Romania: Aurescu heads to Berlin to attend Gymnich

Romania: Aurescu heads to Berlin to attend Gymnich

Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu will take part in the informal Gymnich meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Berlin on 27-28 August 2020, according to a statement issued by the Romanian Foreign Ministry.

The agenda of the discussions is broad and focuses on important EU foreign policy issues and, at the same time, is determined by recent developments in the Union ‘neighborhood’. Therefore, the working meetings will deal with the situation in Belarus, the EU-Turkey relations, also within the context of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, while also tapping on the EU-Russia relations. Ministers will also discuss the global geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the EU’s international role.

On the issue of Belarus, Minister Aurescu said, among other things, that the EU could not affird to not respond appropriately to the regime’s reprehensible actions in Minsk, addind that he would inform his counterparts that “a process has kicked off for the disbursment of 100,000 euros in financial aid from the 2020 budget for development and humanitarian aid, managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation for Development (RoAid), to support independent journalism and civil society in Belarus”.

Ministers will also exchange views on the EU-Turkey relations, in the context of supressing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, in order to find solutions to overcome the current impasse and to express thoughts on the future of the EU-Turkey relations with this strategic partner. Minister Bogdan Aurescu will reiterate the importance of European solidarity and the need to find solutions exclusively through peaceful means and to involve the parties in negotiations based on their legitimate interests, with respect to international law.

The Communication continues with a brief reference to the EU-Russia relations, which “will be discussed in the light of the EU objectives and the way in which Russia is fulfilling its international commitments”, alongside the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on how the EU can protect and consolidate its interests and influence abroad.

The Gymnich meeting will be preceded by a working lunch with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabriel Ashkenazi, with whom they will discuss the latest developments in the region, the prospects for the Middle East Peace Process and EU-Israel relations. Minister Bogdan Aurescu will reiterate Romania’s position that the only viable option for the Peace Process is a two-state solution, which the parties can only reach by engaging in direct negotiations, with respect for international law, and will support the strengthening of the EU-Israel relationship and dialogue. /ibna