Visit by President Basescu to U.S. should take place as soon as possible

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Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu said on Tuesday ahead of a visit to the United States over May 6-9 that a visit by President Traian Basescu to Washington should take place as soon as possible.

When asked whether he would lay the groundwork for a meeting of the Romanian president with the Obama Administration, Diaconescu said: ‘Categorically yes. The high-level contacts are very useful and such a visit, categorically, should be prepared as soon as possible’.

Basescu’s last visit to the U.S. took place on July 26-28, 2006, when the Romanian leader met President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and members of the legislative body. The main purpose of the visit was to strengthen the intensified political dialogue and the strategic partnership between Romania and the United States.

Diaconescu is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the talks to focus on security and cooperation on security, as well as on economic and regional issues.

The Romanian foreign minister will sign an agreement on the cooperation on criminal issues between the two states and will meet members of the U.S. Congress. He is also scheduled to meet Department of Defence officials and to attend two sessions of reports at the Marshall Foundation and the Atlantic Council respectively.

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