Kosovo and Afghanistan till the NATO mission is concluded.

Basescu made the statement at the end of the meeting with the visiting NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who is paying a visit to Romania in the context of the conclusion of his mandate with the alliance.

“As for Kosovo and Afghanistan, I can say that our standpoint is that the Romanian troops will be further kept in both theaters of operations till the mission comes to an end,” the president was quoted as saying by the official news agency.

Basescu added that Romania will supplement the troops deployed in Afghanistan with 140-150 troops, after the Parliament approved this increase at the year-start.

“In the following months, Romania will supplement its troops in Afghanistan by some 140-150 military, especially in the intelligence activity zones, medical assistance and the training of Afghani troops,” he added.

The NATO secretary general voiced respect for the Romanian soldiers who are fighting in the Alliance’s theaters of operations, conveying condolences to the families of the 11 military who “paid the ultimate price during their missions.”

On the other hand, President Basescu reminded that during the mandate of Jaap de Hoop Scheffer Romania passed through two stages- of a newly entered member of the Alliance and at the end of his mandate – having the status of a solid and credible member of the Alliance.

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