BUCHAREST, Oct 24 (Xinhua): Negotiations over the use of Romanian military bases by US troops were concluded and the two countries are very close to signing an agreement, Romanian President Traian Basescu announced Sunday.
"Negotiations (on bases) are practically over. The agreement will be reviewed by the US State Department and the Romanian Foreign Ministry and then signed," Basescu told reporters after talks with US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
Possible locations for the bases might be Babadag, close to the Danube delta, Constanta, on the Black sea, and Fetesti, 200 km east of Bucharest, said Basescu.
The Romanian president also assured Washington that his country "will continue to fulfil its obligation in Afghanistan and Iraq."
For his part, describing his Bucharest trip as "extremely positive," Hadley said Romania was "a strategic partner, a good friend and ally" of the United States.
He thanked Bucharest for its support over "many important issues" such as the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
New NATO member Romania currently has 860 soldiers stationed in Iraq with as yet no timetable for withdrawal.
The US military used the Kogalniceanu airbase in southeastern Romania as a hub to send equipment and 7,000 combat troops into Iraq during the early stages of the 2003 military operation to oust Saddam Hussein and temporarily kept up to 3,500 troops there.