President Klaus Iohannis is paying a two-day official visit to the Slovak Republic. The delegation includes Lazar Comanescu, the newly sworn-in Minister of Foreign Affairs and presidential advisors Leonard Orban, Ion Oprisor, Cosmin Marinescu, Laurentiu Stefan and Andrei Muraru.
President Iohannis was welcomed to the Slovakian Presidential Palace in Bratislava with military honours.
He signed the guest book and had one-to-one talk with his Slovakian counterpart.
“Terrorism and terror attacks work and they have very serious consequences if fear is the reaction to them”, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Wednesday in Bratislava, adding that Romania was not and is not a destination country for refugees.
“Firstly, the Paris tragedy should be seen as thus. It was a terror attack against France amidst a huge wave of refugees seeking security for them and their families in Europe. Romania was not and it is not a destination country for these refugees, and Slovakia is not either. Terrorism and terror attacks do work and have very serious consequences if fear is the reaction at them, and I do not mean here natural feelings triggered by these tragedies – revolt, consternation, empathy and sadness; no, I am not talking about them, but about fear. It will be only when we let fear penetrate the social fabric of our countries that the terrorists achieve their goal, and we should not let that happen. We must not allow the social fabric of our countries to be destroyed. We must not allow xenophobia, ultranationalism, and chauvinism become relevant in our societies,” Iohannis told a joint news conference with his Slovakian counterpart Andrej Kiska in response to whether or not the European Union should come up with a new solution for the migrant quotas in the wake of the November 13 Paris attacks.
In his opinion, fear should not lead to religious communities being stigmatised.
“In no way should we let this fear lead to the stigmatisation of religious communities that have nothing to do with the matter. The danger is huge. If we let such stigmatisation take root in our societies, the shadows of the past will re-emerge the end of which we commemorate in the fallen heroes. Such an approach is dangerous and last time it led to the most terrible world war,” said Iohannis according to Agerpres.
He also called for solidarity. ”We have to move away, stay solidary and continue the work started by the European Council, the European Commission and implement the things that are already decided. (…) We would be well advised, there is even an obligation on us, the EU, together with all the world players seeking to solve the issue to find urgent solutions for source countries – Syria, Libya – as well as together with transit countries, such as Turkey,” he said.
Iohannis said the Muslim community of Romania will not be placed under surveillance. “We respect ethnic and religious minorities in Romania. The majority in Romania actively supports minorities and we believe they are part of our social fabric and we believe it must stay this way. They are ours,” said Iohannis.
He pointed out that, irrespective of the government, Romania’s foreign and European policy is conspicuous for predictability and stability.
In his turn, Slovakian President Kiska said blaming it all on a religion is not the best path to follow, arguing that that is what the terrorists want.
“We have agreed that (…) claiming some religions as not being the best is not the best path to follow; the opposite should be embraced, as terrorists want that,” said Kiska.
Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska: “I asked Mr President if he could send us the know-how of Romania in the fight against corruption”
During the meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska asked his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis to send him Romania’s know-how in the fight against corruption.
“We also tackled corruption and I asked Mr President if he could send us the know-how of Romania in the fight against corruption and explain what determined the fight to get such high levels in Romania,” Kiska said at the end of the meeting with visiting President Iohannis.
Slovakia’s President extended condolences to Iohannis over the victims of the October 30 blaze at Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest City and over the death of two Romanian nationals in the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.
He said Iohannis’ visit has a symbolic significance as one year ago he was calling Iohannis to congratulate on having been elected Romania’s President.
Kiska mentioned that their conversation also focused on security. “We agreed that the North Stream II project could be a real danger to Ukraine’s security,” he said.
The two heads of state also discussed an early November high-level meeting of Central and Eastern Europe states in Bucharest, attended by Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska as well.
“We have noticed that Europe has to be united and act so that security in the region may be increasingly better kept,” said Andrej Kiska, according to Agerpres.
Iohannis: Business community’s confidence in gov’t economic policies has to be regained
Romania has arrived at a level and time when it has to boost the investment community by the most proper mix of fiscal relaxation and sustainable public finances so that the tax cuts may be permanent, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis told a forum in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Wednesday of Romanian and Slovakian business people.
“In this regard, it is important for us to focus our attention on regaining the confidence of the business community for governmental economic policies. Government quality is first of all grounded in seriousness and responsibility for the future, in transparency and open dialogue with the business community,” said Iohannis.
He added that Romania needs to implement sustainable organisational reforms and changes for a switchover to the European single currency.
He mentioned that as far as economic cooperation between Romania and Slovakia is concerned, some successful areas have been identified that can be deepened and multiplied.
“Romania wants to conclude partnerships and joint projects that will support mainly its industrial competitiveness. In this respect, cooperation between our countries should be centred on major investment projects, funding using European funds, especially under the European Strategy for the Danube Region,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that Romania’s trade with Slovakia is standing at nearly 2.3 billion lei, consisting mainly of high-tech products, insisting that the positive trend should be supported by new ideas.
“Mutually beneficial areas such as energy, the automotive industry, aviation, IT products and the defence industry are future sources for prosperity and also for our citizens’ security. We are strongly encouraging cooperation between Romanian, Slovakian and other companies in the region to ensure the energy security of Eastern Europe in the context of Energy Union,” said Iohannis.
He pointed out that emphasis should be laid on the technologies of the future, such as robotics, information technology and communications. “Romania’s IT&C sector offers a huge potential for cooperation in the automotive industry, an important sector of the Slovakian economy,” said Iohannis.
He added that Romania is recording robust economic growth and the country needs sound growth, in quality not in quantity.
Attending the forum, Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska said Romania is one of the most important foreign trade partners of Slovakia, mentioning that trade between the two countries have increased over the last years to more than two billion euros now.
Taking part in the Romanian-Slovakian business forum were more than 20 business executives from the two countries from business areas such as energy, IT and transportation.
On Thursday, President Iohannis is due to visit Zvolen, where he will lay wreaths at the Military Cemetery of the Romanian Army together with his Slovak counterpart and will participate in a ceremony for the decoration of Slovak veterans who fought in WW2. The Romanian head of state will have a short meeting with Slovak veterans and locals, organized by the Mayor of Slovak city Lenka Balkovicova.