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Portuguese PM: We support Romania's Schengen accession, our forces defend all NATO countries' borders

F. P.
Reuters - Agerpres
Antonio Costa

Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic Antonio Costa, on a working visit to Romania, conveyed on Thursday his support for Romania's accession to the Schengen Area.

"This is my first bilateral visit in my new term as Prime Minister and I am very pleased to be here in Romania. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Romanian community living in Portugal for its highly positive integration, and for having contributed in recent decades to the development of our country. (...) We are unquestionably supporters of Romania's Schengen bid and we hope that this integration into the Schengen Area will facilitate the movement of Romanians living in Portugal, exchanges between our countries and peoples, "Antonio Costa told a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.

He stressed that the Romanian-Portuguese agreement on defense cooperation, signed during his visit to Bucharest, will increase military cooperation between the two countries.

"During our talks, we have identified various areas of cooperation - in the field of energy and in the resilience programs of the two countries and we will find opportunities to make profitable our countries' support for cooperation and resilience. In recent years we have had excellent experience in bilateral defense cooperation, the best example being the program we have developed together for the purchase of F16 aircraft, and the agreement signed today by the Defense Ministers will also deepen military cooperation," said Antonio Costa.

Portuguese Prime Minister Costa referred to the mission of the Portuguese armed forces in Romania, emphasizing that NATO will defend the territory of any Alliance country.

"It is a great honor for our armed forces to carry out in Romania the mission assigned to us by NATO to strengthen the defense and the deterrence capacity in the eastern part of NATO, at a time when Europe is facing a belligerent attitude, of violation of international law and barbaric attack conducted by Russia in Ukraine. It is once again the best opportunity to assert our alliance and the full defense of the territory of any NATO country. We, who are in the extreme west of Europe, have no doubt that our security border starts here in Romania, it starts at each of the NATO countries' borders. Defending our borders means not only defending our national borders, but also the borders of each of our allies. Our armed forces are defending the borders of all NATO countries. We are confident that we will contribute to the protection of all and that we will all have better security and we will be able to ensure peace in Europe," added Antonio Costa.

According to him, peace in Europe is "an emergency" and war must cease and human lives and the right to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be defended.

The Portuguese Prime Minister expressed readiness to deepen the cooperation between the two countries, through the activity of the working groups that will be created. AGERPRES

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