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Armed intelligence officers on TAROM transatlantic flights necessary to include Romania in US Visa Waiver programme

de V.M. transl/adapt. C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 3 mai 2010, 17:07 English | Top News

Armed Romanian Information Service (SRI) officers will have to insure the security for TAROM transatlantic flights. The request was included in the Visa Waiver special visa programmes signed on Monday by SRI and the American Security service for the Federal Air Marshals (FAM) flights.

"There is a number of requests to admit Romania to the Visa Waiver programme, among which - issuing electronic certificates, reporting lost or stolen documents to the Interpol, increased security for travelling documents and having security officers on board of air flights. The condition that you fulfil today is among one of the numerous conditions, of course", the US ambassador to Bucharest Mark Gitenstein explained during the ceremony dedicated to the agreement sign, Romanian news agency Agerpres informs.

The Romanian-American agreement sees that SRI anti-terror Brigade officers, specially trained in this sense, will be armed when accompaying TAROM transatlantic flights. The flights will resume by the end of the year or by early 2011, SRI head George Maior explained.

"Each state will have security officers on board of the flights between the two countries, depending on the opportunity and necessity. As there is no direct Tarom Bucharest - USA flight, we will have officers ready at the moment when the flight will resume and we hope that the flight will resume at the end of this year or next year", Maior said.

According to him, there are no intelligence agents for TAROM flight at the moment. This aspect "derives from the international evolution of the terrorist phenomenon and t requires for us to take preventive measures to counteract this phenomenon. The issue has been decided within the EU and it is sealed today through this agreement and in the bi-lateral relationship with the US", Maior added.

Maior claims this practice has gained increasing importance after 9/11 events, with the European critical infrastructure security issue proving the democratic nations how vulnerable and exposed they were. "Combating these risk is no longer possible through singular efforts, but only through the consolidation and diversifying of the cooperation with our partners", Maior said.

The agreement has been signed by George Maior from the Romanian Intelligence Services and by Richard Stein from Federal Air Marshals. Visa Waiver allows the citizens from the states included in this programme to ravel to the US for a maximum 90-day period without requiring a visa.


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