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ForMin Aurescu meets Serbian counterpart, on sidelines of OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm

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Bogdan Aurescu

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Thursday had a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic, on the sidelines of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm, on which occasion they agreed to organise a visit to Romania of the Serbian minister in the beginning of next year, agerpres reports.

"The two officials reviewed the level of bilateral relations, reconfirmed the desire to make the political dialogue more dynamic, and highlighted the availability to progress in the negotiations on common interest files. Thus, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated the invitation to his counterpart to pay a visit to Romania, and they agreed to organise this visit in the beginning of next year. At the same time, Minister Bogdan Aurescu stressed the opportunities to consolidate the relations in the area of sectoral cooperation - transports, energy, and hailed the growth trend of commercial exchanges. He evoked increased points of interest for Romania - the Timisoara - Belgrade motorway, the modernisation of the bilateral railway connection, the Romania - Serbia gas interconnector (Arad - Mocrin) - and the need for some consistent progress in their achievement, proposing a devoted action plan," reads a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) press release.

According to the release, the two ministers agreed to intensify economic cooperation and diversify bilateral collaboration, by identifying new opportunities to encourage transborder cooperation and investments.

"Minister Bogdan Aurescu also approached the situation of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in the Republic of Serbia, and underscored the need to observe the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian national minority on the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia, pleading for the resumption, at the shortest, of the works of the Romanian - Serbian inter-governmental joint committee for national minorities. Thus, the two ministers agreed to resume the works of the committee in the beginning of next year, before the visit of Minister Selakovic to Bucharest. Minister Aurescu condemned as inadmissible the recent use in the public space of the hate speech on the criterion of belonging to the Romanian community in Serbia against a Serbian politician of Romanian origin, appreciated the stances of condemning this behaviour by the Serbian state officials, including by the head of state, and demanded the conduct of relevant investigations, including proper sanction enforcement," MAE also says.

The discussions also aimed at the stage of Serbia's European path.

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