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President Iohannis, Jean-Yves Le Drian discuss situation on EU’s eastern border, Black Sea region

President Klaus Iohannis welcomed on Thursday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on an official visit to Bucharest.

According to the Presidential Administration, the head of state appreciated the presence of the French official in Romania, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Romania’s accession to the European Union, and assured the latter of Romania’s support in France’s exercising the presidency of the Council of the European Union and in advancing the European agenda, in the current challenging context.

President Iohannis emphasized the importance for our country of the Strategic Partnership with France, which is based on a long historical relationship, cultural affinities, and dynamic cooperation in many areas, as well as common interests and objectives.

During the talks, the Romanian president welcomed France’s availability, announced by President Emmanuel Macron, to participate in NATO’s enhanced military presence in Romania, which demonstrates the solidarity and commitment of the French partner in strengthening deterrence and defense on the Eastern Flank.

“Romania’s president has assessed the situation on the eastern border of the European Union and in the Black Sea region as extremely worrying, arguing the need to continue the political dialogue in order to find solutions that would allow the de-escalation of the situation. President Klaus Iohannis equally appreciated that there is a need to consolidate and coordinate the Allied presence in this part of Europe,” said the Presidential Administration.

In this context, the head of state also appreciated the French Minister’s participation in the Thursday meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bucharest 9 Format (B9), where consultations took place with NATO allies on the Eastern Flank regarding the increased tensions in Ukraine’s neighborhood, due to the massive Russian troop build up in the region.

President Iohannis reiterated his support for the objectives of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the context of the discussions on the Strategic Compass, stressing the importance of the partnership between the European Union and NATO and of the transatlantic unity.

In his turn, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized that his presence in Bucharest, at this anniversary moment, is more proof of the very good relations of bilateral strategic partnership and of the Romanian-French cooperation within the European Union. Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian outlined the objectives of the French Presidency in reaching an agreement on the Strategic Compass by the European Council in March this year, in close coordination with discussions on NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also presented France’s stance on security developments in the Eastern Neighborhood, with an emphasis on continuing the diplomatic dialogue, including in the Normandy format, with a view to de-escalation. At the same time, he expressed France’s support and involvement in strengthening efforts to protect and defend its Eastern Flank partners and highlighted close coordination within the EU and NATO.

The French Minister thanked Romania for its support and good cooperation with France in its missions in theaters of operations, with a focus on participating in joint efforts to combat terrorism in the Sahel region, Agerpres reports.

 

Photo: www.presidency.ro

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