Cristian Diaconescu: Romanian troops presence in Iraq stretched to limits

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Foreign Minister Cristian D iaconescu announced on Sunday, at the end of his visit to the USA, that Romania is not going to send more troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.

„From our standpoint, there is no question other than providing an eventual specialized aid: medical, Information system. (…) We will discuss what is happening in Iraq, but from the point of view of boosting the number of troops there, Romania has reached its limits”, underlined Cristian Diaconescu on a TV channel.

His statement is made after the Foreign Minister’s visit to Washington, where he had talks with his American counterpart Hillary Clinton.
The talks agenda included topics related to cooperation in operation theaters in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as aspects of priority interest in the states’ bilateral relations, with accent on the strengthening of the economic component of the bilateral strategic partnership.

Iraq and Romania have signed an agreement for the continuation of Romanian troops’ presence in Iraq till July 31, 2009 in order to provide humanitarian and medical aid in Tallil and Baghdad regions, as well as for the conducting of instruction and advising activities.

The document was signed after the authorities in Baghdad invited Romania, alongside the United States and some other four states, to continue their participation in the effort of stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq, through the presence of Romanian military after December 31, when the Multi-coalition mandate expired, as it was ruled by the UN Security Council resolutions.

On December 22, at President Traian Basescu’s request, Romania’s Parliament approved, through a decision, the continuation of Romanian forces presence in Iraq after December 31, 2008, under conditions going to be established by joint accord with the Iraqi side.

In its turn, on December 23, 2008 the Iraqi Parliament adopted a decision approving the continuation of troops presence from five states, Romania included, as well as of a NATO contingent, in Iraq, after December 31, 2008, as such the legal conditions being met both by Romania and Iraq for the continuation of the Romanian military presence there.

In this context, Romanian-Iraqi negotiations were held in view to establish the concrete details for the continuation of the Romanian military presence in Iraq. The Romanian delegation was formed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Ministry of National Defence and of the Ministry of Justice and Citizenship Freedoms.

The Memorandum stipulates the concrete types of operations and non-combat activities Romanian military continue to conduct in Iraq, in agreement with the authorities in Baghdad. So that the Romanian military will provide humanitarian and medial aid in the regions of Tallil and Baghdad and will carry out activities of instruction and advising for the members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

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