Romania and Iraq have signed an agreement on keeping Romanian troops in Iraq throughout July 31, 2009, in order to provide humanitarian and medical assistance in the Tallil and Baghdad regions and also to carry out training and counseling activities, the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) reports in a statement.
"The memorandum of understanding between the Romanian Government and the Iraqi Government regulating the activities and status of Romanian troops in Iraq in 2009 was signed today (Monday, Jan 26), under a decision of the January 22, 2009 meeting of the Supreme Council for National Defnece (CSAT)," MAE informs.
The signing of the document came after Iraqi authorities invited Romania, the United States and four other countries to continue their participation in the Iraq's stabilisation and reconstruction bid by keeping the Romanian troops in place even after December 31, 2008 when the mandate of the Multinational Coalition, regulated under the resolutions of the UN Security Council, expired.
On December 22, 2008 upon the request of President Traian Basescu, the Romanian Parliament approved under a decision the continuation of Romanian troops in Iraq after December 31, 2008 under conditions that were to be agreed upon with the Iraqi party. In its turn, the Iraqi Parliament passed a decision on December 23, 2008 approving the continuation of the presence in Iraq of troops from five countries, Romania including, as well as of a NATO contingent in Iraq after December 31, 2008, which meant the juridical conditions for the continuation of Romanian presence there were fulfilled.
The memorandum regulates the concrete types of non-combat operations and activities Romanian troops may continue to carry out in Iraq in agreement with the Iraqi authorities. Thus, Romanian troops are to provide humanitarian and medical assistance in the Tallil and Baghdad regions and carry out training and counseling for the Iraqi Security Forces.
The continuation of Romanian military presence in Iraq, appreciated by the Iraqi Government and the local population, is a confirmation of Romania's vocation as a security provider and it is able to support the consolidation of Romanian economic presence in a country with consistent potentials and exceptional resources.