The situation in Afghanistan constituted the main topic of discussions during the informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EU member-states, where Romania was represented by Minister Bogdan Aurescu, meeting that took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
According to a release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), sent on Tuesday to AGERPRES, the Foreign Affairs Ministers discussed the situation in Afghanistan, placing emphasis on the recent developments regarding the internal and security situation, regional cooperation, as well as the recent development in the Sahel and the Indo-Pacific region.
The opinion exchange regarding Afghanistan took place as a follow-up to the informal meeting in Gymnich Format (Slovenia, September 2-3), where the European ministers convened to start demarches for the creation of an EU platform for cooperation with the neighbors of Afghanistan (Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) in order to manage the multiple consequences of the crisis in this country. The New York meeting offered the occasion to approach concrete aspects regarding this initiative, MAE mentions.
Aurescu also hailed the recent adoption of the Conclusions of the Council of the European Union regarding the situation in Afghanistan, which offer guidance and additional details regarding the future action of the EU in what regards this country. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the commitment and unity of the EU in what regards the efforts to stabilize the country and support the Afghan population, especially women and children, as well as that part of the population that shares western values, given the constant deterioration of the internal situation. In what regards the deterioration of the economic situation, he proposed the consultation by the EU of international financial institutions.
The head of Romanian diplomacy expressed support for the objectives of the regional cooperation platform for countries neighboring Afghanistan, namely stability and security, the prevention of the spread of terrorism and criminality, migration control, border protection, and humanitarian assistance. The Foreign Affairs Minister emphasized that EU support in this framework must include an economic dimension of a nature to allow regional development. He also evaluated that the cooperation format must be flexible and adaptable in regards to objectives and development, including by the invitation, in a later stage, of other relevant states. In order to ensure the efficiency of EU actions as part of the platform, Aurescu appreciated that it is necessary to adapt the level of ambition depending on the position of each partner, as well as the coherence of already existing initiatives, MAE indicates.
Beside stimulating regional cooperation, the Romanian official emphasized the need to continue coordination with the UN, NATO, the USA and other relevant partners, special attention being necessary in what regards strategic communication and combating misinformation, MAE mentions.
The Ministers also approached the situation in Sahel and the Indo-Pacific, in the context of recent developments in the two regions.
In what regards the situation in Mali, Minister Bogdan Aurescu expressed concern regarding the deterioration of the security situation in this country and its potential to expand instability in other regions. He shared the concern expressed by France regarding the involvement of the Wagner group in Mali, as well as other African states.
Furthermore, Aurescu reiterated the firm commitment of Romania towards the stability and security of the region, together with European partners. The Minister of Foreign Affairs recalled that Mali remains suspended from the Community of Democracies (CoD), as was decided in the extraordinary meeting of the Governing Council of the CoD of June 11, in the context in which Romania was the holder of the Presidency of the Community of Democracies.
The head of Romanian democracy hailed the publishing, on September 16, of the EU Strategy for the Indo-Pacific, a very important framework document to orient the relations of the European Union with the respective region, MAE shows. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of discussing openly, without breaks, with EU partners all aspects of a nature to create divergence or tensions, in order to avoid the creation of divisions in the transatlantic relation, as well as to allow the adequate implementation of the EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific, which implies cooperation with the USA and regional partners. Aurescu also mentioned that any development of the EU’s profile in the realm of security and defence must be done in complementarity with NATO.