Message of the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, at the opening of CHODS Balkans Conference on the military cooperation issues

04 September 2019

President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on Wednesday, 4 September 2019, sent a message to the opening session of CHODS Balkans Conference on the military cooperation issues. The message was delivered by Mr. Mihai Şomordolea, State Adviser, Department of National Defence – Secretary of the Supreme Council of National Defence. 

The message, as translated, reads:   

„I welcome the opening of the 13th edition of “The Balkans Chiefs of Defense Conference on military cooperation issues”. This cooperation format brings together states that are friends of Romania from The Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

As a member state of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Romania is paying a special attention to the states in the region and supports their efforts to come closer to the Euro-Atlantic Family.

On the European level, Romania has always supported the EU’s enlargement policy into the Balkans, whereas within the context of exercising the Presidency of the EU Council, in the first semester of this year, we consider the expansion of the EU into Western Balkans as a priority.

At the same time, Romania is and will continue to be a strong supporter of NATO’s “open doors” policy and we are pleased with the significant positive evolution of the Balkan countries on this issue. I use this opportunity to congratulate Montenegro for its 2017 membership to NATO.

In addition, the prospect of North Macedonia joining NATO and the encouragement addressed to Bosnia and Herzegovina by NATO at the last year NATO Summit are additional successes for the two countries and NATO that Romania supported. We expect positive developments in this direction, as well.

Romania is concerned with the security climate of the Western Balkan Region, and wants an irreversible stabilization of this area.

Romanian soldiers participated over the time in different UN, NATO and EU missions in the area. We are and will continue to be an important contributor into the Theatre of Operations in the Western Balkans, within NATO KFOR Mission from Kosovo and EU EUFOR ALTHEA Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will continue to support the efforts to increase the stabilization and security in the this Region.

The fact that you are participating today on the 13th edition of this conference proves the usefulness of this format of cooperation, at the CHOD’s level. The dialogue within this framework generates added value to the regional cooperation and helps to strengthen the stability and security in the Western Balkans Region.

The topics for discussions during the conference this year - military cooperation, crisis management, challenges and limitations of the UN Peacekeeping Missions, are of real interest to Romania and to all the participants in this conference meeting.

Military cooperation as well as the exchange of opinions and good practices in crisis management field at the Allied and partners level are needed today, given the ever-increasing changes in the security environment and the unpredictability of the risks towards stability and security in the region.

Also, the UN’s role in crisis management has been and will remain crucial to maintaining global peace.

I highlight the main responsibility of the UN Security Council in maintaining the international peace and security, according to the provisions of the UN Charter. As many crises today have an increasingly multidimensional character, the UN Security Council has to assume a greater role in solving multiple issues affecting international security.

I reiterate Romania’s support for multilateralism, including UN support. This long-term commitment in favor of peace, justice and sustainable development is the essence of our country’s position.

I encourage you to further develop dialogue and cooperation on topics and areas of common interest, for the benefit of stability and security of the region.

I wish success to all the participants at this conference!”