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Iohannis, Duda discuss deepening strategic partnership, joint gov't meeting in second half of 2021

Romania's President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that he had discussed with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda deepening and expanding the Romanian-Polish strategic partnership, announcing that a new joint meeting of the two national governments would take place in the second half of the year that will design a new partnership action plan for the years 2021-2025.

"At the meeting that has just concluded, held in a very open atmosphere of friendship, we discussed the expansion and deepening of the Romanian-Polish Strategic Partnership established in October 2009 and renewed in 2015. I was glad to note that this strategic partnership has encouraged a sustained development of our bilateral relations in recent years. Holding in the second half of this year a new joint meeting of the national governments of Romania and Poland where a new action plan of the strategic partnership for the years 2021-2025 will be agreed on demonstrates once again the excellent level of the Romanian-Polish dialogue," said Iohannis at a joint news conference with Duda.

He underlined that the Romanian-Polish dialogue has intensified substantially in recent years through contacts at all levels and in all areas.

The Romanian chief of state said that he agreed with his Polish counterpart on the need to further stimulate trade, adding that the commercial exchanges exceeded 7 billion euros in 2020, despite the covid-19 pandemic, as well as mutual investment.

"Discussions also highlighted the common interest in deepening sectoral co-operation, including in areas such as the defence industry," Iohannis said.

He indicated that the discussions also focused on regional co-operation under the Three Seas Initiative, with an emphasis on the implementation of strategic regional interconnection projects and that agreement was reached on the continuation of the joint promotion, with priority, of the Rail2Sea railway project linking the ports of Constanta and Gdansk, and the Via Carpathia road project.

Iohannis also mentioned that special attention was paid to the security dimension, an essential component of the strategic partnership.

"The Romanian-Polish security dialogue brings definite mutual benefits for both countries, for our region and for the North Atlantic Alliance. I agreed with the president to continue the military contributions that Romania and Poland have on each other's soil as part of implementing the decisions adopted at previous NATO summits," Iohannis said, adding recalling that on Tuesday, he and Duda will participate in the military exercise Justice Sword 21 at the Smardan shooting range.

The Romanian chief of state said their talks also focused on security in the Black Sea and the Eastern Flank in general, as well as priorities for this year's NATO summit.

"Thus, our countries will continue to support the consolidation of NATO's deterrence and defence posture on the Eastern Flank, its cohesion, as well as the NATO 2030 process and the adoption of a decision on updating the Allied Strategic Concept at the June NATO Summit. Romania and Poland have paid special attention to strengthening the resilience of NATO, allies and partners, and I am pleased that Poland supports the project of the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience in Bucharest. We also reaffirmed the strong support of our countries to the consolidation of the transatlantic relationship," said Iohannis, pointing out that these security issues will be discussed in more detail at the Bucharest Nine (B9) summit.

According to President Iohannis, the talks also aimed at consolidating the Romania-Poland-Turkey three-way organisation and the developments in the Eastern Neighbourhood.

"We reiterated support for the European journey of the Republic of Moldova and discussed the worrying security situation in and around Ukraine, as well as the challenges related to Belarus. We also agreed to coordinate the positions of Romania and Poland in order to revitalise and substantiate the Eastern Partnership ahead of the summit to be held his year," Iohannis concluded.