Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu participated over September 2 – 3 in Bratislava in the Informal Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) of EU member states, informs a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release.
During the meeting there were approached topical issues on the European agenda such as: the recent developments in Turkey and the EU relations with this country; Ukraine, the stage of implementing the Minsk Agreements and the EU future action; the global strategy for EU’s foreign and security policy. There was also a meeting with the candidate states, during which the main topic was the fight against terrorism and radicalisation.
According to the release, the situation in Turkey and its relation with the European Union were also approached with the participation of Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik. On the sidelines of the meeting there was also a working lunch with the foreign ministers in the Eastern Partnership states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine.
“Referring to the situation in Turkey it was reiterated the support for the democratic institutions and the efforts for overcoming the crisis caused by the coup d’etat attempt. Highlighted was the support for consolidating the EU-Turkey relation and further implementing the commitments in the common interest files, including in respect to migration. Minister Lazar Comanescu reiterated the firm condemnation of the failed coup d’etat, the support for the Turkish people and for the legitimate institutions of Turkey. He mentioned the strategic partnership Romania has with Turkey and the recent trilateral meeting Turkey-Romania-Poland, underscoring in context Turkey’s importance as essential partner to the EU, NATO member state and relevant regional player, anchored in the European values. He reiterated Romania’s constant support for the progress of the process of Turkey’s accession to the EU,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry release reads.
Moreover, according to the source, the debate on Ukraine generated a review of the developments in the region, with a focus on the need to implement the Minsk Agreements. Minister Comanescu voiced his being in favour of the EU’s support for Ukraine and highlighted the importance of continuing the progress on the path of reforms, including in the fight against corruption, also reiterating the major role of negotiations in the Normandy format.
Referring to the EU’s global strategy, the talks within the meeting focused around implementing the strategic directions, including in the security and defence area. The Romanian Foreign Minister underscored the need for the sectoral strategies to reflect the Union’s global interests, but also the balanced approach on the two vicinities, eastern and southern. At the same time, he highlighted the importance of the EU-NATO complementarity in order to coherently and efficiently respond to the new security challenges. In this respect, the Romanian official voiced confidence that the Action Plan to be presented in September by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini will include of a comprehensive manner the implementation directions, the MAE informs.
The fight against terrorism and radicalisation topic was approached in the presence of the foreign ministers in candidate states for the accession to the EU, on which occasion the challenges and the common initiatives in the area were analysed. Minister Lazar Comanescu stressed the importance of tackling the profound causes of the phenomenon, as well as the role of educating the youth to combat discrimination and incitement to hatred.
The Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted on the sidelines of the Gymnich meeting a working lunch having as guests the foreign ministers of the Eastern Partnership member states. On this occasion, the Romanian Foreign Minister underlined the strategic dimension of the Eastern Partnership, a solid framework of cooperation with the states in the eastern neighbourhood of the Union. He underscored Romania’s constant support for the domestic reform processes in the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and for implementing the Association/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements these states closed with the EU, the release informs.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Comanescu had a meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, on which occasion they reviewed the stage of the bilateral relations and the prospects of developing them. They also agreed on a close cooperation between the two sides in the preparation of the successive chairmanships of the EU Council to be held by Romania and Finland in 2019, the release also shows.