President Klaus Iohannis has presented on Thursday, in his first meeting since taking office with the diplomatic corps, his vision on Romania’s foreign policy and the priorities of his tenure in this field.
He told ambassadors accredited in Romania that he wished a visionary foreign policy, more transparent and more active and that his main priorities are “the need for cooperation and elimination of any source of conflict”. “Reliability and predictability are basic principles that should underpin the foreign policy and national security, “said President Iohannis.
Romania’s head of state also emphasized that geopolitical tensions in the region make countries in the area more responsible and said that Romania wishes to meet expectations of its partners.
President Iohannis used the opportunity to thank all foreign diplomats present at the traditional annual meeting with the head of state for their support and good wishes sent to him when taking office as president.
“I see ambassadors not only as a point of contact with the states they represent, but friends of Romania and of Romanian nation,” Iohannis told ambassadors present at the annual meeting with the diplomatic corps hosted by the Cotroceni Palace.
He added that the measure of his ambition is given by the trust of Romanians through their vote, saying that the pressure to do a different politics largely regards the foreign policy.
The Strategic Partnership with the United States of America is a “paramount landmark” of Romania’s foreign policy
President, Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that the Strategic Partnership with the United States of America is a “paramount landmark” of Romania’s foreign policy and pronounced for a “dynamic” continuation of the political dialogue and cooperation with Washington.
“The Strategic Partnership with the USA (…) crowns the dedication the Romanian and the American diplomats who have served the bilateral relationships for 135 years since the fathering of the diplomatic relationships between Bucharest and Washington. Romania wishes its diplomatic dialogue and collaboration with the US to continue dynamically, so that the interaction in the main fields of the bilateral Strategic Partnership for the 21st century, magnify ,” Klaus Iohannis told the annual reunion of the chief diplomats accredited to Romania, at the Cotroceni Palace.
The head of state said that in relationship with the United States, the economic cooperation’s development, as well as the inter-human exchanges, in education, science and innovations have a special importance.
“In 2015, the operationalisation of the US defence system against the ballistic missiles at Deveselu, will take place – a significant strategic project for both states’ security, as well as for the Euro-Atlantic security,” Klaus Iohannis concluded.
NATO must consolidate anticipation capacity, given the constant shift in security situation
The events of 2014 in the eastern neighbourhood showed the need for NATO to consolidate its anticipation capacity, given the constant shift in the security situation, President Klaus Iohannis said in the annual meeting with the heads of the diplomatic missions accredited in Romania.
The head of state showed that Romania will continue to consolidate, within the North-Atlantic Organization, the profile of European ally state ‘with a trans-Atlantic vocation, with a stabilising and predictable role in the region.’ Iohannis pointed out that, for Romania, NATO represents ‘an essential, indispensable pillar for the security, prosperity and defence of the political, democratic and rule of law values,’ which Bucharest has embraced.
He also said that, in the conditions of the crisis at the eastern border of the Alliance, it is necessary that NATO continued to prove unity, solidarity and determination in fulfilling its fundamental mission – collective defence.
‘Null games or attempts to rebuild some spheres of influence should not affect the regional stability and the Euro-Atlantic security, consolidated after the Cold War ended. We believe that it is natural that the spirit of the Euro-Atlantic community, grounded on freedom, democracy and security, also be benefitted from by the states east from Romania, which aspire to join the Alliance,’ Klaus Iohannis said.
In this context, the President underscored that Romania will continue to support Ukraine, by making operational the NATO Trust Fund in the area of cyber defence.
‘The necessary conditions will be ensured for supporting the other partners of the Alliance, with a focus on the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. NATO’s agenda must include a highlighted profile on Ukraine’s, Georgia’s and the Republic of Moldova’s security and stability, states with a special significance for the security climate in the Euro-Atlantic space as a whole. We must reinforce the strong messages through which NATO supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of these states within their internationally-recognised borders and reiterates the political endorsement for their reform efforts,’ the head of state maintained.
Romania intends to substantiate relations with its strategic partners
President Klaus Iohannis also told the diplomatic corps gathered at the Cotroceni Palace for the annual traditional meeting with the head of state that Romania intends to “substantiate” the relations with the countries with which it has concluded strategic partnerships, mentioning states such as France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Spain and Turkey.
