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Cooperation with Balkan states

Three foreign ministers from the Western Balkans paid official visits to Bucharest this week

Foreign Minister Luminița Odobescu (Credits: mae.ro)
Foreign Minister Luminița Odobescu (Credits: mae.ro)

, 06.06.2024, 13:50

Bilateral and regional cooperation was one of the topics discussed by Bucharest officials and three ministers from the Balkans who paid visit to Romania this week. On Wednesday, president Klaus Iohannis received the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia Herzegovina, Elmedin Konaković. The president hailed the good reputation enjoyed by Romanian servicemen taking part in the EUFOR ALTHEA Operation of the European Union in Bosnia Herzegovina, Romania being one of the main contributors to ensuring a safe and stable climate in the Western Balkans. Klaus Iohannis reasserted Bucharest’s constant support for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration efforts of states in the Western Balkans, as well as for ensuring the security and stability of the region. In the context of the EU Council’s decision in March to launch accession negotiations, president Iohannis encouraged Bosnia Herzegovina to “continue implementing necessary reforms, including those regarding the strengthening of the rule of law and ensuring fundamental rights through an active and determined attitude, in the spirit of European values”.

 

 

 

Also on Wednesday, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminiţa Odobescu, held talks in Bucharest with her Albanian counterpart, Igli Hasani, about supporting the European path of this country, underlining Romania’s willingness to exchange expertise in this field. Luminița Odobescu also mentioned the bilateral agreement on social security and the launch of direct flights between Bucharest and Tirana. At the same time, the Romanian official highlighted “the importance that Romania attaches to the ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity of the Aromanian national minority in Albania”. The two officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding on diplomatic training, which provides an additional framework for exchange of expertise in the field. In turn, Foreign Minister Igli Hasani, recalled that Romania and Albania are NATO members and partners in the area of European integration. European integration is “an important pillar” of the bilateral relationship, the Albanian official added.

 

 

 

At the start of the week, Luminița Odobescu had consultations with her Montenegrin counterpart, Filip Ivanović, emphasizing that Romania will continue to support this country’s accession to the European Union. The Western Balkans is a region of strategic importance, where political and security developments directly impact the security and prosperity of the whole of Europe, Minister Odobescu said. The two ministers signed an action plan regarding cooperation over 2024-2025. “Montenegro and Romania have traditional friendly relations and are committed to developing these relations in the future through continuous progress”, Filip Ivanović said in turn. (VP)

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