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ForMin Aurescu - official visit to Slovenia

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, paid an official visit to Slovenia on Friday, on which occasion he was received by the President Borut Pahor, by the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Igor Zorcic, and had far-reaching political consultations with his counterpart, Anze Logar.

 

The two ministers' discussions focused on bilateral coordination in the context of Slovenia's takeover of the rotating Presidency of the EU Council on July 1, as an opportunity for an in-depth exchange of views on the priorities of the European agenda, with a focus on the files for which there is a high degree of convergence, shows a Foreign Ministry (MAE) release.

At the end of the consultations, Minister Aurescu appreciated that, against the background of the COVID-19 health crisis, "the importance of the unity and solidarity of the states in order to be able to overcome this kind of challenges" was highlighted.

"This message of unity and solidarity is important, especially in the perspective of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which we discussed in detail during our talks. We must show the citizens the prospect of a strong Union, acting fully in the interests of its citizens, in order to ensure their prosperity and security," said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.

He emphasized the need for "a long-term vision for crisis management and a Europe as resilient as possible".

"We welcomed the initiative to hold a summit on resilience during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In fact, Romania will soon host a Euro-Atlantic Center for Resilience, which shows the convergence of our concerns in this very important area," added Aurescu.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs recalled Romania's objectives related to the accession to the Schengen area and, respectively, to the accession to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and thanked Slovenia for the constant support shown in this regard.

"EU enlargement is an area in which Romania and Slovenia share a common vision, especially in the Western Balkans, for whom enlargement is the only solid option for peace, stability, long-term wellbeing in the region and on the continent. You can count on the support of Romania for the advancement of this file during the term of the Slovenian Presidency, including in terms of the preparation of the Summit on the Western Balkans," Bogdan Aurescu said.

The visit also provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on the state and prospects of the bilateral relationship. The Foreign Minister emphasized the "very good" state of the bilateral relationship, as EU and NATO member states, with common interests and approaches. The opportunities for diversification of bilateral cooperation were highlighted, at sectoral level, but especially at economic level, in order to promote the ascending trend of trade relations, including the intensification of trade and investment ties, the quoted source states.

The two foreign ministers agreed to organize a business forum to stimulate bilateral economic cooperation.

As to the European agenda, the head of Romanian Diplomacy highlighted the special significance of some of the files that the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council will manage, namely the coordination in formulating the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization of the Conference on the Future of Europe to be launched on 9 May in Strasbourg, continuing efforts on economic recovery, continuing the EU enlargement process, the Eastern Neighborhood and the transatlantic relationship.

At the same time, it was agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of cyber security, including in the context of Romania hosting the new EU Cyber Center.

In relation to the EU's external agenda, Minister Aurescu welcomed the intention of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council to pay special attention to the enlargement process and the Western Balkans region, including by organizing an EU-Western Balkans Summit.

At the same time, the head of Romanian diplomacy underlined the efforts of democratic and pro-European reform of the new President of the Republic of Moldova and the support that Romania gives to the citizens of this country and the "ambitious" program of measures of President Maia Sandu. He also mentioned the donations of medical equipment and vaccines from Romania, for the direct benefit of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to the MAE, the talks with Slovenian officials revealed the vision of the two states in favor of a strong, solid transatlantic relationship, based on the community of values and security on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs also addressed the cooperation within the Three Seas Initiative, emphasizing the importance of strategic interconnection projects considered at regional level, including projects of particular relevance to Romania, as well as the relevance of increased US involvement in supporting them.

The EU's relations with Russia, Belarus, China and Turkey were also discussed, the MAE informed.

 

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