“We have in view substantiating relations with states with which we have concluded strategic partnerships or privileged and consolidated relations, such as France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, the United Kingdom, Spain or Turkey. We will continue to act for the completion of this bilateral dialogue through sectorial cooperation especially in the economic sphere. These countries are among the main investors and commercial partners of Romania. We are also tied to a large number of these countries by special affinities of history and culture, beyond strategic interests,” said President Iohannis, at the annual meeting with the ambassadors accredited to Romania.
He showed that Romania grants special importance to the bilateral relations with Hungary and Bulgaria, “neighboring states and strategic partners, and will continue to act for the development of these [relations] in the innate framework of good vicinity relations, with a particular emphasis on trans-border projects circumscribed to the European agenda.
The European path of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine represents one of the main foreign policy concerns for Romania
President Klaus Iohannis told ambassadors accredited in Romania said that the European path of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine represents one of the main foreign policy concerns for Romania, adding that Bucharest will continue to ‘firmly’ support the efforts in this respect of these two states and of Georgia.
‘The events in Ukraine cast a shadow of sad remembrance of the Cold War on 2014. Romania condemns the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to contribute to the materialisation of its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The European path of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine remains one of the main concerns of foreign policy for Romania. The reason is not just that of the well-known historic connections, but also Romania’s proximity to the conflict areas and to these states where the Russian Federation acts illegally,’ Iohannis said at the annual meeting with the heads of the diplomatic missions accredited in Romania.
In what regards the Republic of Moldova, the head of state said that the parliamentary elections of November 30, 2014, reconfirmed the people’s support for the pro-European political option.
‘In spite of the difficult regional situation, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova bravely voiced their conviction that this is the path guaranteeing them prosperity inside a society with sustainable democratic institutions. We are determined to support, as we have done so far, the implementing in the Republic of Moldova of the difficult domestic reforms in view to getting closer to the European Union. A stable government with a pro-European unitary vision is to be preferred to any other compromise solution. We hope that the leaders of Chisinau understand the mission bestowed upon them by the Moldovan citizens and direct their efforts solely to the direction of strengthening democracy,’ Klaus Iohannis maintained.
He explained that a ‘stable and secure’ vicinity is a priority to Romania and appreciated the Eastern Partnership as being a relevant instrument in establishing relations with the partners in the vicinity, mainly in the current regional security context.
‘In the preparation of the Summit of Riga, to take place in May, we find necessary a process of updating and adaptation of the Eastern Partnership meant to ensure the achievement of some ambitious objectives. It is essential to consecrate a clear European prospect for the most performing partners of the Eastern Partnership, who have political will and fulfill the necessary conditionalities through the thorough implementing of the differentiation and more for more principles. The Summit of Riga is a good occasion to send such message,’ the President showed.
He said that Romania will continue to firmly support the cooperation with the other states in the Eastern Partnership, Armenia, Azerbaidjan and Belarus.
Taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union by Romania in 2019 represents a responsibility for which solid plans must be prepared
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union by Romania in 2019 represents a responsibility for which solid plans must be prepared for the common benefit of Romania and other member states.
“I start this mandate thinking of preparing Romania to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019. It is an honor to be the one to lead our country in the period of the highest European responsibility position. It is, at the same time, a responsibility for which we must prepare solid plans in the common benefit of Romania and the other member states,” said President Iohannis at the annual meeting of heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Romania.
He emphasized he will support, as a coordinator, the building of an integrated foreign policy strategy to which all the institutions of the Romanian state will contribute.
“It is vital for Romania’s development to have a coherent foreign and security policy, assumed by the Presidency, the Government and Parliament. I believe the domain of foreign policy may be the first to be stripped of partisan and conjectural interests. The approach on principles of seriousness and perseverance must mark the relation between Romania and the other EU member states, but also that between all member states and those neighboring the EU. Many of the countries that will hold the EU presidency come from the Central and Eastern European area, an extraordinary opportunity to set some common denominators,” said President Iohannis.
He ensured the Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union of support in accomplishing the priorities set, for a more competitive European Union, showing that several internal challenges will have to be managed, as well as challenges in the eastern and southern vicinity of the Union, and challenges transversal in nature, such as the the migration phenomenon or the fight against terrorism.
Romania belongs to the Schengen Area
President Klaus Iohannis says Romania belongs to the Schengen Area, as it meets the criteria of this free movement space and any controversies about it are merely political.
