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Latvian ForMin pays visit to Romania: Bucharest, Riga express joint will to work together to achieve the same values inside EU, NATO

Romania and Latvia are full member states of the EU and NATO and work together to achieve the same fundamental liberal values inside the two bodies, Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu told a news conference on Thursday at the end of a meeting in Bucharest with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics.

“Both countries celebrate the 100th anniversary of the achievement of very important national ideals. Latvia celebrates the creation of an independent republic and Romania, its Greater Union. In my conversation with Mr Rinkevics, I underscored that our countries have a shared historical past, which gives the relations between them continuity, solidarity, friendship. Today, Romania and Latvia are full member states of the EU and NATO and work together to achieve the same fundamental liberal values inside the two bodies. Our conversations were full of substance and interesting and proved that Romania and Latvia have a very close relationship, cultivated through constant high-level dialogue, “said Melescanu.

He added that together with his Latvian counterpart he analysed the state of bilateral relations and discussed current European European, regional, international and security affairs.

“We reviewed the high-level contacts that were held last year – the visit to Riga of the chairman of the Romanian Senate and the visit of the Latvian minister of defence to Bucharest. We also discussed the economic level of our relations and we found that the development is encouraging – we need a lot more action to evaluate our relationships and to fully develop our potential in this area. I said we are interested in the presence of Latvian investors in Romania, given that Romania offers many opportunities in a variety of industrial branches and has a legislative framework very friendly to foreign companies, “said Melescanu.

He also talked about the very good co-operation between the two countries in the areas of defence. and other fields of potential sectoral co-operation such as state-of-the-art technologies, agriculture and energy were also explored.

“I told my counterpart that the Romanian government continues to be dedicated to OECD accession policy and expressed interest in Latvia’s experience in this field. During the discussions on the European agenda, I stressed that Romania supports the consolidation of the European project and that our vision in the EU framework is a pro-European one that seeks deeper integration. I stressed that to us the common agricultural and cohesion policies of the EU are the main priorities in the future budget of the European Union. I also said that Romania supports the positive role of this policy thanks to its investment in consolidating the peace, security, prosperity and stability of the EU. I also pointed out that Romania is interested in a stable, democratic and prosperous eastern neighbourhood (…) showing that Romania remains the strongest supporter of Moldova’s European journey and that it will continue to offer support to Moldova for maintaining a pro-European orientation. I gave assurances that the Western Balkans region will be a priority even from the perspective of continuing the enlargement process,” Melescanu said.

 

The Latvian minister mentioned in his turn that 2018 is a special year for the two nations.

He said that the priorities that Romania will pursue at the helm of the Council of the European Union are priorities that the country will support.

“I look forward to next year when Romania will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union. I know it is a challenge, I know that you have prepared very well and that you are more than ready to face this task of Europe as is,” said Rinkevics.

He added that he would like Romania to join OECD as soon as possible.

 

President Iohannis, Latvian ForMin Rinkevics discuss stepping up bilateral economic co-operation

 

President Klaus Iohannis welcomed visiting Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Thursday, to discuss bilateral co-operation, European and security affairs.

According to a press statement released by the Presidential Administration, President Iohannis pointed out that the relations between Romania and Latvia are excellent, an opinion shared by the Latvian dignitary, with both of them pointing out the importance of intensifying bilateral economic co-operation.

Rinkevics highlighted the symbolism of his visit to Romania in the centennials celebrated by both countries, as well as preparations for Romania’s takeover of the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019.

He voiced Latvia’s willingness to co-operate as closely with Romania during this period as possible, emphasising that the two countries have numerous shared positions on items of interest on the European agenda, including the future EU budget after 2020.

Also, the Latvian minister reiterated his country’s support for Romania’s candidacy at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

They also discussed security in the context of the forthcoming NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12, sharing common points of view of the two countries, especially on the eastern flank, whose consolidation must remain a priority with NATO. Against this background, it was reaffirmed that both countries achieved their objective of allocating 2 percent of their respective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for defence spending.

“President Klaus Iohannis stressed the importance of securing cohesion and a united approach of the whole eastern flank, while also praising the European defence policy initiatives, in particular the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), a tool whose implementation should lead to a more efficient development of military capabilities and increased cohesion between the member states of the European Union, in full complementarity with NATO.”

Iohannis also mentioned the importance of ensuring increased focus on cyber security, given the significant multiplication of hybrid threats, propaganda and misinformation.

At the same time, he mentioned the importance of the European digitisation efforts being continued, advocating for the consolidation of the digital single market as soon as possible.

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