Source AP ©

FM of Romania to visit Washington

Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu will visit Washington to meet with Condoleezza Rice and White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Cioroianu, who leaves on Tuesday for the two-day visit, will discuss U.S. bases in Romania, a NATO summit that Bucharest will host in 2008 and other bilateral issues, the ministry said.

Romania's parliament last month approved an agreement allowing the United States to use four Romanian military bases and station up to 3,000 troops in the former communist country. The 10-year agreement was signed in December 2005 by Rice.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently criticized the deployment of U.S. troops to Romania. Romania has cool relations with Russia.

Romania has denied allegations in a report issued Friday by European investigator Dick Marty that it had hosted CIA secret prisons on its territory. Marty's report said the prisons had been located in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005 to interrogate suspected terrorists. Poland also denied the allegations.

During his visit, Cioroianu will also meet U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, members of Congress and members of the Romanian community.