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MEP Ramona Mănescu and other twenty MEPs have signed a letter for the EU High Representative to denounce the Palestine Liberation Organisation for inciting further violence

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Twenty-one MEPs have signed a letter to be adressed to the office of the High Representative after the deadly attack in which two palestinians opened fire into Sharona Market, Tel Aviv.Ramona-Manescu

The letter, published by MEP Ramona Mănescu (PNL, PPE) in a post on her personal site, comes in response to that terrorist attack and strongly condemns such acts of arbitrary violence that left at least four people dead and injured many more.

”We, Members of the European Parliament, are shocked and saddened at the terror attack that took place last night in the Sharona Market, Tel Aviv.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, Idan Ben Arieh, Ilana Neveh, Michael Faiga and Mila Meshayev and we wish a speedy recovery to the 13 people wounded as a consequence of this heinous and abhorrent terrorist act.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this act of senseless barbarism, and call upon the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to promptly, and without equivocation, denounce this act of terrorism, and again on the occasion of his visit to the European Parliament on June 22.

We also call upon the High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, to condemn this terrorist act, and to denounce the Palestine Liberation Organisation for inciting further violence by calling the attack ‘a natural response’.

We reiterate our ongoing support for a two state solution on the basis of 1967 borders, whilst ensuring the security of the State of Israel in tandem with an independent democratic and viable Palestinian State.”epp group logo

Alongside Ramona Mănescu, MEPs that have signed the statement are: Cristian Dan PREDA (EPP, Romania), Ramon TREMOSA I BALCELLS (ALDE, Spain), Lars ADAKTUSSON (EPP, Sweden), Fulvio MARTUSCIELLO (EPP, Italy), Arne GERICKE (ECR, Germany), Petras AUSTREVICIUS (Vice-Chair ALDE, Lithuania), Jan ZAHRADIL (Vice-Chair ECR, Czech Republic), Bas BELDER (ECR, the Netherlands), Tunne KELAM (EPP, Estonia), Hannu TAKKULA (ALDE, Finland), Marijana PETIR ( EPP, Croatia), Milan ZVER (EPP, Slovenia), Frederique RIES (ALDE, Belgium), Geoffrey van ORDEN ( Vice-chair ECR, UK), Charles TANNOCK (ECR, UK), Ioan Mircea PASCU (S&D, Romania, Vice President of the European Parliament), Andrej PLENKOVIC (EPP, Croatia), Artis PABRIKS (EPP, Latvia), Davor Ivo STIER (EPP, Croatia), Ryszard CZARNECKI (ECR, Poland, Vice President of the European Parliament).

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EXCLUSIVE Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow Atlantic Council: With a Trump or Biden administration, US military presence in Romania will increase

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© Atlantic Council

Conducted by Dan Cărbunaru and Robert Lupițu

The trajectory of the US – Romania relations it’s becoming very “operational” and, as an ally that has lived up to the expectations and its robust commitments, Romania will have important opportunities with both a Trump or a Biden administration in the White House and we will see a continuity in troops deployment in the region, US national security and foreign policy expert Ian Brzezinski with the Atlantic Council told CaleaEuropeană.ro in an exclusive interview.

Speaking from Washington ahead of the second and last presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden before the elections, Ian Brzezinski described how US’s foreign policy and commitment to the transatlantic link will develop under a second Trump administration or a Biden administration.

This is an important election. And there are two very very different worldviews that are colliding together, that are reflected by President Trump and Vice President Biden. (…) The good news is that Romania has been caring and share 2% of GDP (on defence) and its robust commitments to international operations, including those led by NATO, gives the current president or the next president real license to pursue an internationalist agenda“, Brzezinski said.

A former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy in 2001–2005 when Romania joined the North Atlantic Alliance, Brzezinski praised Romania’s commitment and laid out some advices on how to seize opportunities with a Trump or Biden administration, especially in the context that Romania and the United States will celebrate in 2021 the 10th anniversary of the Joint Declaration for the Strategic Partnership signed in the White House by former Presidents Obama and Băsescu.

