By Felipe Alvarez de Toledo, Ambassador of Argentina to Romania
This week, we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of Argentina’s first diplomatic mission in Bucharest. However, the bilateral relationship dates back to 1880, when King Carol I sent a note to the Argentine president, Nicolás Avellaneda, informing that Romania was already an independent country.
Therefore, we can speak of 141 years of diplomatic relations between our countries, one of the longest diplomatic relations between two countries separated by over 12.000 km.
Undoubtedly, this peculiarity makes the bilateral relationship acquire a special relevance.
In the globalized world of the 21st Century, creating strong ties with citizens and governments of other countries may seem a process quite simple and common, but the truth is, a few years ago, it wasn’t just that simple.
But even in those conditions, more than 140 years ago, Argentina and Romania overcame the distance barrier and began a relationship between the two countries separated by miles and miles of distance, apparently different, but in fact having a common Latin background.
At that time, for Romanians, Argentina seemed to be the “end of the world”, the farthest corner of the planet, the ideal place for those who wanted to start a new life.
Today however, the access to “the farthest corner of the planet” is something normal and no one is surprised when it is exceeded – often in real time – any distance or barrier that traditionally divided the world.
It is truly amazing that a world composed of many geographical, political and cultural divisions can communicate anytime, almost effortless, in order to create opportunities for mutual development.
Nations are not alone in the world and the growing interdependence between them is now an indisputable and inevitable process. To whom do we owe this reality? History certainly had a major impact.
What history teaches us is that even the countries that are furthest away from each other manage to overcome distance and come to share ideas, experiences and characteristic products.
Trade in goods and services did always occur, but the years after the Cold War have brought the real novelty, because, as new trends and technologies were implemented in the global economy and politics, sharing ideas began to be accomplished with incredible speed. Communication has become the most powerful tool of governments and this continues to be the reality.
Therefore today, to maintain a political, economic or cultural relation is more a matter of being open-minded and be willing to listen. The effort is minimal if we compare it with what happened decades or centuries ago.
Equally true is that two nations can’t support each other if they don’t know their common interests. Dialogue can end any deadlock when people share the same core values.
Construction of different contact points and seeking common interest in order to bring people together is a main diplomatic function. All the experience gained through many diplomatic meetings over the years stands as a testimony for the sustainability of our bilateral relations.
Argentina and Romania have reached a consensus, because they have the same criteria for the construction of a society, based on the principles of democracy and respect for the rule of law, human rights and diversity.
No matter when globalization began, something is now indisputable: borders are no longer limitations. The increasing interdependence between countries creates huge opportunities for economic development and for a real connection between nations.
Our countries have developed a fruitful diplomatic relationship, fueled by numerous joint commissions, political consultations, reciprocal presidential visits and high-level meetings. We have signed over fifty international agreements, covering a wide range of common interests. Also, the Embassy of Argentina in Bucharest has helped bring our people closer through culture, by translating into Romanian dozens of books of Argentine authors, through the initiative “Programa Sur”.
Both countries share a strong commitment to democracy and its values, and the respect for multilateralism and international law. There is no doubt that we are friend nations, with common values and a friendship based on mutual respect and collaboration. We have an excellent bilateral relationship, which we will certainly deepen.
We did a lot of things together, but we still have a lot to do. We are a partner for Romania, today and always, working to reinforce our sustainable and fruitful relationship.
Many cheers to our friendship!