Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Romania will continue to honor commitments to allies

BUCHAREST, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Romania will continue to honor her commitments to the allies, Defense Minister Sorin Frunzaverde said on Wednesday, on a visit to northwestern town Dej. The statement of Frunzaverde came amid the announcement of British Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding a gradual withdrawal of the British troops from Iraq.

Frunzaverde also added the decision Romanian authorities are to take in the immediate future related to a possible pullout of the Romanian troops from Iraq will first of all consider "the decision of the country's allies."

"I assure you that we are not making any move without taking into account what is actually happening on the site," he said.

Last June, former Defense Minister Teodor Atanasiu put for warda proposal that Romania's troops pull out of Iraq, with the move being backed by Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu. The proposal stirred heated debates, but it was rejected by the Romanian Supreme Defense Council, the top-most executive body able to decide on security and defense matters.

After the rejection, Popescu-Tariceanu maintained that the Romanian military presence in Iraq was "unpopular and no longer useful."

Currently, there are 605 Romanian troops in Iraq, most deployed in Talil, southern Iraq.

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