ISAF Ministers encouraged by preparations for 2014 Afghan elections
Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean, during a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whom he extended an invitation to visit Romania in 2014, the Foreign Ministry has announced on Wednesday, according to Agerpres.
The two officials met while taking part in NATO ministers’ meeting, the release added.
‘The discussions reconfirmed the excellent cooperation of the two states in NATO, the privileged character of the bilateral relations, the constant progress made in the Romanian-U.S. inter-action over the last period as well as the common interests and concerns with respect to the developments on the regional and international arena,’ the ministry said. Corlatean underscored the importance of keeping up the dynamic and sustained pace of the high-level bilateral political dialogue set by the recent visit paid by Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta to Washington D.C. (over Oct. 20-24) and by the ceremony marking the start of the main building works on the Missile Facility at Deveselu Military Base (southern Romania), on Oct. 28.
Corlatean and Kerry swapped views of a range of topical issues on the international agenda, with emphasis on the Republic of Moldova, the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, the developments in Ukraine.
The two dignitaries hailed the Republic of Moldova’s initialling the EU Association Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, the release stressed.
‘Amid the constant and firm support rendered by Romania to the Republic of Moldova’s pro-European aspirations, Minister Corlatean hailed the forthcoming visit to be paid by the U.S. Secretary of State to Chisinau, which amounts to Washington’s recognition of the progress made by the Republic of Moldova on the democratic reforms and the rule of law state and the efforts for sustained economic development’, the ministry added.
As regards the current developments in Ukraine, both Kerry and Corlatean underscored the need of communicating a coordinated message of support for the democratic process in Ukraine, of respect of the citizens’ rights and freedoms and fostering the dialogue between the authorities, the opposition and the civil society so as to secure domestic stability. Ukraine, also in its capacity of the OSCE chairman-in-office, must fully meet its international commitments, must respect the rule of law state and the democratic norms, the two official said.
NATO Foreign Ministers and their counterparts from ISAF partner nations on Wednesday welcomed the encouraging briefings from acting Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani and Interior Minister Omar Daudzai on ongoing preparations for next year’s presidential and provincial council elections, a NATO press release reports. The elections are scheduled for April next year and the Afghan security forces will be primarily responsible for ensuring they are held in a secure environment with ISAF forces playing a backup role. At their meeting in Brussels, the Foreign Ministers also finalised the rules governing the use of the NATO Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund after 2014. This fund will be part of the broader international effort to support the long-term sustainment of the Afghan security forces. “
NATO-Russia Council approves ambitious cooperation plan
The NATO Foreign Ministers together with their Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov agreed yesterday to launch a joint trust fund project to dispose of obsolete and dangerous ammunition in the Kaliningrad region and discussed pressing international security issues, with a focus on Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. NATO and Russia will initiate a pilot project for the disposal of obsolete and dangerous ammunition in the Kaliningrad region of Russia. The project will be paid for through a new trust fund. The total cost of the entire effort is estimated at around 50 million euros and projected to run five years. The NATO Russia Council (NRC) also exchanged views on global security issues including Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.