If Biden wins, I think when it comes down to the security relationship we will see continuity in terms of force deployments. So, we’re all very aware about the increases that President Trump made to our force posture in North Central Europe. I think those will be sustained and possibly, under Biden administration, augmented. There has been a growing momentum towards increasing our force presence in Romania, perhaps not as dramatically as we’ve seen in Poland, but I think in ways that are operationally and geopolitically significant. I think that momentum would carry into a Biden administration. I certainly hope it will. It will be significantly shaped by how, you know, Romania encouraged and facilitates that kind of cooperation and the role that it plays in NATO”, Brzezinski explained.

He also added that a Biden administration will bring to Europe an agenda that “will actually ask Europe to be doing more within Europe”.

“That will be a burden that will fall heavily on our west European allies and it’ll be a burden that will fall heavily on our central European allies, including Romania”, Brzezinski mentioned.

As for a second Trump administration, Brzezinski explained the opportunities coming out of the transition in power.

A transition from a first Trump administration to the second Trump administration creates opportunity because new faces will come in, plans will be reevaluated and recalibrated, and it creates opportunity to kind of enhance one’s relationship“, he said.

The US national security expert extended his argument, mentioning that “when there’s a transition between two different administrations, a Trump to a Biden administration”, then “the opportunities are even greater”. In this context, he suggested that Romania should take the initiative and leverage its demonstrated commitments.

The way to this kind of leverage and opportunity is through initiative. And here’s where I would go in the security realm, you leverage your new capabilities. For example, the Patriot air defense systems, the HIMARS missiles, not just to enhance Romania security, but the region security”, Brzezinski added.

While pointing out a special interest that a Biden administration will have for Ukraine, the US expert said: “What can Romania do to upgrade its security relationship with Ukraine, that is something that would be noticed by the new team, and something that would probably bring good benefits to the US Romania relationship“.

Furthermore, Ian Brzezinski spoke about US-Romania special partnership based on his experience as an US official in the area of NATO’s enlargement and operations when Romania became a full member of the Alliance.

“Romania has lived up to the expectations and in United States we know that we have a member state spending two point or 2% of its GDP on defense. It’s thinking constructively and actively acting proactively in the Black Sea region on its forces have deployed on allied multilateral including US led missions around the world.  The experience I had with Romanian forces in Afghanistan was really really a profound one for me, because they were in areas of real risk, and the courage of those soldiers is something I will not forget, I would say”, stated Brzezinski.

He emphasized the recent visits in Washington by Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense and Minister of Economy, underlining that “those meetings underscored the growth of the US – Romanian economic relationship, the deepening of the US – Romanian military relationship and increased role that US-Romanian relationship is playing in regional cooperations, for example, through the Three Seas Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe”.

The track the trajectory of US Romanian relations has been very very positive. It’s becoming, it’s not just rhetorical and symbolic, it’s actually very operational“, he also said.

Given that Romania and the new US administration, led either by Donald Trump or Joe Biden, will celebrate next year the tenth anniversary of the Joint Statement of the Strategic Partnership, Ian Brzezinski named a few opportunities for 2021: the gas and energy opportunities in the Black Sea, the increase of US military presence in Romania and in the region to deter Russia’s provocative actions, US investments in the Three Seas Initiative Fund co-sponsored by Romania and Poland and technological cooperation under the 5G Memorandum of Understanding.

“The 10 year anniversary provides an opportunity to kind of add additional energy and vigour into the strategic partnership that we have”, he also said.

Ian Brzezinski (born December 23, 1963) is an American foreign policy and military affairs expert. He is a Resident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, The Atlantic Council, United States of America. He is also Senior Fellow in the International Security Program and is on the Council’s Strategic Advisors Group (SAG). He brings to the Council and its International Security Program over two decades of experience in U.S. national security matters having served in senior policy positions in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress.

