Romania will act in accordance with allied decisions on the timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca said after attending a joint meeting of NATO foreign ministers and defence ministers on Wednesday, organized in video conference format.The meeting took place in the context of the completion of the US administration's analysis of Afghanistan and the decision to withdraw US forces by September 11, 2021.
"Following the allied talks, the allied foreign affairs and defence ministers adopted a Joint Declaration of the North Atlantic Council deciding to start the process of withdrawing allied forces from Afghanistan from May 1, 2021. As one of the most important troops-contributing states at the Resolute Support Mission, with over 600 troops currently deployed, Romania will act in accordance with allied decisions regarding the timetable of the withdrawal," the defence minister wrote on his Facebook page.
According to a statement of the Ministry of National Defence, sent to AGERPRES, the Romanian side appreciated, during the meeting, the way of reporting the USA to the whole issue of the situation in Afghanistan, both from the perspective of dialogue and coordination with the Allies, and in terms of boosting negotiations and intra-Afghan peace.
He also stressed Romania's long-term commitment to the stability and security of Afghanistan and pointed out the need to take into account the security interests of the Allies and Afghanistan, as well as the importance of maintaining solidarity and NATO unity.
In this context, Minister Ciuca stressed the importance of focusing attention on the implementation of consistent measures to ensure the protection of NATO forces in Afghanistan in the coming period, along with a coordinated approach to troop withdrawal. The Romanian official also expressed appreciation for the planning process carried out by the NATO Military Authorities, the quoted source shows.
Also, in the context of the discussions, the security situation recently created in the Eastern Neighborhood was addressed. "NATO foreign and defence ministers have expressed concern over recent developments and the significant increase in the presence of Russian military troops in illegally occupied Crimea and the eastern border of Ukraine," the Ministry of Defence said in the release.