Corlatean stated yesterday during a press conference that the issue of the Romanian national treasure moved to Russia during World War I has a special importance for Romania and remains a priority for the institution he leads. “We took note with great attention and interest of the text and amendment adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) because these texts join the overtures that the Romanian side is making on a subject that has special historic and symbolic importance for Romania,” Corlatean stated, being quoted by Mediafax. Likewise, he pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) is making overtures for the joint commission of historians to resume its activity “that was frozen some time ago.”The MAE announced yesterday morning in a communiqué remitted to Mediafax that it carefully followed PACE’s adoption of the resolution that asks Moscow to continue its negotiations with Bucharest over the return of the Romanian national treasure, adding that this resolution joins the Romanian side’s overtures. Likewise, the MAE pointed out that bilateral talks on this issue are being carried out within the joint commission for the study of problems resulting from the history of bilateral relations, including the national treasure issue, a commission established on the basis of the Joint Statement that the foreign ministers of the two countries signed on July 4, 2003. According to the Joint Statement, the commission is of public interest, being made up of historians and specialists in various domains. In order to attain their goals, the members of the commission study bilateral relations between Romania and Russia from a historical perspective, investigating and examining relevant facts and documents. The commission met three times since 2004, in Bucharest (October 2004) and Moscow (June 2005 and April 2006), the MAE added.
“We are free and hospitable but we have sensitivities too”
The Foreign Minister stated that Romania welcomes Hungarian officials with hospitality, however he wants Romania’s sensitivities concerning interference in this autumn’s general elections campaign to be taken into account. “We are all free and I’m glad we are free. People in this country in general, whether we’re talking about Romanians, Hungarians, Germans and other nationalities, are hospitable. (…) What’s important in the framework of this freedom we all have is to take into account certain sensitivities that I’ve informed Budapest about. And this is my hope, namely that what we discussed in Budapest will be respected,” Corlatean stated. The Foreign Minister was answering a question that concerned the statement that Hungarian PM Viktor Orban made on Wednesday in Targu-Mures. Orban referred to the Romanian Foreign Minister’s request for Hungarian politicians to abstain from getting involved in the Romanian elections campaign. “Fortunately we are all free people,” Viktor Orban stated, basically suggesting that the Hungarian authorities will do what they please.
Diplomatic tour in Israel, Palestinian territories and Jordan during October 9-11
On the other hand, Titus Corlatean announced yesterday that on October 8 he will visit Strasbourg where he will meet Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, and the leaders of the political groups within PACE. According to the minister, the meetings will tackle the political situation in Romania in view of the December 9 general elections and other issues of interest for Romania, such as the Roma issue, the situation of Romanian minorities in Serbia and Ukraine, the situation within the Republic of Moldova and Hungary, as well as relations with the Russian Federation. The Romanian official will also meet Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s Minister of European Affairs, as well as other dignitaries present at the Strasbourg Forum. At the same time, the Romanian Foreign Minister will conduct a diplomatic tour in Israel, the Palestinian territories and the Kingdom of Jordan on October 9-11. The Foreign Minister will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The regional tour will offer the opportunity of conducting a preliminary evaluation of bilateral projects agreed so far and the chance to outline new projects in the economic, academic, research and development domains. Likewise, the agenda of the talks will include aspects of the cooperation within regional and international bodies, as well as an exchange of opinions in what concerns major international issues and regional developments.In other developments, Foreign Minister Corlatean was scheduled to receive yesterday at the MAE headquarters Belgium’s Ambassador Philippe Beke, Lebanon’s Ambassador Muhammad El-Dib and Cyprus’s Ambassador Kalliopi Avraam.