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Deputy Secretary General in Romania outlines NATO's response to new security environment

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

29 Aug. 2016

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow outlined NATO's response to the new security environment in a speech at the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy in Bucharest on Monday (29 August 2016). Noting that challenges posed by Russia and from terrorism "will be with us for many years to come," he stressed that "NATO has always done what was necessary to protect the territory of its Allies and the freedom of its people."

Ambassador Vershbow welcomed the important contributions Romania is making to the Alliance, including through hosting key elements of NATO's missile defence system at Deveselu. "Romania's commitment to NATO is most clear in Afghanistan, where not only it is the sixth largest contributor of troops, but those troops are based in one of the most hostile areas," he said.

In response to challenges from the east, the Deputy Secretary General noted that NATO will enhance its forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, as well as in southeastern Europe, including Romania. An existing Romanian brigade has been offered as the framework for a multinational brigade, and will serve as a "focal point for extensive training of NATO forces in the region," he said. "That means more NATO forces, and more exercises and training, right here in Romania."

Ambassador Vershbow also outlined NATO's response to challenges from the south, highlighting that the Alliance will step up support for the US-led coalition to counter ISIL, increase its presence in the Mediterranean, and significantly strengthen support for partners in the Middle East and North Africa. He noted that NATO will soon begin training in Iraq. All of this will help "project stability beyond our borders," he said.

While in Bucharest, the Deputy Secretary General was awarded the prestigious "Star of Romania" by President Klaus Werner Iohannis, honouring Ambassador Vershbow's years of service to international security. Ambassador Vershbow also met and addressed the media with Foreign Minister Lazăr Comănescu.

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