Bucharest, July 28, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Turkey is a strategic partner of Romania, and it is in everyone’s interest for the situation there to get back to normal, Romania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu (photo) said at the Government House on Thursday.
“There are clear stands from the European Union, on EU level, on Alliance members’ level, strongly highlighting that Turkey is an important partner of NATO and it remains an important member of the North Atlantic Alliance. It is a strategic partner (…) of Romania, and (…) the stands I have mentioned, to which drawing up Romania has directly contributed, emphasise at the same time that it is in the interest of the Alliance, the European Union, Turkey and all of us for the situation in Turkey to get back to normal, which entails the working of the democratic institutions, the observance of the specific values of the Euro-Atlantic area, and it is very important to say that the European Union and NATO equally represent an alliance based on values; I believe this message is very well understood by our Turkish partners,” Comanescu told a joint news conference with Romania’s National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc on Romania’s commitments following the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
Comanescu added that there is a bilateral dialogue between Romania and Turkey. “There is also a bilateral dialogue on this topic, beyond meetings with Turkey’s ambassador here in Bucharest; I have also had direct conversations with my Turkish counterpart. (…) We are also going to have a trilateral meeting of Romania, Poland and Turkey’s foreign ministers. All this (…) and assurances given by Turkey that they are aware of the special importance of normalcy resumption make us believe that things will be in line with the spirit and the letter of the decisions made in Warsaw, because these are decisions made at the highest level and I believe that the North Atlantic Alliance has proven that the decisions made at the highest level are decisions that are also put into practice.”
In his turn, National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc pointed out that Turkey remains a regional player of major importance in the Black Sea.
“Turkey remains an unavoidable, important partner for Romania, a regional player of major importance in the Black Sea, and therefore a power that cannot be hindered by a certain course of policy, by some difficult moments in its domestic life. About the manner in which the mentioned developments (…) could influence the materialisation of our Black Sea initiatives, which [I might add] are not strictly Romanian initiatives, because (…) we have thoroughly discussed them with all riparian allies in the months before the summit, these initiatives are already decisions of the Summit in Warsaw consecrating the perspective of establishing a maritime and air component in the Black Sea,” said Motoc.
He mentioned that in July, there have been wide-ranging multinational exercises in the Black Sea with the participation of Turkish ships.
“In July, there have been wide-ranging multinational exercises in the Black Sea, both the Romanian and the Bulgarian waters, carried out exactly in the configuration we are envisaging, namely with Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish and US ships, with components of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, and these exercises are also currently going on in Ukrainian waters,” Motoc added.
He also mentioned in his remarks the developments in Turkey’s relation with Russia.
“Our initiative began because it meets a need (…) of having a strengthened NATO naval presence in the Black Sea, a NATO footprint in the Black Sea that should be visible. Secondly, I would underscore here that all these initiatives haven’t the slightest shadow of an offensive nature; they are strictly defensive. As such, I cannot see how all the developments in Turkey’s relationship with Russia, which showed signs of reconciliation before the failed attempt of coup d’etat, could fundamentally affect these strategic arguments, these concrete needs for security; we shall normally see the decisions of the Warsaw Summit implemented, including in respect to the maritime component at the Black Sea, maybe with higher difficulty and certain delays,” said Motoc.