During a trip to Romania last month, State Sen. Nathan Dahm had the opportunity to visit with State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu to discuss the continuing efforts to finalize the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the U.S.
Dahm, whose family lived in Romania when he was a child, said the partnership continues to be beneficial for both countries.
“Romania is a beautiful country with dedicated leaders who want to improve their economy and the life of their citizens,” said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. “Our countries have so much in common including that constant drive to better our economies. This partnership is a major step in helping Romania strengthen its economy and improve relations with America.”
The Joint Declaration on 21st Century Strategic Partnership between Romania and the U.S. was adopted on September 13, 2011.
During the meeting, Sec. Aurescu reaffirmed the two countries desire to strengthen the partnership by capitalizing on future opportunities for bilateral cooperation, particularly concerning economics, business and people-to-people contacts. He presented the work of the bilateral Task Force on implementation of the Joint Declaration, as well as the working groups on economic and trade matters, energy security and consular issues including visas. He also briefed Sen. Dahm on the progress of Romania’s participation in the missile shield project, which he said was advancing smoothly and according to schedule.
The Romanian official went on to emphasize the need to increase U.S. investments in Romania in order to further improve the political, strategic and military relationship outlined in the partnership. He also reiterated their interest in being accepted into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. Citizens of 37 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into the United States under the VWP. There are currently eleven countries, including Romania, that have been nominated for inclusion in the VWP and are awaiting approval.
Sen. Dahm said he would continue working with Romanian and U.S. officials in these various areas but also discussed opportunities for possible economic partnerships with Oklahoma, particularly in the fields of energy (including oil and gas, and shale gas) and agriculture.
“There is a great opportunity for Oklahoma to help Romania and our own economy by sharing our abundance of natural energy and agriculture with them,” said Dahm. “I’m working to promote the possible establishment of sister cities in our state with some of those in Romania. This would be a wonderful way to foster further cultural and commercial ties.”