Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman on the Return of Romanian Medical Mission to Alabama

Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman delivers a speech at the return of the Romanian medical mission from Alabama. Wednesday, June 10, 2020 (Lucian Crusoveanu / Public Diplomacy Office)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

As Delivered

Defense Minister, Distinguished Guests, Friends.

On behalf of President Trump and the American people, it is an honor for me to be back here today to welcome home all of the brave men and women who traveled so very far to help the people of Alabama in their fight against COVID-19. Thank you for your courage and dedication.

This is also a very auspicious time for this mission. June 14th is the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Romania and the United States. There could not be a better reminder of this longstanding special partnership between our two countries than this team of medical professionals returning to Romania after helping the people of the United States suffering from COVID.

I would also like to thank President Iohannis, Prime Minister Orban, Minister of Defense Ciuca, and Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Petrescu for having the vision and commitment to send this team to the United States. You and the Romanian people are great friends of the United States. We will not forget this act of kindness and help in our time of need. The work of this team strengthened the already great friendship and solidarity between Romania and the United States. Our countries will always be there for each other, in good times and in bad times.

The Partnership Program between the Romanian Ministry of Defense and the Alabama National Guard will celebrate its 27th anniversary next month. The Alabama National Guard and Romania have cooperated on many joint programs over the years in between, both in Alabama and in Romania, from Alabama National Guard fighter jets at Campia Turzi to Romanian medical professionals in Montgomery, Alabama. Romanian and National Guard soldiers have trained together in Romania and Alabama and fought together in Iraq. We have learned from each other and have been there for each other in difficult times.

Alabama National Guard Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon, deserves our thanks for her hard work and continuing leadership, which improves both of our armed forces through the continuous close cooperation of the State Partnership Program. It is wonderful to witness first-hand the benefits of this program in peace time, helping ordinary citizens suffering from this horrible virus.

I also want to thank the flight crew of TAROM: the pilots, cabin crew and mechanics, for their assistance in making this trip possible. Transportation Minister Bode and his team deserves many thanks for making the TAROM flight available. TAROM is a great example of a Romanian business that needs a great uplift and needs to fly again as it did previously. We need to get TAROM back in the air, flying profitably and hopefully flying directly to the United States.

President Trump and the American people are committed to rebuilding the American economy, just as President Iohannis and the government of Prime Minister Orban are committed to rebuilding the Romanian economy. As friends and allies we shall help each other prosper. Romania has no better friend than the United States. We are committed to assisting Romania achieve an economic recovery in 2020; do not let anyone tell you that it cannot be done – it can and will be done! From growth in agriculture to energy development, from business and finance to arts and culture, Romania’s resources are bountiful, and its best resource is its people.

Romania’s economy will continue to grow as people return to work. The free market system and competition must be allowed to thrive. State owned companies must be liberated from government control so they can operate efficiently, profitably and free of nepotism. Free market competition will generate growth and prosperity for all Romanians. Private enterprise will elevate the standard of living of all Romanians. The remaining malignant forces of endemic corruption must be removed once and for all. That shining light on a hill must be there for all – it made America great and it will make Romania great. Together we shall defeat COVID. Together we shall rebuild our economies. Together we shall preserve our shared values of freedom, the rule of law and fundamental human rights for future generations. We can do it and we will!  

Thank you and may God bless you.