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ForMins Aurescu, Brende discuss in Norway


Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu paid an official visit to Norway on Monday, answering an invitation of his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informed in a release.

Aurescu's agenda included talks with Brende and with the Norwegian Parliament President Olemic Thommessen.

"During the consultations with Minister Borge Brende, the top Romanian diplomat underlined the fact that Norwegian investors could exploit Romania's economic stability to open affairs in the country; he pleaded for the intensification of bilateral trade, which currently amounts to 675 million euros. (...) Bogdan Aurescu thanked for Norway's offer of funds for Romania under the EEA [European Economic Area] and Norway Grants," the MAE announced.

According to this source, the two ministers signed the "Convention between Romania and the Kingdom of Norway on the elimination of double taxation and the prevention of the income tax evasion," aiming at "stimulating the economic exchanges and the economic and social relations between the two countries in general."

The evolutions in the Eastern Neighbourhood were another priority of the talks; the two officials voiced their support to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

They also discussed the May 21-22 Eastern Partnership in Riga, "an important moment in the EU's relations with its eastern partners, both for reasserting the Union's support and for the evaluation of the progresses made by the Eastern Partnership member states since the previous Summit in Vilnius."

"As regards the Republic of Moldova, Romania and the Kingdom of Norway restated their support for its European Path. Aurescu proposed a re-examination by Norway of the possibility of financing relevant projects for connecting the Republic of Moldova to the EU space," MAE mentioned.

Within the new European geopolitical context, Aurescu estimated "it was necessary for the European Council in June to draft a new concept document to update the EU Security Strategy of 2003."

As regards the talks with Thommessen, MAE's document informs the topic was "the development of the bilateral political dialogue and the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries."

The talks also addressed the crisis in Ukraine and its impact on the regional security; the two officials repeated their call to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The President of the Norwegian Parliament highlighted "the support of the Nordic and Baltic countries to the reforming of the Parliament in Kiev and of the legislative process in Ukraine."

"Upon the proposal of the Romanian minister, the two officials agreed to explore the possibility of a joint Romanian-Norwegian programme, also associating the Venice Commission, to train politicians and members of the parliaments of the Eastern Neighbourhood states," the release points out.

During his visit to Norway, Aurescu also met representatives of the Norwegian chapters of the League of Romanian Students Abroad (LSRS) and of the CAESAR (Centre for Access to the Expertise of Romanian Students and Graduates) Foundation.