Romania’s being a secure and predictable country in an uncertain and unpredictable area is an increasingly more noticeable reality, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at the meeting with the Romanians diplomats.
Klaus Iohannis welcomed at the Cotroceni Palace the heads of missions, consuls general and directors of Romanian cultural institutes, on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy.
“Romania’s being a secure and predictable country in an uncertain and unpredictable area is an increasingly more noticeable reality,” the President said.
According to him, the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy represents a “significant moment of reflection.” “In the diplomatic year that passed, Romania continued on the right track, that of observing its commitments,” Iohannis added.
The President also said that “Romania is a pole of stability and predictability in a complicated neighbourhood context.”
Romania won’t do non-transparent games and use double language, under the pretense of diplomacy
President Klaus Iohannis stressed that during his mandate Romania will never do “non-transparent games”, will never use “double language under the diplomacy pretense”, will never make value compromises and will never consider acceptable the violation of international law.
“Some people believe that being honest and transparent in foreign policy implies an image risk or a weakness perception. I don’t believe this. On the contrary, it’s a sign of seriousness and a credibility and power source on the long term. From this point of view I can clearly say what will not happen during my mandate: Romania will never do “non-transparent games”, will never use “double language under the diplomacy pretense”, will never make value compromises and will never consider acceptable the violation of international law”, Iohannis told Romanian diplomats gathered at the Cotroceni Palace.
The President showed that a “vigorous” diplomacy implies a good coordination of the state institutions that are in charge with foreign affairs.
Strategic Partnership with the United States, “an essential pillar of Romania’s foreign and security policy
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis asked the Romanian diplomats to come up with a strategy to strengthen and expand the Strategic Partnership with the United States, as it is “an essential pillar of Romania’s foreign and security policy” together with the goal of strengthening NATO and the European Union.
He stressed that the Strategic Partnership with Washington turns 20 next year.
“It is an opportunity to seriously reflect on what we can achieve together with our US partners in order to expand and strengthen it. I’m very keen on us developing a working strategy to prepare our relations with the next US administration, to strengthen security cooperation, including in enforcing the decisions of the NATO summit in July, to increase economic cooperation and investment in research, innovation, education, and, of course, we need to see real progress in our negotiations on joining the Visa Waiver program,” Iohannis said at the meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions, general consuls and heads of Romanian cultural institutes held in Cotroceni Palace on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomats.
The Romanian head of state also pointed out that there are steps already made in strengthening political and military cooperation.
Iohannis tells ambassadors to promote Romanian model of minority protection
President Klaus Iohannis asked ambassadors on Wednesday to promote the Romanian model of minority protection, especially in countries with Romanian communities to ensure a similar level of minority protection.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), including the Department for Relations with Romanians Abroad, needs to support the protection of Romanian communities abroad, especially since Romania was able to go beyond the European level of minority protection and create a real effective model of interculturalism. You need to promote this model as an example of good practices and you also need to take the necessary steps in countries with Romanian communities so that they enjoy the same protection minorities enjoy in Romania. What I mean is to be able to to speak their native languages, to have access to education, media and religious services in their native languages, which are vital elements of preserving one’s identity,” Iohannis said in his speech at the Cotroceni Palace.
He also insisted that protecting the interests and the rights of Romanians abroad remains a permanent obligation of Romanian diplomats, be it communities in neighboring countries or diaspora.
Turkey, key ally for security in the region
Turkey is a key ally for regional security and Romania relies on its pledge to NATO and European Union principles, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday.
“I stress on the Strategic Partnership with Poland not only for regional security, but also on EU matters, where we share many objectives. My assessment is similar when it comes to the Strategic Partnership with Turkey, a key ally for regional stability and on whose continued commitment to the values, principles and obligations it undertook as a NATO member and in relation with the EU we rely. Romania – Poland – Turkey informal trilateral meeting on security is a valuable format and we want to continue and develop it,” Iohannis stated, speaking from the Cotroceni Palace.
The head of state slammed the “failed coup” in Turkey.
Predictable and pragmatic relations with Russia
Romania is interested in maintaining predictable and pragmatic relations with a Russian Federation that minds the country’s legitimate interests, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday, speaking from Cotroceni Palace.
“We want predictable and pragmatic relations with Russia, where our legitimate interests are fully respected. We are open to maintain all communications channels open, because we need to interact in order make Russia aware that it needs to be predictable and respect international law,” Iohannis pointed out.
He added that Romania is interested in contacts with Russia “wherever is possible, including culture and trade, fields that are not under international sanctions.”
“Observing the international commitments and re-establishing the strategic balance in the Black Sea Region are vital premises to intensify dialogue,” the head of state stressed.
Iohannis said he believes that European Union sanctions imposed to Russia should not be lifted – not even partially- as long as the Minsk agreements are incompletely implemented.
“I have to repeat our stance that the European Union sanctions imposed to Russia should not be lifted – not even partially- as long as the Minsk agreements are incompletely implemented. Thus, maintaining a high level trans-Atlantic coordination is essential,” he added.
