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ForMin Odobescu - official visit to Paris: consultations with French counterpart, general secretary of OECD

France will continue to support Romania, considering the security stakes at the European level and the important role played by our country in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Catherine Colonna said on Monday, after having a meeting in Paris with the head of Romanian diplomacy, Luminita Odobescu.

Minister Odobescu paid an official visit to Paris on Monday, which included consultations with the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, Catherine Colonna, as well as meetings with the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), sent on Monday, during the consultations with Minister Catherine Colonna, Luminita Odobescu highlighted the priority importance given by Romania to the consolidation and expansion of the bilateral Strategic Partnership relationship with France, based on a high-level dynamic dialogue, economic and sectoral cooperation substantial and strong historical and cultural ties between the two peoples.

"In this context, Minister Luminita Odobescu emphasized Romania's appreciation for France's contribution to the consolidation of NATO's Eastern Flank by deploying military forces and by assuming the role of the framework nation for the Battle Group deployed in Romania. Minister Catherine Colonna indicated that France will continue to support Romania, taking into account the security stakes at the European level and the important role played by our country in the context of the conflict in Ukraine", the MAE informs.

Regarding the European agenda, Minister Luminita Odobescu emphasized the importance of maintaining an active and vocal involvement on the part of France in order to identify a solution that would lead to the adoption of a positive decision regarding Romania's accession to the Schengen area. Minister Catherine Colonna expressed the full support of France in order to achieve this goal, the MAE reports.

According to the quoted release, during the meeting, the need to advance the process of expanding the European Union, both in the Eastern Neighborhood of the EU and in the Western Balkans region, was emphasized. The two officials agreed that the European integration of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine represents a major political priority, the short-term objective being to obtain a positive decision by the end of this year regarding the opening of accession negotiations with the two states.

During the discussions, the importance of a long-term commitment to support Ukraine, faced with Russia's brutal war of aggression, was emphasized as a strategic investment in the security of the region and Europe as a whole. At the same time, the Romanian official highlighted the importance of continuing to provide consistent European support to the Republic of Moldova.

With reference to the situation in the Middle East, Minister Odobescu pointed out the need to avoid the escalation of the conflict, to ensure the access of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the imperative to release all the hostages and to safely evacuate the foreign citizens stuck in Gaza.

During the meeting with the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated Romania's firm commitment to the strategic objective of joining the organization and continuing efforts, at a sustained pace, in order to align with its standards and practices. She highlighted Romania's involvement in achieving OECD priorities, through voluntary contributions to the organization's regional programs, and pleaded in favor of increasing its cooperation with the Republic of Moldova, stressing that her vast expertise can contribute to the reform efforts of the authorities in Chisinau on the way to joining the EU.

At the meeting with the general director of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, Odobescu reiterated Romania's attachment to the organization's fundamental values, including cultural diversity, respect for human rights and the promotion of peace. At the same time, she expressed Romania's desire to be involved in the promotion of topical themes for the UNESCO agenda, such as ethics in artificial intelligence, education through culture and art, and respectively the relationship between culture and sustainable development, mentions the MAE.




Tuesday, November 21, 2023