DIPLOMACY

In Bled, ForMin Melescanu addresses Romania’s OECD bid, support for Western Balkans’ European path

Romania’s role as a candidate country to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and support for the European path of the Western Balkan states were among the subjects addressed by Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu at meetings on the side-lines of the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on Monday.

In his conversation with OECD Director General Angel Gurria (photo R), Melescanu with focused on the latest developments in the enlargement of the organisation, implicitly on the possibility that Romania received an invitation to start negotiations to join the OECD, Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) says in a press statement.

Melescanu presented the strengths of Romania’s bid, with emphasis on political determination and meeting the evaluation criteria set by the OECD Ministerial Conference in June 2017. Gurria encouraged continued participation in the works of the OECD bodies and dialogue with member countries to prepare the conditions for a favourable decision of the OECD Council on Romania’s bid.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy also had a meeting with India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M. Akbar, during which projects of interest on the agenda of the Romanian-Indian bilateral relations were reviewed. Particular attention was paid to the political and diplomatic actions in the period immediately ahead as well as to those envisaged for 2018, when Romania and India celebrates 70 years of diplomatic ties. The dialogue highlighted the particular interest of the two countries in expanding and diversifying cooperation, especially economic cooperation. The two officials welcomed the excellent cooperation between the two countries under a multilateral framework, including at the UN level.

A meeting with Macedonian counterpart Nikola Dimitrov was the first meeting of the two foreign ministers. On this occasion, the latest developments in the bilateral relations were analysed and Melescanu congratulated Macedonia for its renewed efforts in the field of domestic reforms that will facilitate the country’s advancement on its European path and provide assurances for Romania’s openness to assist Macedonia in the process.

The Romanian minister voiced hope for some developments that will speed up Macedonia’s joining NATO to the benefit of stability and security of the whole region and of Europe overall. The two dignitaries also discussed regional developments, highlighting the need for the Balkan states to re-engage NATO and EU’s commitment to this region.

The bilateral meeting with Montenegro’s Minister of European Affairs and Chief Negotiator with the EU Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic provided an opportunity to assess the latest developments in Montenegro’s EU accession process and the technical assistance Romania can provide to Montenegro. Melescanu congratulated Montenegro for opening new chapters in the accession negotiations with the EU, as well as for efforts to implement reforms to advance on the road to European accession.

Pejovic voiced appreciation for Romania’s continued support on this level and his conviction that concrete developments will be recorded in the near future with regard in bilateral cooperation for accession.

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