President pays official visit to Slovakia.
President Traian Basescu stated yesterday in Bratislava that Romania will “never accept the theory on collective rights” for minorities or allow someone from the outside to come and “tell us how to organise our territories”. “I will repeat here what I stated in Bucharest, namely we will never accept the theory on collective rights or allow someone from the outside come and tell us how to organise our territories administratively”, Basescu stated, as cited by Mediafax in a joint press point with Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic (photo). Asked if the matter of Hungarian minorities in the two countries had been discussed, President Gasparovic replied: “We have realised that, in fact, our stance toward that particular minority is the same as toward any other citizens of our countries”.
Basescu emphasized that the Slovakian minority in Romania, consisting of “hard-working people”, is well integrated and thanked the Slovakian President on behalf of the Romanian state. “If you come to Romania, you will see how beautiful the towns inhabited by the Slovaks are”, the President said.
The president also pointed out he talked with the Slovakian President about each country’s stance on Kosovo, as Romania and Slovakia, along with Cyprus, Spain and Greece are part of a group of five EU member states who did not acknowledge Pristina’s independence. The President said both countries have a “similar approach” to Kosovo.
During the joint press conference, Basescu said the discussions also involved topics such as the Republic of Moldavia, which he said is a priority for Romania, the situation in Syria or the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
Later in the day, Basescu held talks with Slovakian Parliament Speaker Pavol Paska at Bratislava Castle and attended an official dinner offered in his honour by the Slovakian head of state. Today, president Basescu will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Military Cemetery of the Romanian Army located in Zvolen and will then travel to Banska Bystrica, to visit the Slovakian National Liberation Museum. A ceremony will also be held in Banska Bystrica, in which the Romanian president and Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin will unveil commemorative plaques honouring the Romanian and Russian armies, who freed the city in World War Two.
According to the Presidential Administration, President Basescu’s visit to Slovakia aimed at intensifying the bilateral dialogue on a political and sectoral level, the coordination and cooperation within the European Union and the cooperation on a regional level.