Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper met with Romanian Minister of National Defense Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the Pentagon today. Secretary Esper discussed the importance of Romania as an Ally due both to its position on NATO’s Eastern flank and the Black Sea.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1880, the bonds between the United States and Romania have never been stronger. The Secretary noted that the two countries have cultivated a strategic partnership committed to advancing peace, democracy, economic freedom, and the rule of law.

The Secretary and the Minister discussed a range of issues, including defense modernization, Black Sea security and cooperation, and China’s growing malign influence in the region.  The Secretary thanked the Defense Minister for exceeding NATO defense spending commitments.

The Secretary and the Minister highlighted our mutual commitment to the NATO Alliance and international security.  

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Secretary joined Minister Ciucă in signing a 10-year “Roadmap for Defense Cooperation,” which builds upon the strong spirit of defense cooperation between our two countries.  

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