Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec at We the People Exhibit Opening in Oradea

Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec talks to the media at We The People Exhibit Opening Reception in Oradea. Oradea, Romania, September 25, 2023 (Photo: Paul Lelea / Bihoreanul)

As prepared for delivery

September 25, 2023

Good evening.

Mayor Birta,
State Undersecretary Lazar,
Prefect Tiplea,
Director General Nicolae,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s a pleasure to be in Oradea. Thank you for joining us.

Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec talks to the media at We The People Exhibit Opening Reception in Oradea. Oradea, Romania, September 25, 2023 (Photo: Paul Lelea / Bihoreanul)

I want to say a special thank you to May Birta for hosting our reception in this impressive building.

We’re here today for the opening of our exhibition, We the People, and helping us honor a quarter of a century of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership which these panels celebrate.

I could not be more proud of this exhibition and the friendship, partnership, and progress it represents. Nor could I be more pleased to share it with you all.

As I mentioned, We the People celebrates over 25 years of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership and the journey we have made together in that time.

The title of the exhibition, “We the People,” comes from the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. We use it in celebration of the human element that makes everything we have accomplished possible. It is fitting because the foundation for all that we have accomplished on our journey together is the people-to-people relationships between Americans and Romanians. Our journey of shared progress belongs to both our nations and to each of us individually.

As you may know, We the People has been displayed in Bucharest, Craiova, Timisoara, Sibiu, Iasi, Cluj and Constanta. I am pleased to bring this exhibit to Oradea today.

The photos and text in the exhibit tell the story of a friendship and a partnership. From then-President Clinton’s announcement of the strategic partnership through over two decades of shared progress.

Back in 1997, after remarking on how Romanians had “won the world’s respect for moving so far, so fast, and for believing in yourselves and your future,” then-President Clinton encouraged Romania to “Stay the course, the future is yours.” President Clinton saw the potential in Romania and in the Romanian people and the importance of an unbreakable U.S.-Romania partnership.

Since then, Romania has made commendable progress in democratic reform and economic growth. Romania is an exemplary NATO Ally both contributing troops to multinational operations abroad and hosting NATO troops here in Romania.

Romania has also stood steadfast in support of our partners and neighbors in Ukraine as they defend their country against Putin’s unprovoked and brutal invasion. Romania continues proving itself to the world in realizing its potential and delivering on its commitments.

The exhibit you see today is a photo essay that celebrates and explores the multifaceted relationship between Romanians and Americans. These pictures tell the story of our diplomatic, security, economic, and cultural collaboration and cooperation and the fruits of those efforts – what two great nations working together can achieve.

Thank you all and each of you for over 25 years of friendship and partnership. I look forward to the next 25 years and hope you enjoy the exhibit.