Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Friday was received by Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili and had meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Parliament President David Usupashvili, as well as with Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakaradze, informs a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release remitted to Agerpres.
The release points out that during the discussions with the Georgian President Aurescu voiced Romania’s interest in developing the bilateral cooperation in all the common interest sectors, as well as Romania’s support for Georgia’s options of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
In the meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister, the two officials discussed the expansion of the Romanian-Georgian economic cooperation, including in the prospect of the official visit Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will be paying to Bucharest, in the coming period, at the invitation of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
Bogdan Aurescu reiterated the importance of turning to reality the common projects in the energy area, through the Azerbaijan – Georgia – Romania – Hungary (AGRI) liquid gas interconnector, and in the transports area, through the freight transport project the Black Sea – the Caspian Sea.
‘The Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister voiced the support for the process of implementing the EU – Georgia Association Agreement in prospect of the Eastern Partnership Summit of Riga, over May 21-22, 2015. The Romanian dignitary voiced the support for Georgia’s objectives in the Summit, including in regards with the liberalisation of the EU visas for Georgia,’ the cited source adds.
In the meeting with Georgian Parliament President David Usupashvili, Aurescu voiced the satisfaction for the level of the Romanian – Georgian parliamentary dialogue, ‘developed including through the visit paid by the Georgian official to Bucharest, in February 2014.’
In the discussions with State Minister David Bakradze, the Romanian chief diplomat highlighted the importance Romania grants to implementing the Substantial Package of Measures on Georgia, adopted in the NATO Summit held in the UK.
Aurescu showed that Romania ‘will participate in the allied effort meant to consolidate Georgia’s security and to support the reforms in the defence area,’ and highlighted that Bucharest continues to strongly support Georgia in reaching the final objective of integration in the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
The schedule of the official visit to Georgia of the Romanian Foreign Minister also included laying a wreath of flowers at the Heroes’ Monument and a visit to the administrative separation line with South Ossetia, in the locality of Khurvaleti.
Both during the meetings and also while visiting the Khurvaleti checkpoint, the head of the Romanian diplomacy voiced Romania’s support for the activity of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM). The Romanian official showed that Romania will continue to maintain a high level of participation in the EUMM, as it continues to be the main contributor, with 35 seconded experts and 3 employed experts.
‘At the same time, Bogdan Aurescu voiced Romania’s support for solving in a peaceful manner the extended conflicts in Georgia, based on international law, with the observance of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally-recognised borders,’ MAE shows.
According to the cited source, all speakers thanked the Romanian Foreign Minister for ‘the constant, concrete and consistent support’ of Romania for Georgia’s efforts of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. They voiced ‘special appreciation’ for Romania’s having been the first EU state to have ratified the Association and the Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, the Georgian officials voiced appreciation for the activity of the Romanian Embassy as NATO Contact Point, but also for the substantial contribution with Romanian experts in the EUMM.
Aurescu offers Romania’s opening for enhancing and extending its relations with Georgia
Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu and his Georgian counterpart Tamar Beruchashvili had consultations on Friday, within the framework of the visit paid to Tbilisi by Aurescu. The head of Romanian diplomacy reconfirmed the support for a peaceful, negotiated solution of the prolonged conflicts in Georgia, based on international laws and ‘respecting the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the country within its internationally recognized borders.’
A release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) mentioned the two officials voiced their satisfaction for the ‘excellent level’ of partnership in the bilateral cooperation.
Aurescu offered Romania’s opening for enhancing and extending its relations with Georgia in all the shared interest fields, especially in economic cooperation for energy and transportation.
‘The head of Romanian diplomacy highlighted the opportunity of joint Romanian-Georgian approaches for reaping the benefits of the two countries’ access to the Black Sea and for setting up regional projects with an impact on the economic growth and on the creation of jobs. The Romanian official stressed the need of commissioning the liquefied gas interconnector linking Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary (AGRI),’ the document adds.
Aurescu also mentioned the importance of using the existing ferryboat connection across the Black Sea between the Romanian port of Constanta and the Georgian port of Batumi, to carry out the Black Sea – Caspian Sea freight transport project. He underscored the completion of the private initiative of the Ilichovsk-Constanta-Batumi ferry line as ‘an indication of the business interest and of the development potential of transport across the Black Sea, with a view to connecting the potential of the European market with the export opportunities of Southern Caucasus and Central Asia.’
The Romanian minister also reasserted Bucharest’s support for the process of implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement; he reminded that Romania was the first EU member state to ratify the Association Agreements with all three countries of the Eastern Partnership, namely the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine.
During the talks, Aurescu also promised support for Georgia’s goals at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, including for the liberalization of EU visas for Georgia.
He also reaffirmed Romania’s support for the activity of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, to which Romania is currently the largest contributor in terms of staff. Aurescu also underscored that Georgia was the second beneficiary of Romania’s assistance for development, with 7.5 percent, next to the Republic of Moldova, MAE’s release states.
The document also points out that Tamar Beruchashvili thanked for Romania’s ‘concrete support’ to Georgia’s NATO admission process, including the activity of the Romanian embassy as NATO Contact Point in Georgia for the second term.
The Georgian minister expressed ‘special appreciation’ for Romania being the first EU state to ratify the Association Agreements; he asked for Bucharest’s expertise in the process of implementation of these agreements