Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects the statements of the head of the Defence and Security Committee of the Iraqi Parliament who directly referred to alleged commercial links between the Romanian state and an organization blacklisted as terrorist by the entire international community, shows a release issued on Monday to Agerpres.
According to the source, the Foreign Ministry’s reaction follows the publication in Iraqi media of allegations about the sale of Romanian ammunition to ISIL.
“Romania strongly rejects such allegations which are completely unfounded. (…) The Romanian Foreign Ministry is asking the Iraqi Parliament to publicly apologize for these baseless accusations. Such defamatory claims may affect the Romanian-Iraqi relations,” reads the release.
The Foreign Ministry said that the Embassy of Romania in Baghdad has already taken steps with the Iraqi authorities to clarify the situation, and the Romanian Ambassador was received “as a matter of urgency” on January 31, 2015 by the Speaker of the Parliament of Iraq, whom he presenting the stance of the Romanian authorities on this subject.
“The Iraqi official expressed regret over a member of Parliament having made such defamatory allegations and assured that he would take steps to clarify the situation created, which he termed as ‘unacceptable’. There is a similar approach underway by the Romanian Embassy in Baghdad with the leadership of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Romanian Foreign Ministry said.
The same source pointed out that Romania will continue to support the Iraqi state in the fight against terrorism and “in restoring a climate of stability and security for all the ethnic and religious components of the Iraqi society.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reminds that Romania contributes to international efforts to the combat of terrorism and will continue to be involved in the fight against this scourge.
“Romania is a member of the anti-ISIL International Coalition and reaffirms its commitment to combating transnational terrorism and violent extremism,” the release says.
FM Aurescu voices Romanian side surprise at the allegations, firmly denies them
Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu welcomed Iraqi ambassador to Romania Omer Berzinji on Monday, with the minister voicing ‘the Romanian side’s surprise’ at the allegations made by an Iraqi lawmaker and recently circulated in the news media that Romania were involved in an alleged transfer of weapons to ISIL.
According to a release sent to Agerpres by the foreign ministry, such information was ‘firmly’ denied by the Romanian side.
Aurescu underscored that ‘such untrue allegations can negatively affect the profile and reputation of Romania as well as the bilateral relations of Romania and Iraq’, the ministry said.
‘Ambassador Omer Berzinji stressed that the opinion presented in the concerned press report does not represent the official stand of the Iraqi Government, but they are strictly personal opinions expressed by the concerned member of the Parliament in Baghdad. Minister Bogdan Aurescu noted the position of the Iraqi Government, which believes such allegations are not true to reality’, the release added.
On the other hand, the two officials also tackled the current phase in and the prospects for the development of the bilateral relations.
Aurescu said the Romanian-Iraqi relations record ‘positive dynamic’ and expressed the Romanian authorities’ openness to capitalising on the many opportunities at hand.
‘The two officials underscored the mutual interest in deepening the bilateral economic and commercial relations, with the Romanian minister thus proposing the achievement of a new meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation later this year as well as updating the bilateral legal framework’, the ministry stressed.
Aurescu also reiterated Romania’s constant commitment to combating international terrorism and the continued support to Iraq on a political level and for improving the humanitarian situation.
‘Both sides highlighted the convergence of the security interests and the very good level of the cooperation on defence. The Iraqi ambassador said Romania is a very good partner of Iraq in all fields, a context in which he expressed Baghdad’s appreciation of the support rendered Iraq in the developments recorded after 2003, including by Romania’s writing off part of the debt owed by Iraq. He also thanked for the consistent position of Romania in the fight against terrorism’, the release said.