Trump looks to discuss defense, energy with Romanian leader

Donald Trump, Klaus Iohannis

President Donald Trump walks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis along the Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the White House on Tuesday as the two leaders explore ways to cooperate on defense and energy issues.

Speaking to reporters before their private meeting, Trump said the potential for visiting Romania was something he would discuss with Iohannis. He was also asked if he would raise the topic of fighting corruption in Romania.

“There are a number of really terrific countries like Romania, but they have a tremendous corruption problem. And I’ve heard you’ve made tremendous progress,” he told Iohannis, who readily agreed.

The two leaders described a strong relationship between the U.S. and Romania.

“I think we are on the right path. A lot of interesting things happening also in your country, but we appreciate the trade,” Trump said.

Aides said Trump wants to show the importance of Central Europe as a security and business partner with the United States. The president will be traveling to Poland later this month.

The two leaders released a joint statement Tuesday evening underscoring their opposition to a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and other projects that make allies dependent on energy from Russia. They said the two countries would work on “how best to improve the energy investment climate in Romania in ways that benefit both countries. We further urge our industries to work closely together to support Romania’s civil nuclear energy goals.”

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