Rumsfeld: 'no timetable' forUS troop bases in Romania

12th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

12 October 2004 , BUCHAREST - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declined Tuesday to state a specific timetable for the possible establishment of US military bases in Romania, Mediafax news agency reported. A decision on a reorganisation of troop installations in Europe would be taken "on a step-by-step basis over a four, five or six-year period", Rumsfeld was quoted as saying. Rumsfeld was speaking in Bucharest after a meeting with Romanian counterpart Ioan Mircea Pascu.

12 October 2004

BUCHAREST - US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declined Tuesday to state a specific timetable for the possible establishment of US military bases in Romania, Mediafax news agency reported.

A decision on a reorganisation of troop installations in Europe would be taken "on a step-by-step basis over a four, five or six-year period", Rumsfeld was quoted as saying.

Rumsfeld was speaking in Bucharest after a meeting with Romanian counterpart Ioan Mircea Pascu.

As part of a post-Cold War realignment of military installations, the US military is withdrawing significant troop numbers from bases in Germany and is understood to be considered establishing installations in eastern European countries.

Rumsfeld visited the Kogalniceanu air base on the Black Sea coast on arrival in Romania Monday, as well as a nearby army base. The Kogalniceanu site has in the past been used as a temporary base for U.S. troops en route to Iraq.

Speaking at a lunch function attended by Romanian officers and soldiers who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rumsfeld said: "Your army has a noble duty," and referred to a "new mission" and a "new kind of war".

Romania currently has around 700 troops deployed in Iraq.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rumsfeld met with Romanian President Ion Iliescu to express Washington's gratitude for Romania's support in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, saying that the country was "a strategic partner and ally".

Iliescu thanked Rumsfeld for the support of the US in Bucharest's campaign to join NATO. The country was one of seven to join the alliance in March of this year. The Romanian president called the US a "long-term friend and partner of Romania".

Rumsfeld will on Wednesday and Thursday take part in an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers in the Carpathian ski resort of of Poiana Brasov.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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