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Florence Parly: France stands alongside Romania, it will never abandon its allies and friends

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florence parly

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, on an official visit to Bucharest, gave assurances on Thursday, during a meeting with Minister of National Defense Vasile Dincu, that her country will never abandon its allies and friends and that it will stand alongside Romania.

"France, as a founding member of NATO and the EU, has a role to play in reassuring and protecting its allies and close partners. That is why we have been present in Estonia and Lithuania since 2017 and since 2007 in Poland, Estonia and Lithuania to conduct regular air police missions. We are now patrolling this region, as planned. Mr. Minister, we are living in a difficult time and in this difficult time France stands alongside Romania. France assumes its responsibilities, as it has always done. France will never abandon its allies and friends," said Florence Parly.

The French minister added that the situation is "worrying" on Europe's Eastern Flank and that Romanians "are entitled to strengthen" their own security in the context of tensions in Ukraine.

"I know that the current security situation is worrying on Europe's Eastern Flank. In this context, Romanians are entitled to strengthen their own security, given that tensions in Ukraine are steadily worsening. As ally and as Europeans, we understand your situation and we would like to bring our support. As the President of the Republic, Mr Macron, reminded us last week, we have made a significant contribution to the security of our European partners in NATO missions, and we will continue to do so in the long term. In the same spirit, he also indicated our willingness to go further and still within NATO to engage in new enhanced forward presence missions, especially in Romania, if these missions are decided by NATO," the French minister said.

Florence Parly mentioned that an expert mission will arrive in Romania on Thursday to study the parameters of such a possible development.

"An expert mission with my ministry is arriving in Romania today to study the parameters of this possible development. Such a commitment would be perfectly in line with our current commitments. Our air forces, as well as our navy, are regularly conducting exercises alongside the Romanian navy. This was also the case last year, when the frigate Auvergne patrolled the Black Sea for several weeks and made a stopover in Constanta, and it will also be the case in the future, because we are considering other deployments through 2022. I would like to add that we have seconded officers among the NATO staffs in Bucharest and Sibiu. Thus, the hand extended by the President of the French Republic recalls our commitment to Europe's security," Florence Parly said.

The French official highlighted it is her first visit to an EU member state since France took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January.

"Since 2008, France and Romania have been linked by a strategic partnership that was reaffirmed ten years later, in 2018, during President Iohannis' visit to Paris. But France and Romania are more than just partners. Our countries are friends and they share a long history. I remember one name, that of General Berthelot, who made a decisive contribution to the modernization of the Romanian Army a century ago. I like to believe that today our cooperation is the continuation of this beautiful legacy," she said.

According to the French minister, France also supports the Romanian Army in the modernization process, mentioning in this sense the corvette program.

"France and its industry are fully engaged, involved in helping the Romanian armed forces to move to a new stage in their modernization, especially in the case of corvettes. Our operational cooperation is very strong as well. We have a long history of common commitments. We will soon be deployed alongside side by side, to fight terrorism, because your Parliament has authorized the deployment of a Romanian contingent in the midst of the European Takuba Task Force," Florence Parly specified, Agerpres informs.

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