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GLOBSEC – The prospects and importance of intensifying EU support for reforms allowing the Republic of Moldova to continue its European track were on the agenda for talks between Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu and his Molodvan counterpart Andrei Galbur. On this occasion, Comanescu reiterated Bucharest’s firm support for the European integration efforts of Moldova. According to a press release of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the meeting was held on the sidelines of the Global Security Forum held in Bratislava. An event boasting a tradition spanning over a decade, GLOBSEC has become an important foreign policy and security platform, bringing together high-ranking officials and renowned experts from Europe and North America.
RALLY – Thousands of Romanians at home and abroad on Saturday took part in rallies as a show of solidarity with the mixed Norwegian-Romanian family Ruth and Marius Bodnariu, whose children were taken into custody by Norwegian authorities, claiming the minors had been physically abused. Protesters want Bucharest authorities to get involved in solving the case and contribute to reuniting the Bodnariu family. We recall that the family’s youngest, still a baby, was returned to their parents, while the other four have been entrusted to other families. Two Norwegian Ministers have recently said that pressure from local and international campaigns is being dismissed, and that taking a child from his parents is being used as a last resort.
PROTEST – Liberal MEP Cristian Busoi has called on the Foreign Ministry and the authorities in Bucharest to take action with respect to the international conference of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom, which the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen is expected to attend. Her presence will undermine Romania’s confidence in the EU and will covertly or overtly support Russia in its efforts to divide and conquer Europe, Busoi writes in a press release. Social Democrat MEPs Victor Bostinaru and Ioan Mircea Pascu have also criticized the relevant authorities who sanctioned this conference in Romania. The two MEPs warned that apart from the National Front, MENF is rallying far-right parties such as FPO from Austria, Vlaams Belang of Belgium or Lega Nord of Italy, all of which have taken a hostile stance against the European Union and NATO and expressed their support for the Russian Federation, which Bostinaru and Pascu claim to be financing these political factions.
POPE FRANCIS – Pope Francis on Saturday urged everyone to step up to solve the migration crisis in Europe, the BBC reports. The Pope made this statement during his symbolic visit to Lesbos Island in Greece, as part of a visit to the refugee camp housing over 3,000 people, currently waiting to be granted asylum or to be deported into Turkey. The Pope told the refugees never to lose hope. He talked to many of the migrants, listened to their dramatic life stories and the hardships they endured to get there. Pope Francis took onboard his plane three families of Syrian refugees. The Pope was joined on Lesbos by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
TENNIS – Romania drew 1-all at the end of the first day of the Fed Cup match against Germany, hosted by Cluj in northwestern Romania, countering for the World Group playoffs. On Saturday, in the first singles game, Irina Begu lost to WTA no. 3 Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 6-3. In the second game, WTA no. 6 Simona Halep outplayed Andrea Petkovic in three sets, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. On Sunday Halep will play Kerber, followed by the last singles match pitting Begu against Petkovic. In the doubles game, Alexandra Dulgheru and Monica Niculescu will play Annika Beck and Julia Goerges. Germany ranks 4th and Romania 9th in Fed Cup standings.
(Translated by V. Palcu)