Turkey is a strategic partner of Romania, and it is in everyone’s interest for the situation there to get back to normal, Romania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu said at the Government House on Thursday.
“There are clear stands from the European Union, on EU level, on Alliance members’ level, strongly highlighting that Turkey is an important partner of NATO and it remains an important member of the North Atlantic Alliance. It is a strategic partner (…) of Romania, and (…) the stands I have mentioned, to which drawing up Romania has directly contributed, emphasise at the same time that it is in the interest of the Alliance, the European Union, Turkey and all of us for the situation in Turkey to get back to normal, which entails the working of the democratic institutions, the observance of the specific values of the Euro-Atlantic area, and it is very important to say that the European Union and NATO equally represent an alliance based on values; I believe this message is very well understood by our Turkish partners,” Comanescu told a joint news conference with Romania’s National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc on Romania’s commitments following the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
Comanescu added that there is a bilateral dialogue between Romania and Turkey. “There is also a bilateral dialogue on this topic, beyond meetings with Turkey’s ambassador here in Bucharest; I have also had direct conversations with my Turkish counterpart. (…) We are also going to have a trilateral meeting of Romania, Poland and Turkey’s foreign ministers. All this (…) and assurances given by Turkey that they are aware of the special importance of normalcy resumption make us believe that things will be in line with the spirit and the letter of the decisions made in Warsaw, because these are decisions made at the highest level and I believe that the North Atlantic Alliance has proven that the decisions made at the highest level are decisions that are also put into practice.”
In his turn, National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc pointed out that Turkey remains a regional player of major importance in the Black Sea.
“Turkey remains an unavoidable, important partner for Romania, a regional player of major importance in the Black Sea, and therefore a power that cannot be hindered by a certain course of policy, by some difficult moments in its domestic life. About the manner in which the mentioned developments (…) could influence the materialisation of our Black Sea initiatives, which [I might add] are not strictly Romanian initiatives, because (…) we have thoroughly discussed them with all riparian allies in the months before the summit, these initiatives are already decisions of the Summit in Warsaw consecrating the perspective of establishing a maritime and air component in the Black Sea,” said Motoc.
He mentioned that in July, there have been wide-ranging multinational exercises in the Black Sea with the participation of Turkish ships.
“In July, there have been wide-ranging multinational exercises in the Black Sea, both the Romanian and the Bulgarian waters, carried out exactly in the configuration we are envisaging, namely with Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish and US ships, with components of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, and these exercises are also currently going on in Ukrainian waters,” Motoc added.
He also mentioned in his remarks the developments in Turkey’s relation with Russia.
“Our initiative began because it meets a need (…) of having a strengthened NATO naval presence in the Black Sea, a NATO footprint in the Black Sea that should be visible. Secondly, I would underscore here that all these initiatives haven’t the slightest shadow of an offensive nature; they are strictly defensive. As such, I cannot see how all the developments in Turkey’s relationship with Russia, which showed signs of reconciliation before the failed attempt of coup d’etat, could fundamentally affect these strategic arguments, these concrete needs for security; we shall normally see the decisions of the Warsaw Summit implemented, including in respect to the maritime component at the Black Sea, maybe with higher difficulty and certain delays,” said Motoc.
Turkish ambassador in Bucharest assures current state of emergency no reason of concern for Romanians
Turkey’s having declared a state of emergency does not affect everyday life of either the locals or foreigners, and Romanian tourists have no reason of concern regarding the current situation in the country, Turkish ambassador in Bucharest Osman Koray Ertas told an informal meeting with representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the National Tourism Agency, the National Association of Romanian Travel Agencies and of several Romanian travel agencies.
We encourage our Romanian friends to further come on holidays in the beautiful Turkish resorts where they will receive excellent services for extremely reasonable prices. The declaration of the state of emergency does not affect whatsoever the locals or foreigners’ everyday life, Romanian tourists included. A lot of tourists are currently enjoying stays in Antalya and on the Aegean coast. Moreover, the measures taken under the state of emergency, similar to those adopted by other European countries, mean increased safety for the citizens, said the diplomat.
According to a release of the Embassy of Turkey in Bucharest, during the talks, the ambassador reconfirmed the special attention the Turkish authorities attach to foreign visitors, Romanians included, who are currently on holiday in the country’s tourist destinations, assuring that Romanians have no reason of concern regarding the country’s current situation.
Hundreds of charter flights arrive daily at the Antalya and Bodrum airports, and a record high of 242 flights was attained on July 23 in Antalya. Important international tourism institutions, such as the World Tourism Organization, TUI or Thomas Cook continue to promote Turkey as a tourist attraction, and in 2017 the Turkish government will take additional measures to promote this sector, added the Turkish ambassador.
According to official figures, about 500,000 Romanians spend their holiday in Turkey every year.