At 1st of July, Canadians all over the world celebrate the 149th anniversary of their country. On this special occasion, we have the pleasure to convey to the Canadian people our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.
Romania and Canada established their diplomatic relations nearly a century ago, in 1919, in the aftermath of the World War I. Since then, the historic ties between Romania and Canada have grown into a valuable, productive and rich partnership shaped by deep connections, such as a well-integrated Romanian-Canadian community, the membership in the Euro-Atlantic community, and by shared values and principles. Both countries are active NATO members and cooperate extensively in other multilateral fora, reinforcing the expanding bilateral ties.
The significant investment that both countries have made over the time in la Francophonie and their active role within the Organization are bringing them even closer. The recent visit to Romania by Ms. Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the OIF, the first in Central and Eastern Europe since assuming this responsibility, not only demonstrated the important place Romania has in its region, but also highlighted new prospects of cooperation among the member states.
After the 2015 general elections in Canada, the Romanian and Canadian high officials have pro-actively relaunched the high-level political dialogue with the aim of further boosting the privileged bilateral relation. The visit of Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş to Canada on June 14-15, 2016 (photo) had also a key symbolic dimension: the first visit of a foreign Prime Minister after the 2015 elections.
The visit represented a timely opportunity to discuss ways of advancing the bilateral cooperation in various fields of joint interest, including with regard to security and defense cooperation in the run up to the Warsaw Summit. Lifting the visa requirements for the Romanian citizens would be an important milestone both for our bilateral and the EU-Canada cooperation. There is a renewed political impetus to work together in a very swift and efficient way for a positive decision as soon as possible. We are sure that solving the visa issue will help us focus our broad efforts on reenergizing the economic cooperation and trade between our countries, building more prosperity and a better future for us and the generations to come.
Romania and Canada have also steadily developed their military and security cooperation building upon a series of success stories, such as the deployment of six Canadian CF 18 jets and military personnel in Romania in 2014. In light of the complex security developments in the Black Sea area, our common NATO membership became even more significant. Romania has very much welcomed the Canadian participation with land, air and naval forces to the joint military exercises which took place earlier this year in the Black Sea, aiming at building trust and enhancing Allied military inter-operability within the NATO reassurance measures.
It is our firm belief that the strong ties and close cooperation between our countries will be further enhanced in the years to come, hand in hand with the strengthening of the mutual benefits of our two countries and peoples within the Euro-Atlantic community.
Happy Canada Day!