‘Romania becoming completely European is a central goal of my term; this means continuing the European integration process by joining the Schengen area and adopting the Euro currency. Romania belongs to the Schengen Area as a full member with equal rights. We fully meet the criteria for joining the Schengen Area; any misunderstandings about it are merely on political grounds. The big deficit affecting the EU member states does not reside in their national budgets, but rather in the lack of trust among partners, resulting in discrimination. I think we can overcome this moment. Our European partners’ duty is to be fair in their evaluation and in implementing rules; we believe in rules that are observed and that do not change based on temporary interests,’ the President told ambassadors accredited to Romania at the traditional annual meeting with the diplomatic corps at the Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of the presidency.
Iohannis underscored that Romania expects to join the Schengen Area, as European institutions assured. He added that Romania was prepared to contribute to perfecting the Schengen system, in the spirit of much-needed unity and solidarity.
‘On one hand, the freedom of movement should not be affected; on the other hand, more strict control must be guaranteed at the outer borders of the EU,’ the President added.
‘The successive positive conclusions of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) reports are an acknowledgment of the efforts for internal consolidation on all levels – fight against corruption, functioning of institutions, increasing openness and credibility. We are convinced the right, correct steps will be taken to begin the CVM phasing out process for Romania,’ he declared.
The President stressed that ‘facing any kind of difficulties and warnings, Romania reasserts its commitment to the European project; it is firmly convinced of the superiority of the political, economic and security model of the EU.’
Romania’s relationship with the Russian Federation is shaded by the Ukrainian crisis
President Klaus Iohannis said that Romania’s relationships with the Russian Federation are shaded by the Ukrainian crisis, adding that in order to return to dialogue and collaboration, Moscow should observe the international law.
“Romania’s relationships with the Russian Federation, as the relationship of the European Union and the NATO with the Russian Federation are today shaded by the grave events which led to the Ukrainian crisis. A return of these relationships to the necessary stage of a constructive dialogue and a collaboration corresponding to the joint interest, depends urgently on the observance by the Russian foreign policy of the international law’s principles. The attempt to rewrite the rules, the overcoming of some red lines as regards the behaviour and the principles of the international law, the resort among states to past ways of action do create problems to us all, the Europeans, the Atlantic communities, the proxies, to Russia itself, and the implications extend beyond the Euro-Atlantic space,” the head of state said at the Cotroceni Palace, at the annual meeting with the chief diplomats accredited in Romania.
He highlighted that “threats to the Black Sea extended region’s security magnify Romania’s strategic role in promoting a peace and security climate at the Eastern border of the European Union and the NATO.”
“We will further carefully pursuit the evolution of the cold conflicts, too, an additional element of tension, the Black Sea extended region,” the president concluded.
Romania could become a security exporter in the region
President Klaus Iohannis told ambassadors accredited to Bucharest that Romania’s and Europe’s independence is tightly connected to the energy independence and security, and Bucharest could become a security exporter in the region by supporting energy inter-connectors and exploiting its own resources.
“Romania’s and Europe’s independence is deeply connected to the energy independence and security. Romania could become a security exporter in the region through a policy of support of the energy inter-connectors and through exploitation of its own resources. Romania hails the importance given to the goal of achieving an energy union. We believe it essential the consolidation of the strengthening process of solidarity inside the European Union, between the EU and its neighbours, as well as of giving priority to the infrastructure projects in this region,” Klaus Iohannis told the annual meeting of the chief diplomats, accredited to Bucharest.
In this respect, he wished success to Latvia, which took over the EU Council’s Presidency, showing that “several challenges in the domestic field” will be to handle, in the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood of the Union, yet there will be challenges too, with transversal character, such as fight against terrorism or migration.
We don’t want the future generations know the horror of conflicts of any kind
President Klaus Iohannis evoked the sad occasion of sending condolences early in his term following the two sanguinary attacks against civilians in Paris; he warned that anyone who threatens the way of life of freeborn people will meet the adequate response.
‘Although I took office as President of Romania just one month ago, I had – just like you – the sad occasion to express solidarity and condolences on behalf of the Romanian nation in two different cases of sanguinary attacks against civilians. We do not want the future generations know the horror of conflicts of any kind; this does not mean, however, that anyone who threatens the way of life of freeborn people will not face a proper response,’ the President told ambassadors accredited to Romania at the traditional annual meeting with the diplomatic corps on Thursday at the Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of the presidency.
He stressed that ‘a strong foreign policy is always able to guarantee a quick response.’
‘Romania’s foreign policy will be effective and creative; it will respond to the accelerated dynamics in the region,’ Iohannis also declared, quoted by Agerpres.
The head of state concluded by thanking the ambassadors for their attendance; he wished them a happy and successful year, full of hope.
Compiled from Agerpres