Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the Romania-Poland-Turkey trilateral summit hosted by Romanian Foreign Minister Bucharest. The two officials discussed issues of bilateral relations and matters of interest from the regional, European and international agenda, including the prospects for progress in the Cyprus issue.
According to a statement from the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Bogdan Aurescu welcomed the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Strategic Partnership Declaration between Romania and Turkey this year, noting that bilateral relations have expanded over the years and Turkey remains a ‘key partner’ of Romania.
The two officials discussed the stage of bilateral relations and their prospects for expansion in the economic field. Turkey remains Romania’s first economic partner among non-EU countries, Aurescu said, with bilateral trade reaching about $ 6.4 billion in 2020. The operation of more than 16,200 Turkish companies in Romania is also indicative of the dynamics that exist. The two officials agreed on the organization in the next period of meetings of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JEC – Joint Economic Commission) and the Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation (Joint Economic and Trade Commission – JETCO), while cooperation on the sectors of education and the defense industry was also discussed.
Aurescu and Cavuşoglu also exchanged views on the regional security situation, with an emphasis on the Black Sea and the Eastern Neighborhood, as well as co-operation within NATO.
Bogdan Aurescu expressed his country’s special appreciation for Turkey’s genuine contribution to NATO’s Forward Presence in Romania, which confirms and strengthens the bilateral Strategic Relationship while substantially contributing to regional security.
Euro-Turkish relations were also examined. Bogdan Aurescu welcomed recent developments in reviving the EU-Turkey relationship and reiterated Romania’s support for the continuation of an open and constructive dialogue between Turkey and the EU and the deepening of the relationship with this key partner, in accordance with the Declaration of the European Council of 25 March 2021. He expressed his faith in the maintenance of a lasting and constructive commitment on the part of Turkey in view of the specification, in the near future, of the positive EU-Turkey relations agenda agreed by European leaders, envisaging economic cooperation, the revitalization of high-level dialogue in areas of common interest and the promotion of mobility and interpersonal contacts. Bogdan Aurescu thanked Turkey for its firm support for his country’s accession to the OECD, which was confirmed by his Turkish counterpart.
The two officials also exchanged views on regional developments and underlined their joint commitment to developing co-operation in the framework of regional formats.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy expressed his appreciation for the good cooperation he had with the Turkish side during the period when Romania held the presidency of BSEC in 2020, an organization that, as he stressed, should strengthen its regional profile, especially now that Romanian ambassador Lazăr Comănescu was elected Secretary General of the Regional Agency, and thanked Turkey for its support.
Aurescu expressed his support for the priorities of the Turkish Presidency of the SE Europe Cooperation Process and his appreciation for its sectoral initiatives.
At the same time, the prospects of progress in the Cyprus issue were discussed, in view of the negotiations that will take place in the near future, as well as the prospects of the peace dialogue in Afghanistan. /ibna