Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende (photo ) said Thursday in Bucharest that the ongoing refugee crisis is the worst since WWII, and European countries should take all responsibilities.
“What we see now is the result of neglect on the part of the world community when its comes to finding a peaceful solution for Syria. Syria is now a humanitarian catastrophe; there are millions of refugees, millions of people who abandoned their homes. We can see that the situation in Libya is highly difficult. We have not found any viable peace agreement there, and now we are paying for that. I believe we now should conceive a short-term policy, then a medium-term and then a long-term policy. The things we are facing are this mass migration. It is the most serious refugee crisis since WWII and we all have to take responsibility. More than 300,000 people have come to the borders of the European Union in half a year, three times more than last year. We all have to intensify efforts instead of counting on the countries that receive them somewhere at the periphery,” Brende told a joint news conference with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu in response to a question about Norway’s stance on the refugee crisis and the mass migration of people toward Europe.
He added that he concurs with the EU President Donald Tusk and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel’s remarks.
“We all have to do our duty. This is a humanitarian crisis and Norway is one of the largest donors to Syria, Iraq and other countries in the same area.(…) In the medium run, and hopefully in the short run as well, there will be a resolution of the United Nations Security Council and an agreement of the world’s leaders; the world’s biggest five [powers] should solve the issue,” added Brende.
He said that as far as the situation in Ukraine is concerned, similar opinions have been voiced to a great extent. “As far as the situation in Ukraine is concerned, that is not Ukraine but Russia’s problem. Russia has to stop destabilising Donbass; Russia has the key to unlock the situation and start obeying the international law. We believe it is extremely important for us to support Ukraine making progress. (…) That is why we increased our support to Ukraine seven times and we will continue to further increase it in the coming year,” added the Norwegian foreign minister.
He also thanked for having been invited to address the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy, congratulating Romania on its economic reforms that generated economic growth of 4 percent this year.
Brende attended the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy as special guest.
ForMin Aurescu pleads for stimulating Romanian-Norwegian economic cooperation
Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Thursday voiced himself in favour of the Romanian-Norwegian economic cooperation and investment being stimulated, pointing to “positive dynamic” if the bilateral relations.
At a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende, the Romanian head diplomat thanked Brende for “excellent cooperation” on a bilateral level, saying Brende’s visit to Bucharest represents a “natural consequence” of the “excellent” relations between the two states.
“It is the second time when Minister Brende comes to Romania, after the visit he paid last year to Bucharest. (…) We are partners in the European Economic Area, allies within NATO. It is very important to continue this dynamic of contacts on a political-diplomatic level. On a sectoral level, it is important to continue to stimulate the economic cooperation and investment,” Aurescu said.
As far as the North Atlantic Alliance is concerned, Aurescu highlighted Romania’s interest in strengthening the security on the eastern flank, taking into account the strategic importance the Black Sea has in the current regional security context, as integrating part of the Euro-Atlantic security.
“Norway, which is in the north-eastern part of the Alliance, at the Arctic Ocean, as Romania is placed at the Black Sea, understands very well the strategic importance of these NATO neighbourhoods,” said Aurescu.
When discussing the enlargement of NATO, he pointed to Romania supporting the open door policy.
“We believe that this policy is meant to contribute to strengthening security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic space. That is why we support Montenegro’s accession to NATO under a decision which ideally would be taken in December. Moreover, we have discussed the manner in which we can help Georgia’s progress on its path to joining the Alliance,” Aurescu added.
President Iohannis, Norwegian ForMin highlight good cooperation between Romania and Norway
President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace on Thursday welcomed Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Borge Brende, with the two officials voicng their satisfaction with the excellent cooperation between Romania and Norway, both on a bilateral and on a multilateral level, especially within the North Atlantic Alliance and in relation to the European Economic Area (EEA).
According to a Presidential Administration press statement sent to AGERPRES, the two officials highlighted the interest in continuing to strengthen this cooperation, mostly in the economy and investment area.
President Iohannis voiced praise for Norway’s cooperation with Romania in Romania’s using funds allotted under the EEA financial mechanism and the Norwegian financial mechanism.
At the same time, the two officials discussed the latest developments in Europe, with a special focus on the eastern neighbourhood, namely Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and the migration issue.