FM Corlatean in Rome: Italy reaffirms support for Romania’s Schengen accession


In an official visit in Italy, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean met on Tuesday in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, who reaffirmed her country’s support for Romania’s Schengen accession, informs a release of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
“Italy’s support for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area was reiterated, with the Italian official underscoring that this has been a steadfast element of the Italian diplomacy in relation with Romania and that it will also feature as a topic of interest on the future agenda of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European union”, the Foreign Ministry informs.
The major themes approached by the two officials envisaged bilateral relations and economic cooperation, the European agenda in the light of Italy’s taking over the Presidency of the EU Council in the second semester of this year, the Eastern Neighborhood with focus on the European roadmap of the Republic of Moldova and the ‘concerning’ developments in Ukraine.
The two parties also agreed on the importance of supporting the Republic of Moldova on its European track and maintaining the pace of the already initiated irreversible reform processes. In this context, the Italian Foreign Minister accepted the invitation to attend the meeting of the Group of Republic of Moldova friends, which will take place at the initiative of Romania, on February 10, on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council.
The two officials also exchanged views on subjects of interest on the NATO agenda. Minister Titus Corlatean specified that Romania celebrates in 2014 ten years since joining the North Atlantic Alliance and reiterated Romania’s support for the open door policy.
Foreign Minister Corlatean also met on Tuesday with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. “On this occasion, the Romanian foreign minister conveyed the message of Prime Minister Victor Ponta for his Italian counterpart, reconfirming Romania’s wish to speed up the bilateral cooperation in all domains and achieve tight coordination, considering the upcoming Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Particular attention was paid to the cooperation as regards European affairs considering Italy’s Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2014, with Italy’s priorities including the stimulation of economic growth and the fight against youth unemployment across Europe,” the release of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs.
During the meeting with Mgr. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, the two sides pronounced for the development of the collaboration on the specific areas of education and culture as well as in favour of promoting the ecumenical cooperation by fostering the dialogue between Churches. Also tackled was the topic of the support for the Romanian religious communities based outside the Romanian borders. FM Corlatean made the Holy See Secretary an invitation to visit Romania later this year, which was accepted.
During the visit Corlatean also met with Jean-Pierre Mazery, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
‘Minister Titus Corlatean voiced Romania’s gratitude for the backing given by the Order over the last years in situations of natural disasters and the Order’s interest in reinforcing cooperation by increasing socio-humanitarian operations, particularly for the elderly, disabled minors and children from disadvantaged families,’ the MAE release reads.

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