On Thursday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, President Klaus Iohannis welcomed Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, underlining the need to implement as soon as possible the latest measures to increase NATO presence in Romania and elsewhere on the NATO eastern flank.
According to the Presidential Administration, discussions at the meeting also focused on the strategic partnership between Romania and Turkey and its development prospects, with emphasis on security and defence, the NATO agenda ahead of a Madrid summit, as well as the security state of play in the Black Sea region.
Iohannis mentioned excellent results of the co-operation between Romania and Turkey in bilateral, regional and NATO defence matters, especially their joint participation in multinational exercises and missions under the auspices of NATO, the EU, the UN and OSCE.
He also thanked Turkey for its contribution to the deterrence and defence measures on the eastern flank and to NATO components in Romania, underscoring the need to implement as soon as possible the latest measures to increase NATO presence in Romania and elsewhere on the eastern flank, from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, including the NATO battlegroup in Romania.
Iohannis praised the Romanian-Turkish co-operation for containing the effects caused by the current energy crisis.
As stated in the official press release, in preparation for the NATO summit in Madrid, the Romanian chief of state emphasized the importance of obtaining substantial results for the years to come that will be the basis for NATO's adaptation to the new security challenges.
Iohannis highlighted the need for the New Strategic Concept to accurately reflect the new reality in terms of security and to respond adequately to the serious security situation created in the Black Sea region as a result of the war launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.
Regarding the security crisis in the region, Iohannis said that Russia's military invasion of Ukraine posed the worst threat to European security since WWII and strongly condemned the crimes committed by Russian troops against civilians, as well as massive destruction inflicted on inhabited areas and civilian infrastructure.
He mentioned Romania's complex efforts in support of Ukraine in political, logistical and humanitarian terms, appreciating Turkey's role as mediator and its efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table to find a diplomatic solution, in accordance with the international law.
The President also underscored the importance of supporting Moldova politically and economically, and its management of Ukrainian refugees, as well as in case of a possible new energy crisis.
According to the Presidential Administration, Turkey's Defence Minister Akar commended Turkey's bilateral co-operation relations with Romania and highlighted the interest of his country in continuing their development and diversification on all levels. At the same time, Akar thanked Romania for its outstanding contribution to the stability and security of the eastern flank and highlighted the need for regional co-operation as NATO member states and Black Sea countries.