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Foreign Minister Aurescu at FAC: Russian involvement in Syria, its effects not to divert attention from Ukraine

Russia’s actions in Syria have a negative impact on terrorist radicalization in the region and the Russian involvement in that state and its effects should not divert the attention from the situation in Ukraine, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu (photo R) told a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday.

“Bogdan Aurescu stressed that the goal of combating Daesh and the Al Qaeda-affiliated groupings is an obligation of the entire international community, which should act in a coordinated manner and this goal is an opportunity Russia must capitalize on, not use it for its own geostrategic agenda. Last but not least, the minister said the Russian involvement in that state and its effects should not divert the attention from the situation in Ukraine,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a release.

Aurescu underscored that Romania firmly supports finding a political way to settle the conflict in Syria and argued that only a political negotiating process can provide a lasting solution to the Syrian crisis.

“Romania is ready to get actively involved in facilitating the dialogue, also by using our embassy in Damascus, which is operational. Romania backs the activity and plan of the U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura for settling the Syrian conflict. I said at the EU ministerial meeting in New York that the participation of all parties in the working groups proposed by the Envoy is a test of their will to get involved in the negotiations. It is worrying that because of Russia’s actions, the moderate opposition has recently said it does not want to participate in the working groups’ activity before the Russian intervention in Syria stops”, the Romanian top diplomat said.

He added that the military and political dimension should take place simultaneously and the political negotiating process should be launched “without delay”, according to the release.

As regards the situation in Libya, the Romanian official hailed the “phase result” of the political negotiations in that country and underscored that the political agreement for setting up a national unity government represents “an essential moment of the process for re-establishing the peace, security and stability of Libya and the region”. He added there is need of an important contribution from the international community in the period ahead. The Romanian minister argued that the European Union should give financial support and the necessary assistance for the consolidation of the Libyan state.

The EU should send a powerful message for the territorial unity and integrity of Libya, the ministry quoted Aurescu as saying in Luxembourg.

Speaking of the migration, Aurescu pronounced for working out a “broad, comprehensive” strategy to include economic, social and educational measures in the countries of origin, the management of the crises in those states and the post-conflict stabilization. As for the response to the humanitarian crisis, Aurescu said Romania shows solidarity with the EU and international efforts.

“Thus, Bogdan Aurescu noted the Romania’s financial contribution to the UNHCR worth 200,000 dollars for 2016-2017 and the contribution to the World Food Programme worth 300,000 euros during 2015-2017 as well as the recent 250,000 dollars humanitarian aid granted Jordan by the Romanian Government early this month and the emergency humanitarian aid to Serbia totalling 200,000 euros extended by the Romanian Government following the assistance request made by the Serbian authorities to the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection”, the release explained.

The Romanian minister laid emphasis on setting up the educational, social and economic conditions for the refugees in the states neighbouring the conflict areas, where they are, by proper funding and he warned that otherwise there is the risk of the refugees’ returning to the conflict areas to take part in the hostilities, maybe even as part of radical groupings financing such recruitment.

“Speaking of the future Summit in La Valletta in November, the foreign minister underscored there is need to strengthen the cooperation with the African partners on migration by laying stress on the connection between the social-economic development of the African states and the migration issue”, the release said.

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