Romania’s Supreme Defense Council - CSAT convenes in its first meeting this year on Thursday to discuss key issues such as the national defense strategy and the use of Romanian armed forces in missions abroad.

The talks are especially sensitive as prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced several days ago that he would press for the return of Romanian troops from Iraq by Christmas this year.

The talks will also review issues related to the use of nuclear energy as Romania tries to diversify its energy mix.

An official announcement will also be made related to the withdrawal of some 100 Romanian troops from Basra, Iraq, following consultations with allied commanders.