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April 16, 2021

ForMin Aurescu, Georgian counterpart Zalkaliani discuss Black Sea security in phone conversation

Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Tuesday had a phone conversation with his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani touching on the latest developments in and prospects for bilateral relations between Romania and Georgia, Georgia’s relations with the European Union and NATO, co-operation within international organisations, and the Black Sea regional security agenda.

According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE), the two top diplomats agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral economic co-operation, including implementing concrete projects, such as those in the area of connectivity, with emphasis on the Black Sea – Caspian Sea Freight Corridor, a project initiated jointly by Romania and Turkmenistan and joined by Georgia and Azerbaijan, whose main priority moving forward is reaching agreement on a quadripartite intergovernmental agreement related to the project.

Aurescu reiterated Romania’s support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, with Zalkaliani expressing Georgia’s special thanks for Romania’s concrete efforts.

The two ministers also had an in-depth discussion over Black Sea security region, focusing on the recent developments in the protracted conflicts in the South Caucasus, including recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh and their impact.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy pointed out that Romania will continue to act within all multilateral organisations, including EU and NATO, in order to increase and maintain the importance of frozen conflicts on the agenda. He mentioned the opportunity offered by the meeting of NATO foreign ministers scheduled for early December during which a debate on Black Sea security will take place with the participation of Ukrainian and Georgian foreign ministers.

Aurescu also mentioned his initiative to propose putting on the agenda of a future meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council of a debate on these protracted conflicts, with Zalkaliani expressing his appreciation for the initiative. At the same time, the Georgian minister thanked his Romanian counterpart for Romania’s substantial participation in the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), which monitors the developments in the Georgian separatist regions, as the Romanian contingent of experts is the largest in the EUMM.

The conversation also allowed for detailed consultations on aspects of bilateral co-operation within regional and international organisations.

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