President Klaus Iohannis decided to
award the post-mortem Romanian Star National Order to the Romanian military who
was killed in Thursday's car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Corporal
Cirprian-Stefan Polschi was 38 years old, married with two children. He had
been an employee of the National Ministry of Defense since 2004, and this was
his third tour in Afghanistan. Early this week, an assault of Taliban rebels
targeted the Romanian Embassy in Kabul. A Romanian embassy employee died in the
attack, sacrificing his life to save the others, Foreign Ministry Ramona
Manescu said. He was born in 1976 and was part of the embassy's security team.
Coincidently enough, this Friday the city of Galati in southeastern Romania
hosted a ceremony marking the safe return of the 480 Romanian military who have
been taking part in a NATO support mission in Afghanistan since February. Their
job was to ensure the security of Kandahar airport as well as the protection of
counterterrorist NATO troops deployed on the ground.
Most are part of a
mechanized infantry battalion, together with troops from artillery, tank and
marine units, which marked a first for the history of Romanian military navy.
"We are grateful to our military stationed in Afghanistan and other theatres of
operations, who are doing their job, putting their lives on the line, together
with our allies. By deploying military to conflict areas, our country is
actively taking part in maintaining international peace and security, which is
an important element of our NATO membership", President Klaus Iohannis said.
After nearly half a century of Soviet membership, Romanians finally found their
Western aspirations confirmed in 2000, at the end of post-communist transition.
Romania joined NATO in March 2004 with the biggest wave of NATO enlargement
recorded in history. Three years later our country joined the European Union.
Our troops were deployed to Afghanistan even before NATO accession. Since 2003,
nearly 30 Romanians have been killed in the line of duty, with scores of others
being killed in other international missions. Defense Minister Gabriel Les
recently stated that nearly a 1,000 Romanians are deployed in international
missions, although their number exceeded 2,500 in recent years. Of them, over
700 are deployed to Afghanistan. A few dozen are taking part in the UN mission
in Kosovo, an anti-air defense unit totaling 120 soldiers is stationed in
Poland, while 21 military are part of the general staff tasked with liaising
(Translated by V. Palcu)