Mr. Brzezinski served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy in 2001–2005, under President George W. Bush. His responsibilities included NATO expansion, Alliance force planning and transformation and NATO operations in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Iraq. Key highlights of his tenure include the expansion of NATO membership in 2004, the consolidation and reconfiguration of the Alliance’s command structure, the standing up of the NATO Response Force and the coordination of European military contributions to U.S. and NATO-led operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Among several honors awarded for his public service, Mr. Brzezinski has received the Romanian Medal for National Service, Order of Commander.

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Europe Talks 2020: Zeit Online and other 17 European media organisations, including Calea Europeană, kick off a new edition of debates between Europeans

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© Europe Talks

Starting today, ZEIT ONLINE and media partners from 15 countries have once again opened registration for Europe Talks. The dialogue program brings together people from across Europe for one-on-one, cross-border debates on political topics. Each participant will be matched with a conversation partner from another European country with the most different possible political opinion. The conversation will take place in English over video call. Last year, over 17,000 Europeans from 33 countries participated in Europe Talks.

On December 13, 2020, thousands of Europeans, who are complete strangers to each other, will meet online for a conversation. They will discuss questions such as whether protecting people from the coronavirus should be the first priority, even if the economy suffers, whether masks should be mandatory in all public spaces, and whether schools should remain open throughout lockdowns. Seven Yes/No questions that all participants answer during registration will be used to match conversation partners with different views.

These conversations are made possible by a collaboration between ZEIT ONLINE and a large network of European media organisations: bTV Media Group in Bulgaria, Calea Europeana in Romania, Delfi in Latvia, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Der Standard in Austria, Efimerida Ton Syntakton in Greece, Expresso in Portugal, France24 in France, Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland, HotNews in Romania, Kapital in Slovakia, La Repubblica in Italy, LRT.lt in Lithuania, Mirror in Great Britain, Phoenix in Germany, Politiken in Denmark, Republik in Switzerland.

Europe Talks is supported by the Federal Foreign Office on occasion of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020 as well as by the European Cultural Foundation, the Allianz Cultural Foundation and the Evens Foundation. Europe Talks is organised in partnership with the Goethe-Institut.

The idea for Europe Talks is based on a ZEIT ONLINE project that started three years ago with Germany Talks, a dialogue project that created conversations between participants with politically opposed opinions. In cooperation with international media partners, the project was developed into the platform My Country Talks, which has since been used in more and more countries around the world: From Denmark to Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, and Great Britain. More than 100,000 people worldwide have taken part in a political discussion through My Country Talks events.

The My Country Talks software was developed by the Berlin agency diesdas.digital on behalf of ZEIT ONLINE. The construction of the platform was funded by the Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany and Google. Germany Talks and My Country Talks was awarded with a Grimm Online Award , the Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration, and the President’s award for Public Relations (IPRA).

Registration for Europe Talks 2020 is now open. For more information, visit www.europetalks.org.

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US approves a possible military sale to Romania of Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defense Systems

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© Raytheon

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Romania of Naval Strike Missile (NSM) Coastal Defense Systems (CDS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $300 million. 

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Romania has requested to buy two (2) Coastal Defense Systems (CDS) consisting of:  up to ten (10) Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System – Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS).  Also included are two Coastal Defense System Fire Distribution Centers; four Mobile Launch Vehicles; Transport Loading Vehicles; Naval Strike Missiles; non-operational Inert Handling/Loading Missile (IHM) to support missile handling and loading/unloading; training missile and equipment spares; associated containers; training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; spares parts; loading and mobile maintenance support; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.  The estimated total cost is $300 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO Ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.  This proposed sale will enhance U.S. national security objectives in the region.

The proposed sale will improve Romania’s capability to meet current and future threats by improving Romania’s maritime defense capabilities in the Black Sea and increasing interoperability with the United States.  Romania will use this long-range, precision strike weapon to enhance mission effectiveness, survivability, and NATO interoperability in current and future missions and operations.  Romania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal U.S. contractor will be Raytheon Missile and Defense, Tucson, AZ.  There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of the proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Romania on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements, including program and technical reviews, as well as to provide training and maintenance support in country.

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