Iohannis also spoke on Crimea and Donbas and Romania’s stance on the situation in the Ukrainian regions.
“As far as the situation in Crimea and Donbas is concerned, I firmly stress on Romania’s stance that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are not negotiable and that Europe does not need a prolonged conflict,” the Romanian head of state said at the meeting with Romanian diplomats.
President makes a call for balance and reason in the election campaign
President Klaus Iohannis also made a call for “balance and reason” during the parliamentary election campaign and confessed that he has recently witnessed a “lack of maturity” in the behaviour of some politicians, in relation with the Romanian foreign policy.
“Because we are getting closer to the election campaign, I am making a call as early as today for balance and reason. Romania’s foreign and security policy must be one of national consensus. It must be separated by the electoral competition and only looked at from the perspective of Romania’s interests as a state and our citizens’ interests,” Iohannis added.
In his opinion, diminishing the importance of the demarches in foreign policy for domestic campaign reasons is a proof of “irresponsibility.”
“Breaking the foreign policy consensus and diminishing the importance of our foreign demarches for domestic campaign reasons represent a proof if irresponsibility, which does no one any good. Not even those politicians,” the head of state pointed out.
Iohannis urges Romanian diplomats to thoroughly prepare the parliamentary elections
President Klaus Iohannis told the Romanian diplomats on Wednesday that they “have the duty and the responsibility” to prepare “properly and thoroughly” the parliamentary elections, in order to avoid the restraints of this fundamental right.
“Last but not least I insist on the matter of the vote abroad. There are legislative modifications for the improvement of some stipulations. You have the duty and the responsibility, as heads of diplomatic missions, but it’s a responsibility of the entire Ministry to correctly apply these stipulations in order to properly and thoroughly prepare the parliamentary elections abroad, according to the Foreign Ministry’s duties in the area, so the inadmissible restraints of this fundamental and constitutional right be avoided”, the head of state said at the Cotroceni Palace.
Outcome of Brexit negotiations should reflect rights of Romanian workers being preserved
The outcome of the Brexit negotiations for the UK to pull out of the European Union should fully reflect ”the preservation of the Romanian workers’ rights and freedoms [in the UK],” President Iohannis told a meeting with Romanian diplomats on Wednesday.
“I am calling on you to please finalise the details of the mandate entrusted to Romania for the Brexit negotiations,” said Iohannis.
He suggested that the Romanian diplomats involved in the process should keep in mind the interest in “an as close a partnership with the UK as possible, because consolidation of strategic cooperation with London is important to Romania and European security alike.”
“At the same time, the outcome of the negotiations should fully reflect the preservation of Romanian workers’ rights and freedoms,” the President added.
Also in relation to the Brexit, Iohannis mentioned preparations for Romania taking over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019.
“There is no time to lose, given that the tenure of the Romanian presidency has been rescheduled as a result of the Brexit for the first half of 2019. (…) Please be ready as soon as possible with a consistent and coherent action plan, with a schedule of clear responsibilities at the logistic and political levels, so that we can say our tenure was successful,” said Iohannis.
Romania is to deal with Moldova’s stability as a priority
Romania needs to set the stability of the Republic of Modova and its plans to join the European Union as priorities, President Klaus Iohannis told Romanian diplomats, adding that the government in Bucharest has always supported reforms in the neighboring state.
“We approached the issue pragmatically this year, including through the first tranche of a 150 million euros loan, we constructively supported the reform engine in Moldova. Re-establishing its credibility to foreign actors, especially the European Union is an objective Chisinau needs to prioritize and believe in, be it local administration, the Government or the President of Moldova, even after the upcoming presidential elections,” Iohannis stated.
He asked the Romanian diplomats to keep supporting efforts in Chisinau to continue implementing EU reforms.
“It’s vital that the Romanian Government keeps the bilateral projects working and consistent. They have an important role in leading to modernization and connecting Moldova to the EU standards, including through development assistance from our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I’m referring to finalizing Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline, electricity and transportation connections, institutional development projects in Moldovan administration as well as projects with social and economic impact and judicial and education assistance,” the president pointed out.
Romania will continue to be serious contributor to combating illegal migration
Romania will continue to be a serious and substantial contributor to combating illegal migration, but this contribution shouldn’t be limited to the support provided in defending EU’s external borders, President Klaus Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday.
The head of state said that Romania must contribute to solving the profound causes of the phenomenon, among which is also resolving the crises in the Middle East.
Moreover, he voiced his support for consolidating the economic, social, education capacities of the development policies in the origin and transit countries.
“This reasoning is as valid in respect to the fight against terrorism. You will be actively getting involved in the European and international debate for finding the best instruments of making this demarche more efficient. Therefore, you will have to intensify the diplomatic demarches of initiating the Romanian-Spanish initiative of the International Court against Terrorism,” Iohannis told the Romanian diplomats.