Romanian military missions to Iraq will be maintained until 2011 or whenever allied troops would leave the country, Romania President Traian Basescu said during a video-conference with representatives of missions to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans on Monday. He made the statement so as to "clarify any political debate on the subject", he said, quoted by Romanian news agency Newsin.

He said Romania's future missions with NATO would be negotiated before the end of this year and that his option would be that these missions remained unchanged.

He thanked Romanian troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans and all Romanian soldiers taking part in missions abroad.

The Iraqi Parliament adopted last week a security accord with the United States regulating the status of US troops in Iraq and providing the grounds for the troops withdrawal by 2011, according to Reuters.

Romanian Defense minister Teodor Melescanu said two weeks ago that Romania received a preliminary invitation from the Iraqi government regarding the presence of Romanian troops in Iraq, but that it was expecting a firm call which would mention the tasks the Romanian troops would have in the country.