Bucharest hosts as of Tuesday the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomats, which brings together the heads of Romania’s diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad. The meeting is chaired by the Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu.
The main topic of this year’s meeting is the concept of resilience, which gains importance in the context of the pandemic-related crisis. The Romanian diplomats will also discuss ways to concentrate their efforts on emerging developments like climate change, digital transition, the growing role of new technologies and cyber security.
The Romanian diplomacy chief Bogdan Aurescu on Tuesday had also bilateral consultations with his Moldovan counterpart, Nicolae Popescu, who is also taking part in the meeting. The Moldovan diplomat had also talks with President Klaus Iohannis. The bilateral talks focused on strengthening Romania’s support for the reforms implemented by the new government in Chisinau and for Moldova’s EU accession efforts, Radio Romania International reports.
Romania has deployed major efforts to evacuate Romanian and Afghan nationals at risk of Taliban’s revenge in Afghanistan, and succeeded, Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy (RADR) 2021 in opening remarks on Tuesday.
“Buttressed by exceptional inter-institutional co-operation, the evacuation of 49 Romanian nationals, seven nationals of other NATO member states and 156 Afghan nationals – former collaborators of the Romanian troops in the war zone, students on scholarships in Romania, other vulnerable categories such as journalists, human rights activists, magistrates and their family members – has been a real success,” said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.
According to him, the Inter-institutional Task Force, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which convened on August 13 with the participation of the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Ministry of National Defence and the Romanian Intelligence Service, “deserves all the praise.” “I want to thank all my colleagues and partners for their involvement and almost superhuman efforts,” he added.
The foreign ministers of Moldova, Greece, Italy and India are the RADR 2021 guests, and they will deliver remarks either virtually or in person from Bucharest as part of the event that takes place September 7-9.
The theme of this year’s edition is “Diplomacy action to strengthen Romania’s resilience.” The event, organised according to tradition around the Romanian Diplomacy Day, brings together, this time in a virtual format, the heads of Romania’s diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad.
Aurescu’s special guests at this year’s meeting are: Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova Nicolae Popescu, who will be in Bucharest on an official visit; Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Dendias, also on a visit to Romania; Italy’s the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, who will deliver a video message; Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar; Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan; Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Suica; Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Schmid, who will address the meeting via live videoconference; and Secretary General of the Community of Democracies (CoD) Thomas Garrett, who will be in Bucharest.
The event offers an opportunity to assess the activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the past year, and also to consider the challenges that Romania has to face in the future as a result of global, transatlantic, European and regional developments. The debates also aim to identify current and emerging opportunities that need to be seized, as well as establishing the main action guidelines for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic service, in the short and medium term.
President Iohannis: Romania is getting involved alongside its partners to reduce effects of recent developments in Afghanistan
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday that Romania is getting involved, alongside its partners, in reducing as much as possible “the effects in terms of security” of the recent developments in Afghanistan.
“In what concerns the recent developments in Afghanistan, we are getting involved, alongside our partners, to reduce the security effects, as much as possible,” said Iohannis.
The President reiterated his appreciation of the activity of the Inter-institutional Crisis Cell coordinated at the MAE (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) level, which managed to bring 49 Romanian citizens back home and 7 citizens of allied states, and also to evacuate 156 Afghan citizens.
The “golden triangle” of Romania’s foreign policy remains essential
President Klaus Iohannis also said on Tuesday that the “golden triangle” of Romania’s foreign policy, namely increasing the country’s role in the European Union and NATO and deepening and developing its strategic partnership with the US, remains essential.
“To Romania, what we called at a previous meeting of ours the ‘golden triangle’ of Romania’s foreign policy remains essential: increasing our role in the European Union and NATO, and further developing and deepening the strategic partnership with the United States of America. At the same time, domestically, we need close inter-institutional co-operation, redoubled by co-operation between the state and society in order to strengthen Romania in the face of current and future risks and challenges. Our resilience, as a state and society, must also be strengthened by a deeper anchoring of all our citizens in the fundamental democratic, European and Euro-Atlantic values. And on that area of action, the Romanian diplomacy has a role to play: you must continue to be our interface that underlines and brings to the country the positive lessons learned that are beneficial to the modernisation of Romania,” the chief of state told Romanian ambassadors and consuls in video remarks to the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy (RADR) 2021.
He pointed out that Romania’s National Strategy for the Defence of the Country, adopted in 2020, takes into account the new trends facing Romania in a pandemic context, with a major impact on security and international relationships.
He appreciated the fact that a permanent exercise of strategic reflection is taking place at the level of Romanian diplomacy and the fact that this year the diplomacy meeting concentrates its debate on the concept of resilience.
“Diplomacy plays a leading role in the efforts at national and European level to respond to the new international context and to be able to adjust continuously and with a vision to the challenges we face. We have to actually and solidly participate in the common action inside the European Union, inside NATO and with the partners with whom we share the same values and the same approach in order to defend the strategic interests that unite us and to reduce the dependence on partners with behaviours and objectives running contrary to them. That is why the Romanian diplomacy has to stay engaged, particularly in the ongoing reflection processes within NATO and the European Union, in terms of the comprehensive concept of resilience, to identify the most appropriate and effective responses to new challenges and changes,” said Iohannis.
He also commended the Romanian diplomats for their involvement with very good results in the ‘battle’ against the COVID-19 pandemic, to the direct benefit of the Romanian citizens.
Iohannis to Romanian diplomats: Continue steps towards achievement of European objectives, such as joining Schengen
President Klaus Iohannis asked on Tuesday Romanian diplomats to continue their efforts to achieve the objectives at European level, such as Romania’s accession to the Schengen area.
“On all major ‘European files,’ Romanian diplomacy must increase its capacity to anticipate trends, to identify strategic elements that support the promotion of national interests. I encourage you to come up with initiatives that our country could implement or associate with, and also to put into equation various alliances and partnerships in this sense. Please continue the steps towards pursuing the achievement of our goals at European level, such as joining the Schengen area,” said the head of state.
Iohannis also conveyed that it is necessary for Romania to contribute more to the process regarding the EU perspectives.
“This pandemic will not be the last challenge for Brussels and the member states. Therefore, we need to better prepare for the future, increase our capacity to anticipate and improve European crisis management mechanisms for future situations. We need, for example, a Health Union, as well as increasing the productivity and capacity of the industry. Digitalization is one of the transformative trends accelerated by the pandemic, along with the need to rethink the size of the transition to a sustainable and green future. This transformation is necessary not only as an adaptation to the crisis, but also as an approach to support the resilience of the European Union and the member states, which implies a joint effort, in which the role of each country, including Romania, is essential,” Iohannis added.
The head of state also asked Romanian diplomats to get involved in the negotiation of NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
“Please get involved with all your energy and vision in negotiating it. In this complex negotiating process, a number of priorities must be upheld, such as strengthening NATO’s position in a coherent manner throughout the Eastern Flank and strengthening the increased strategic focus on the Black Sea area, supporting the partners in the Eastern Neighborhood and developing their capacity to respond adequately to any potential crisis. At the same time, Romania continues to firmly maintain its commitment to allocate 2% of GDP to Defence, necessary for the endowment and modernization of our armed forces,” Iohannis said.
He underscored that the transatlantic connection is of vital importance for Romania.
Compiled from Agerpres