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ForMin Aurescu at FAC meeting, highlights importance of consistent and swifter implementation of Mali Peace Agreement

Bogdan Aurescu

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu, stressed, at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council held in Brussels, the importance of the consistent and swifter implementation of the Mali Peace Agreement.

He also highlighted Romania's substantive commitment to stabilizing the region as a whole, notably the decisive participation in the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) with 120 troops and four helicopters, and the granting of financial support for the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), Minister Aurescu attended on Monday the Foreign Affairs Council meeting having the Sahel region and climate diplomacy as main points on the agenda of discussion; the working breakfast examined developments in the Middle East.

* As regards the Sahel region, Minister Bogdan Aurescu referred to the dramatic deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the region and advocated the need for a more substantive EU commitment to stimulate the active involvement of the states in the region in order to stabilise the region, to support the fight against terrorism and the strengthening of institutions. He welcomed the organization of the G5 Sahel Summit on France's proposal, in Pau on January 13, as well as its results.

At the same time, in his address, Minister Bogdan Aurescu underlined the importance of the consistent and faster implementation of the Mali Peace Agreement, as a positive development will have beneficial effects on the whole region. He also highlighted Romania's consistent commitment to stabilizing the region as a whole, in particular the substantial participation in the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA), with 120 troops and four helicopters, and the granting of financial support for the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the MAE release shows.

* The debate on climate diplomacy took place in the context of the launch of the Commission's Communication on the European Green Deal and the European Council's call for greater attention to the subject.

It was for the first time that European Foreign Affairs ministers discussed about the concrete ways in which environmental policy can be included within the Union's diplomatic efforts.

Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu stressed that, in the context of the EU's assuming a leading role in globally promoting the environmental policy, the EU must interact with partners to promote EU objectives in the field, namely to cooperate with them in order to counteract the negative effects of climate change.

From this perspective, he stressed the need for the EU to promote measures to combat climate change at the G20 level and of the major pollutants, but also through a regional approach, in relation to states such as Turkey, Russia. China may also be a partner of dialogue on this issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs specifies.

Minister Bogdan Aurescu also voiced the importance of cooperating with vulnerable states, such as the Small Island Developing States in the Pacific, which are facing the phenomenon of rising ocean levels, as a result of climate change, and supporting them accordingly. He gave the example of the way this topic is being dealt with at the UN International Law Commission, an activity in which he is directly involved, as co-chair of the study group on this topic.

Last but not least, Bogdan Aurescu proposed that the European External Action Service and the High Representative of the Union for External Action and Security Policy should act to create a mechanism for monitoring and highlighting the partners' activity in response to the EU climate diplomacy initiatives, so as to support, encourage and reward the latter's most ambitious initiatives. The proposal was received with openness by the High Representative Josep Borrell and by his counterparts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions.

The schedule of the European Foreign Ministers continued with a working lunch offered by the High Representative Josep Borrell, which occasioned an exchange of views on the recent developments in the Middle East and the perspectives of the Peace Process. It also provided the opportunity for a follow-up to the extraordinary meeting of the FAC on January 10.

The Romanian chief diplomat presented Romania's well-known position on the Peace Process, which favors a solution based on the existence of two states, Israeli and Palestinian. He stressed the importance of the EU becoming more relevant in relation to this file and maintaining its honest broker statute. At the same time, he stressed the need for the EU and the international community to promote confidence-building measures between the parties directly involved, as well as the relevance of close cooperation with the United States on this file. On this occasion, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated Romania's known position on the statute of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs further mentions.

As regards the nuclear file and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Minister Bogdan Aurescu welcomed the decision of the EU three to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism, recalling that at the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting on January 10, he supported this formula.

He mentioned the need to preserve the JCPOA and identify solutions through diplomatic dialogue, but drew attention that if the agreement is not maintained, the international community, including the EU, must be prepared for the scenario of negotiating another agreement that should have to be more comprehensive, not only regarding the nuclear aspects, but also on the missile-related aspects, the MAE press release further shows.

At the meeting, the Foreign Affairs ministers also addressed the latest developments regarding Libya, following the Berlin Conference on Sunday. The ministers welcomed the results of the conference and discussed follow-up and implementation ways, including monitoring the enforcement of its conclusions, the cited source specifies.

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