DIPLOMACY

Romanian, Slovak ForMins tackle migration related issues in bilateral talks held in Bucharest

Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu said Tuesday that in the long run, a reform of the development cooperation policy has to be devised, because, although the European Union is the most important provider of cooperation development aid, a great deal of the ongoing migration continues to be economic in nature.

“A great deal of migration continues to be economic in nature, originating in areas facing big development problems. Paradoxically, it originates in areas where the EU, the most important provider of economic development aids, has supplied perhaps hundreds of billions of euros in aid, so we are wondering what is happening. Since the funds were allocated for development, where is development? In the long run, we have to think about reforming the development cooperation policy so that we may generate development and cooperation with the receiving countries in order to create conditions for the citizens to stay in their countries,” Comanescu told a joint news conference with his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajcak in Bucharest on Tuesday.

Comanescu spoke up in favour of deep-rooted causes of migration being eradicated, instead of finding quick, short-run solutions.

“That is why we are now having this conversation about quotas. From the very beginning, Romania said such approach is not able to meet the set objectives and we can see what has happened so far, as we notice that resettlements are far below what was initially decided. That solution has not borne fruit. Solutions have to be sought that will account for the capabilities and possibilities of each member state. I do not believe we can talk about lack of solidarity on the part of EU member states, but it is about the possibilities of each member state to meet most adequately the demand for solidarity, and that is what Romania has done. If we talk strictly in terms of quantities and math, the phenomenon will continue,” said Comanescu, according to Agerpres.

He also insisted on the consolidation of the European Union’s external borders, voicing conviction that Romania’s entering the border-free Schengen Area would contribute to such consolidation.

 

Slovak ForMin Lajcak on migration: We should not follow administrative model of quotas

 

Slovakia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajcak argues that in the case of the migrants having entered the European Union the administrative model of distribution quotas should not be followed.

He said migration is one of the challenges currently facing the EU, playing a prominent part; in managing migration, he said, the EU is focusing on certain aspects, such as how to manage the issue of the migrants already on its soil and how to resettle them by quotas. He said he has not supported the idea because he does not think it was a good idea, since that means forcing people into going to certain countries without first asking them if they want there. We do not ask whether or not those countries can afford to integrate them into their societies, said Lajcak, insisting that the issue should not be approached only by following the administrative model of quotas, because people are involved, Lajcak told a joint news conference in Bucharest with his Romanian counterpart Lazar Comanescu.

Lajcak was in Romania to attend the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy. He explained that each country can contribute what it knows best and provide what it can, adding that Slovakia wants to join in the EU efforts to manage migration.

He underscored that migration is a very complex matter that entails taking into account countries of origin, transit countries, the operation of the border-free Schengen Area, as well as the management of the rights of the migrants having already reached the EU.

 

Comanescu: Conditions are not currently met to lift sanctions on Russia

 

Romania’s Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu said Tuesday that conditions are not currently met to lift sanctions on Russia.

“We believe that as long as the circumstances that led to the sanctions being imposed (…) have not changed, the sanctions must stay in place. If the reasons that led to the sanctions being imposed disappear, there will certainly be conditions for cancelling the sanctions. We believe the conditions for such a decision are not currently being met,” Comanescu also told a joint news conference in Bucharest with his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajcak.

He added that the sanctions on Russia do not represent an end in itself.

 

Slovak ForMin Lajcak: We accept EU economic sanctions against Russia, but we discuss them

 

The Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Miroslav Lajcak, on Tuesday said that his country keeps to the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia, yet it discusses it, because dialogue is the best way to change things.

Russia is an important country, said Lajcak, adding that it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a significant source of energy to Slovakia and he could go on with several other aspects of why talking to Russia is important. He said the European common stance never says we should not talk to Russia, explaining that Russia could not be ignored, isolated. We should observe the European position and we do, he said, but at the same time critical dialogue is way better than the lack of dialogue. We don’t believe that sanctions are the best way to tackle the situation, but at the same time we add that Slovakia complies with, supports and follows the EU position, the Slovak official told a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart Lazar Comanescu in Bucharest on Tuesday.

He stressed that one should analyse how efficient the sanctions are and whether they should be tightened or loosened.

The best way to change things is to tackle them, he said, adding that Slovakia’s position on the sanctions is that it accepts them, but it does not think it shouldn’t discuss them. It’s absolutely normal and common sense to see how efficient the sanctions are and whether the sanctions should be kept the way they are, loosened or tightened, said Lajcak. He added that he does not get why important aspects should not be discussed. Sanctions are policy tools, he said, adding that the same the EU was capable of enforcing its assessment of the situation, so it should also be able to discard it. We should discuss the situation also in terms of the relationship with Russia and we shouldn’t be afraid to do it, said Lajcak, who attended the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy.

 

Slovakia supports Romania’s Schengen accession, says Slovak ForMin Lajcak

 

Slovakia is supporting Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area since it meets all criteria, the Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajcak, said in Bucharest on Tuesday.

“Slovakia strongly supports Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area because it meets all criteria and there is no justification whatsoever to be not [in the Schengen Area],” said Lajcak at a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Lazar Comanescu.

The Slovak minister called the bilateral relationship between Slovakia and Romania excellent, adding that the two countries do share the same EU and NATO values.

Lajcak mentioned the support from the Romanian Army to his country in its fight against fascism at the end of WWII.

“Thanks to the policy of the Romanian governments, the Slovak minority could preserve its cultural identity and contribute significantly to the Romanian society’s development,” added Lajcak, who also participated in the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy.

He stressed that Slovakia will share its experience with Romania ahead of Romania’s taking over for the first time the six-month rotating Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019.

 

President Iohannis welcomes Slovak ForMin Lajcak, discusses consolidating bilateral ties

 

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday welcomed visiting Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajcak, with the two officials underscoring ‘the excellent level of the bilateral ties between Romania and Slovakia underpinned by substantive political dialogue and close cooperation.”

In a press statement released after the meeting, the Presidential Administration says the conversation between the two state officials focused on advancing Romania’s priorities on the European agenda and coordination with Slovakia, the holder of the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2016, as well as on a series of files of shared interest on regional agenda.

They are also quoted as mentioning ‘the excellent level of the bilateral ties between Romania and Slovakia underpinned by substantive political dialogue and close cooperation.” Iohannis thanked Lajcak for attending the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy as a special guest for the second year in a row, voicing conviction that the visit to Romania this year by Slovak President Andrej Kiska “will be an excellent opportunity for continuing the development of the bilateral relationship and strengthening cooperation at European level.”

As far as European affairs were concerned, Iohannis voiced Romania’s full support for the objectives of the Slovak presidency of the Council of the European Union and praised the commencement of it.

When discussing the future relationship between the European Union and the UK, the two officials underscored the need for careful preparations and cohesive approach by the EU 27 so that the interests and rights of the European citizens may be fully respected.

At the same time, they discussed preparations for the incoming informal summit meeting of the EU 27 in Bratislava on September 16, with Iohannis underscoring the need for the EU leaders to display solidarity in their political vision and unity in sketching up the main action guidelines for the relaunch of the European project, reads the presidential statement.

They also discussed the relationship between the EU and Turkey, which they said has a strategic relevance on multiple planes.

Iohannis also mentioned Moldova’s progress with reforms in a European spirit, insisting on the importance of the EU’s continual and committed support for Moldova’s European bid.

Part of the conversation was also the latest developments in the selection of the new UN secretary general, given that Lajcak is one of the candidates.

 

 

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