Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu held consultations with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil as part of his official visit to Madrid.
According to a statement sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) to Agerpres, the two ministers tackled topics of common interest at bilateral, European and international level.
“Minister Bogdan Aurescu stressed the need to continue to consolidate the political dialogue. Accordingly, the minister proposed that preparations for the first joint government session be started.
Moreover, he proposed – and the Spanish counterpart agreed – the creation, on the basis of the Strategic Partnership of a Strategic Dialogue mechanism between the two ministries of foreign affairs, at the level of state secretaries/deputy ministers, on topics such as security and the Eastern and Southern Neighborhood,’ the statement reads.
Furthermore, Minister Aurescu stressed the need to “deepen economic contacts,” also taking into account that last year’s bilateral trade reached 3 billion euros, and during the first six months of 2015 went up by 12pct year-on-year. Moreover, Aurescu signaled the Romanian side’s interest in the increase of Spanish investment in Romania, including in agriculture, energy and infrastructure.
Aurescu stressed the contribution of the Romanian community – the largest immigrant community in Spain – to the development of Spain’s economy, as well as its high degree of integration in Spanish society.
He reasserted the endeavor of the Romanian side aimed at the adoption by the Spanish side of the national laws allowing Romanians residing in Spain to receive dual citizenship on request and reminded the request of the Romanian Orthodox Church to benefit from facilities similar to those granted by the Spanish state to other confessions.
The talks focused on a number of topical issues such as security developments in the eastern and Southern Neighborhood and combating terrorism.
Furthermore, the two ministers exchanged opinions on the situation in Ukraine and Moldova. Minister Aurescu stated that, in what regards security in Ukraine, there are several positive signs, but pointed out that one should not ‘lose sight of the potential to resume hostilities, namely, the transformation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine in a new lengthy conflict, adding to those existing in the Black Sea region, should be avoided at all costs’.
“Both ministers agreed that EU sanctions should be maintained until the full enforcement of the Minsk Agreements, without lifting those sanctions that were introduced after the illegal occupation of Crimea in the absence of any development in the latter case,” the MAE states.
Aurescu also stressed that “Moldova remains a major priority on Romania’s agenda, given that it is essential, in the current internal political context, to ensure stability and maintain the pro-European orientation of this country, as well as to continue European-style reforms, a point of view shared by Minister Margallo.”
The two ministers expressed their support for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis and saluted the political agreement in Libya.
The two diplomats also discussed the chances for the resuming of the peace process in the Middle East, “the Romanian minister presented the conclusions of his recent visit to Israel and Palestine, and underlined the need to appease violence related to the issue of the status of the Esplanade of Mosques/ Temple Mount, namely of the rebuilding trust among the two parties through the efforts of the international community, as a premise for the resuming of direct negotiations.”
According to the MAE, Aurescu also highlighted the excellent cooperation between Romania and Spain within the framework of the common initiative on the creation of an International Court against Terrorism, a priority subject for both countries in the current security context.
After consultations, the two ministers presented the concept of the Court to the Madrid Club, gathered on October 27-28 for a session on the topic ‘2015 Policy Dialogue Madrid+10: Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism.’