28 Nov 2019 11:54

New Moldovan defense minister pledges to continue cooperation with OSCE, NATO

CHISINAU. Nov 28 (Interfax) - Newly appointed Moldovan Defense Minister Victor Gaiciuc has assured OSCE and NATO officials that cooperation with these organizations will continue, the Moldovan Defense Ministry's press service said.

Gaiciuc met with Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova Claus Neukirch on Wednesday to discuss prospects of joint work and the Moldovan Defense Ministry's short-term priorities, the press service said.

"The line towards a professional army and [Moldovan] servicemen's broader involvement in peacekeeping operations in accordance with the republic's neutral status will continue. So will interaction with foreign partners, including the UN, NATO, and OSCE," the minister said.

Gaiciuc also thanked Neukirch for the assistance extended by the OSCE Mission as part of a secure ammunition storage project and for the OSCE's technical support to the synthesis, analysis and testing laboratory of Moldova's Weapons and Ammunition Center, the press service said.

Gaiciuc also met with head of the NATO Liaison Office in Moldova Cristina Baleyste to discuss Moldovan Armed Forces reforms and NATO's assistance as part of this process.

Gaiciuc said that the Moldovan Defense Ministry would continue interaction with NATO in a series of projects, highly assessing the Defense Capacity Building Initiative, the Security and Defense Building Integrity Program, and the Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan.

Moldova's new government led by Prime Minister Ion Chicu was approved on November 14. Gaiciuc most recently held the post of the Moldovan president's advisor and secretary of the Supreme Security Council.