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Relations between Romania and France are special ones, dating back a long time and which now benefit from absolutely all conditions to grow, so that the direction in which the ‘Paris-Bucharest axis’ can work for the benefit of both parties, PM Victor Ponta is quoted by Mediafax as saying on Thursday, his second working visit to France. The PM made the statement after talks with the French President François Hollande. At the same time, Ponta reiterated the fact that Romania was not only France’s best partners, but also its best friend in the region. ‘I reiterated we were a Francophone and Francophile country and that all the important projects for the future of our two countries as well as Europe’s we can design and implement together. It is a special relationship dating back a very long time and that now ahs absolutely all conditions to further develop at a political, economic level, as well as in terms of the policy and new vision on Europe the European Union needs,’ Ponta said. Also yesterday, the Romanian PM and his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, signed an agreement on the extension of the 2008 Strategic Partnership between Romania and France with another five years. The French Premier also noted that Romania would be the guest of honour of the Book Show to be held in France in March. Prime Minister Victor Ponta said the agreement could represent the success both countries needed. We remind that the strategic partnership between the two countries was signed in 2008 for a period of five years, to be subsequently extended by successive periods of five years. In September 2012, President Traian Basescu said the strategic partnership between Romania and France had not reached its functional parameters and was giving assurance that he, next to the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would step in personally in order to obtain positive results.
France supports Romania’s Schengen entry, Jean-Marc Ayrault says
During the joint press conference held after signing the document, French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault SAID France supported the principle of Romania and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Area in keeping with a time frame to be set together with European partners and which was to be addressed at the following JHA Council meeting due on 6-7th March. On the other hand, the French official thanked the head of the Romanian Government for the support Romania had given during the French intervention in Mali: ‘It is true that our two countries are united by a long history of excellent relations of friendship and cultural closeness. (…) We have also addressed other dossiers such as the Europe of Defence. I am taking this opportunity to thank the prime minister for the support Romania offered to the French intervention in Mali, both political and military, in the form of soldier training and coaching.’In other developments, Jean-Marc Ayrault claims that France greatly appreciated the Romanian government’s cooperation in solving the horse meat labeled as beef problem. “We also tackled a current issue concerning the meat used in the food industry. I stated that we appreciated the efficient cooperation of Romania, a country that was unjustly accused. We are dealing with something serious, fraud perpetrated by speculators, and the judiciary will shed light on this,” Jean-Marc Ayrault stated. He pointed out that the very powerful integration of industry has placed the onus on European states and European Union authorities to collaborate more actively and closely in this domain and pointed out that EU governments have to establish a common food safety strategy. Also yesterday, the Romanian Prime Minister gave an interview on economic issues to the French press, but also talked about the horse meat scandal and the Roma issue. Last evening Ponta was scheduled to meet French businessmen interested in investing in Romania.
Cretu: Ponta’s visit to France, confirmation that Romania has come out from anonymity
PSD Vice President Corina Cretu pointed out that Premier Victor Ponta’s visit to France, apart from seeking to consolidate the bilateral partnership, represents proof that our country has come out from under the anonymity that had set in during the PDL government, “back when the Romanian Premier (former PDL President Emil Boc – editor’s note) did not exist when it came to relations with foreign partners.” Moreover, Cretu claims that a consolidated relation of cooperation with the French partners can be one of the keys to Romania’s Schengen accession, bearing in mind that there is support from the leaders of European socialists. “France’s position is extremely important on the issue of Romania’s Schengen accession. Nevertheless, the EPP, President Traian Basescu’s friends and PDL’s partners who opposed and continue to oppose our country’s Schengen accession, represents the problem,” the PSD Vice President emphasized in a communiqué remitted to Nine O’Clock yesterday.