U.S. to take over bases in Romania

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement with Romania today that lets U.S. troops use four training bases in the formerly communist-run country, the first such facilities near eastern Europe's Black Sea Coast.

The accord Rice signed with Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu in Bucharest allows as many as 1,500 U.S. troops as well as Romanian and other allied forces to use a main base and airfield near the Black Sea port city of Constanta plus three other facilities in the area, according to a U.S. statement.

"With &to=http://english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/02/12/26370.html' target=_blank>Romania we have a particularly close relationship as well as a military relationship that's playing out in Iraq and Afghanistan," Rice told journalists in Bucharest after meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu. The agreement "geographically makes sense," she added, reports Bloomberg.

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