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Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met with the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

 

Joint press statements by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

 

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: I would like to begin by thanking Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for honouring the invitation to pay a visit to Bucharest, reconfirming the good relations existing between Romanian people and Greek people, traditionally linked to common history and culture.

Thus, together, we mark an anniversary in the history of Romanian-Greek relations: on February 23, 1880, exactly 142 years ago, the Consulate General of Greece in Bucharest transmitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs the recognition of Romania's independence.

We have signed the Joint Declaration on strengthening political, economic and sectoral cooperation between Romania and the Hellenic Republic. Including also the line of cooperation within the EU and NATO, this document will represent the foundation for a Joint Action Plan with concrete objectives, which we will adopt at the government level in the near future.

Today's discussions reflected the current priorities of bilateral dialogue and economic and sectoral cooperation, as well as current issues on the regional, European Union and NATO agendas.

We have noticed that the development and diversification of our bilateral relations are fostered by the traditional relations between our countries, the common history, as well as by similar approaches on many regional and European issues. At the same time, the Romanian community in Greece and the Greek community in Romania contribute substantially to the development of cultural and social relations between our countries.

There is a great potential for the development of bilateral dialogue, which must be capitalized- both economically, where the development of trade and mutual investment must be fostered and promoted, and at the sectoral level. At the same time, it is important to identify along with other areas where we can develop mutually beneficial initiatives, likely to expand Romanian-Greek cooperation.

Discussions will continue in separate bilateral meetings in which the issues of mutual interest in each area of ​​responsibility will be examined in detail and the common goals and best ways to achieve them will be established.

In the context of this visit, a Memorandum of Understanding on Civil Protection and Emergencies will be signed, agreed upon between the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Greek Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection.

The signing of this document crowns the excellent collaboration we already have in this field - the most eloquent proof in this respect is the support that Romania extended to Greece last summer, during the dramatic wildfires, which deeply affected the civilian population.

The action of the Romanian firefighters in the areas facing this natural catastrophe contributed to the stabilization of the situation: we say it with the satisfaction of the fulfilled duty towards a friend in need.

Given the complicated security context in our immediate vicinity, the security situation in the Black Sea region and at the borders of Ukraine, an important and topical issue, could not be missing from the discussion agenda.

We strongly condemn Russia's new violation of international law, of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by its recognition of the so-called independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, and the aggression against Ukraine by other Russian troops entering the territory of this state.

These actions contribute to further undermining regional, European and Euro-Atlantic security and stability and have the potential to escalate. In this context, we also discussed further coordination for strengthening the security of NATO's eastern flank, as well as appropriate response measures.

In this context, too, we reaffirmed our strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Diplomatic efforts are intense, and both Romania and Greece support them by all means and in all available formats.

Romania and Greece have similar approaches on many regional issues, sharing common interests and converging visions. We emphasized the need to deepen the existing dialogue within the framework of regional cooperation formats, with a focus on interconnection projects in the field of energy and transport. Regarding the European agenda, we exchanged views on the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic development opportunities offered by the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.

On this occasion, I also underlined Romania's objective to further contribute to the consolidation of the EU, through its participation as a full member of the Schengen Area. Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis reconfirmed his support for us to attain this goal.

We also discussed strategies to combat climate change – a highly topical and urgent issue, which requires as closer as possible coordination at the European and bilateral levels.

We acknowledged Greece's efforts, along with the other Mediterranean Member States, to manage immigration flows. We hope that progress will be made, this semester, on the components of the European Pact on Migration and Asylum so that we have a functional system at the EU level in this respect.

Regarding the enlargement of the European Union, we could notice that Romania and Greece have remained active supporters of this process, which need to advance based on the merits of candidate states. Our points of view converge: enlargement is a geostrategic investment in the stability and prosperity of the entire European continent.

One of the topics discussed today with the Greek Prime Minister was the situation in Eastern Mediterranean. We voiced solidarity with Greece, based on unity at the European level. As a state profoundly attached to the observance of international law norms and as a country that settled its disputes with its neighbours, Romania is ready to provide expertise to all our regional partners.

In conclusion, Mr Prime Minister, I want to convey my thanks for the open, constructive, and warm atmosphere that characterized today’s discussions and I wish success to our delegations in the ensuing activities. /.../



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