US President, George W. Bush, thanked Romania for being a NATO member, on Wednesday, at Neptun, and the Romanian people for its contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also praised President Basescu's leadership skills: "I admire your courage and leadership skills, and I thank you for showing us your hospitality and hosting this NATO Summit in Bucharest. That is a big deal" said Bush at the press conference in the protocol villa in Neptun, after his meeting with President Basescu.
The two leaders stressed that thay found themsefves on the same wavelength on all the major issues of the NATO Summit agenda: NATO's expansion with Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, the necessity of Ukraine and Georgia's adhesion to the Membership Action Plan, the increasing of the dialogue with Western Balkan states, including Serbia. Security in the Black Sea area and the war on Afghanistan were other two subjects President Bush and Basescu expressed the same opinions on. George W. Bush said he appreciated Traian Basescu's "quality as Black Sea leader". "I think that is why you invited me here, because I spoke of your leadership in the Black Sea area. We share the concerns you have with security, and your aspiration to enhance the importance of this area" the American leader said.
On the matter of the Afghanistan war, the US President pleaded once more for the strengthening of the Allied forces' presence in the region. "It is of utmost importance that all states clarify their intentions on supporting Afghanistan. We can understand that sending troops there is not an easy decision to make, but is in our best interest to be there, because we cannot afford an enemy that can attack us on our own ground. A democracy has to be built on the dust left behind in Afghanistan by the Taliban. It is worth to get involved for the sake of our security" the White House leader stated.
On his turn, President Traian Basescu warned that any NATO failure in Afghanistan will seriously affect the organization's credibility.
"At this time, the civilized world has no security alternatives other then NATO", president Basescu stressed, adding that should the Northern Atlantic Alliance not ensure the democracy in this state, the terrorists "will come in Europe and in the United States".
"This is why we have to win in Afghanistan" he insisted.
The head of state assured that "Romania will remain a country that will respect all of its engagements, both those with NATO and with the European Union, as well as those of our partnership and bilateral relation".
(Sources: Rador, Rompres, Mediafax)