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Miroslav Lajčák: Romania is our most significant partner in South-Eastern Europe

Miroslav Lajčák: Romania is our most significant partner in South-Eastern Europe

18.2.2020 | Aktivity ministra

Excellent bilateral relations, common positions regarding many foreign-policy issues, a dynamic economic cooperation, common views on the identical status and the rights of ethnic minorities – these were the topics, among others, of the official visit of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, to Romania, where he arrived today (February 18, 2020).

 

In Bucharest he met with his counterpart Bogdan Aurescu and was received by the President Klaus Werner Iohannis and by the Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. At all three meetings, the partners confirmed the high level of cooperation and intensive bilateral relations between the two countries. The issues that dominated the talks were: a wide spectrum of issues related to bilateral relations between Slovakia and Romania, and EU affairs with special focus on the challenges of European policies in the future, particularly with regards to the UK withdrawal. Minister Lajčák highlighted the activities of Romania in the context of last year’s Romanian presidency in the Council of the European Union. “We have an identical approach to the issue of the enlargement of the European Union; we jointly support cooperation enhancement with the countries of the Eastern Partnership and the principles of multilateralism, and Slovakia supports Romania’s membership in the Schengen Agreement and the OECD also because this country is our most significant economic partner in this region,“ underscored Minister Lajčák after the meeting with his counterpart Bogdan Aurescu. As an example, the minister stated that Romania is currently the 11th most important export destination and the 13th most important import partner for Slovakia. “I am glad to note that mutual trade has been continuously growing,“ the chief Slovak diplomat emphasized.

 

During the meeting with his Romanian counterpart, Minister Lajčák also touched upon the issues related to EU enlargement and regional cooperation. The partners also focused on the importance of cooperation in the context of international organisations and the need to maintain the principles of multilateralism. A special chapter in the mutual relations of the two countries is the 200-year presence of the Slovak ethnic minority in Romania. “This is an important and positive link between the two countries which can serve as a role model for other ethnic minorities in the region,“ concluded the chief of Slovak diplomacy.

 

During the Press Conference, Miroslav Lajčák expressed his special gratitude to the Romanian President for his decision to award the minister with the “Order of the Star of Romania,” which will be presented over to him in Bratislava by the Romanian Ambassador  Steluţa Arhire. The decision by the Romanian president to award the chief Slovak diplomat was taken on February 4 of this year in recognition of Minister Lajčák’s diplomatic activities in favour of Romanian-Slovak relations, and for his activities in favour of regional stability.