Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu attended on Friday the informal video-conference meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers that discussed developments regarding the Middle East Peace Process and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Middle East and North Africa.
During the debate on the Middle East Peace Process, Minister Bogdan Aurescu reiterated Romania’s support for a lasting solution generated by the Peace Process, based on a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine coexisting in peace and security, as the only one viable option that meets the aspirations of both sides, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a release.
The Romanian ForMin emphasized the importance of unity at EU level on this subject and pointed to the need for the EU to have a principled, balanced and equidistant stance, highlighting also the role the Union can play in efforts to increase trust between the two parties, including in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as for creating the necessary climate for the two sides to resume direct negotiations.
“Romania has constantly spoken out, and will continue to do so, in favor of both sides engaging in a constructive dialogue and in support of measures to increase mutual trust, as a precondition for identifying a sustainable solution. The EU’s role is to act, with the confidence of both sides, as an honest mediator and as a coagulation factor for the relevant actors, in close cooperation with the two sides, while at the same time maintaining a balanced and unitary approach, starting from the principles of international law and the legal framework agreed at UN level,” the Romanian Foreign Minister also said.
The top diplomat reiterated the importance of a coordinated involvement with the United States in the Middle East Peace Process file, without which there can be no viable peace process and no lasting solution.
Welcoming the new Israeli government, Bogdan Aurescu expressed hopes that a closer EU-Israel relationship will be possible, suggesting the organization of a new meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council, as well as the creation of a similar European-Palestinian body.
With regard to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East and North Africa, the Foreign Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen EU’s support and reaffirm the Union’s solidarity with the countries in the region, which are facing the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. The Romanian Foreign Minister underlined the even more difficult situation of the fragile states, some of which are worse affected by the conflicts.
“I would like to point out the extremely severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has both in terms of health and at social and economic level on the fragile states in the region, which are faced with military conflicts and possible negative consequences for political stability. From this perspective, I believe that a lasting ceasefire in all these conflicts is an essential prerequisite for the successful fight against the pandemic,” Bogdan Aurescu underlined, according to Agerpres.
The ForMin also expressed his support for the organization of the Eastern Partnership Summit as soon as the conditions will allow it. He emphasized that the EU’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership partners must stay strong and tangible, and that the EU-Western Balkans Summit is a positive example in this regard.