The bilateral relations between Romania and Turkey reached an unprecedented level, which must be improved in the coming period, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Wednesday.
The Romanian head of Government underscored that the visit paid by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Romania represents “a historic moment for the relations” between the two states.
“The relations between the two countries are in an entirely exceptional moment, a special moment, in which the political collaboration, the strategic collaboration here, in this so important region, and the economic collaboration, a reason for which we are together today, have reached an unprecedented level, which we want to improve in the coming period,” Ponta said, while attending the Romania – Turkey Business Forum, together with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Prime Minister thanked the companies and investors from Turkey “who had and still have confidence in Romania, who create jobs, who continue to invest and who support Romania’s economic development.”
“Turkey is definitely Romania’s main commercial partner outside the EU and the economic relations with Turkey on the level of institutions, but also on the private companies’ level, are essential for Romania’s economic development. I am absolutely positive that through the projects we started with the one who was then Turkey’s Prime Minister and is now Turkey’s President, – the President elected by the people, the first directly elected president of Turkey – , the common projects in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure areas, we can bring a real gain to both countries and to our peoples. I want to believe that the economic part of our strategic partnership truly represents an essential part and I want (…) to ask you to have confidence that both Romania’s Government and the administration of Ankara have made and continue to make efforts for these economic and commercial relations to further develop,” Victor Ponta said quoted by Agerpres.
He underscored that he wants Romania to make, in regards to the economy and infrastructure, in particular, the progress Turkey made “especially in the city that means so much to Turkey, to Romania and to the entire civilisation – Constantinople, Istanbul.”
“I would like Bucharest, Romania, to develop in the same way and I believe Turkey’s direction and achievements over the recent years undoubtedly represent for Romania a model to follow,” Prime Minister Ponta said.
PM Ponta, Erdogan attend signing of bilateral agreements
Prime Minister Victor Ponta met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday; their meeting at the Government’s Victoria Palace lasted more than one hour, instead of the 15 minutes scheduled.
Several bilateral documents were signed in the presence of the two officials, after the meeting.
Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu signed intergovernmental agreements on the bilateral cooperation for waters, forestry, meteorology and hydrology.
Romanian Minister of Economy, Trade and Tourism Mihai Tudose and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci signed a declaration on the setup of a Turkey-Romania Joint Economic and Commercial Committee.
Agerpres National News Agency Director-General Alexandru Giboi and Anadolu News Agency Chairman of the Board Senol Kazanc signed a cooperation agreement between these media institutions.
Romanian National Library Director Petruta Mihaela Voicu and Turkish Ambassador in Bucharest Osman Koray Ertas signed a memorandum of understanding between Romania’s and Turkey’s national libraries and an agreement on the exchange of publications.
Ponta and Erdogan also participated in the Romania-Turkey business forum at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania on Wednesday afternoon.
New feasibility study for Romania-Turkey high voltage direct current interconnection
President Klaus Iohannis says he asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to wait for the conclusions of a new feasibility study for the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Interconnection Link between Romania and Turkey; the two heads of state discussed this matter privately in Bucharest on Wednesday.
‘The current situation is as follows: there was a feasibility study carried out several years ago. The conclusion was that not all the relevant data have been found, and the responsible authorities ordered a new feasibility study to better reveal the achievable results. This project is in its first study phase, and I have asked the President to wait a little until we have the conclusions of this new feasibility study; then our governments should find the best solutions to eventually continue the dialogue on the energy security,’ Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace after his meeting with Erdogan who paid an official visit to Bucharest on Wednesday.
The Turkish president mentioned the project was not new and the talks concerned the energy transmission from both Romania and Bulgaria.
‘Our energy ministers are still meeting. Our principle is a mutual gain, and ultimately we will take the step, that is chose the best offer,’ Erdogan asserted.
Erdogan: Visas for Turkish citizens hinder the development of tourist relations with Romania
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that currently the visas for the Turkish citizens hinder the development of the tourist relations with Romania, adding that if they are eliminated, certainly the number of the Turkish tourists’ number to visit our country will grow.
‘Any time we come to Romania we never feel like being foreigners, we feel as we are among friends, in our friends’ homes and this is owed to the interest of the Romanians towards the tourism in Turkey. 425.000 Romanian tourists have visited Turkey last year. I said this in the plenum of the delegations and if Romania gives up the visas request, naturally the number of the Turks visiting Romania will grow,’ said Erdogan, after the meeting he has had with president Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.
He said the volume of the commercial exchanges between Romania and Turkey reveals a normal construction, specifying that it currently attains USD 6.3 billion, its target being to hit USD 10 billion.
Erdogan has mentioned there are companies that wish to make new investments in Romania, highlighting that if the businesspersons are supported, this will contribute to lifting the development level of the relations between Turkey and Romania and many jobs will be ensured for many Romanians.
According to the Turkish head of state, the Yunus Emre cultural centre in Bucharest and Constanta, collaborating with the Dimitrie Cantemir Centre in Istanbul, will be able to contribute to developing cultural relations between the countries and peoples of Turkey and Romania.
In the opinion of president Klaus Iohannis, the economic and commercial cooperation is a plus in the two countries’ relations.
‘Turkey is Romania’s biggest commercial partner outside European Union and its 5th global partner. We should capitalize together through creative, efficient solutions the potential of this partnership,’ Iohannis said, in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart.
The Romanian head of state said the two countries aim at the extension of the bilateral cooperation in economic projects on other areas’ markets, such as in Central Asia and Caucasus.
Iohannis mentioned that Romania will take over, in the 2nd half of the year, the chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the priority directions being the development of the economic profile of the organization and a tighter cooperation in environment, infrastructure and home affairs.
‘Continuity and predictability – these are the coordinates of the foreign policy I have assumed, and they should manifest in all aspects, both within the bodies we are part of, and in the bilateral relations. I have assured the Turkish partners they could count on us in this respect,’ Iohannis concluded.