The strategic partnership between Romania and Turkey is strong and allows the two countries to reflect together on their own strategic priorities for action in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday.
Bogdan Aurescu and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, attended an event marking the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the Republic of Turkey, dubbed "A Decade of Strategic Partnership between Romania and Turkey: mutual commitment, perspectives and opportunities", which took place at the Central University Library Carol I.
"Ten years ago, Romania and Turkey decided to raise the bilateral relationship to the level of Strategic Partnership. It was a decision taken at the highest level, as a recognition of the strength and depth of our relationship, the quality of dialogue and, above all, the high potential of our economic relations. (...) Looking back at the 2011 Declaration, the various dimensions of our relationship remain as valid today as they were then, although there have been many developments since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership. At the same time, we are pleased to see that these dimensions have amplified and expanded over time. The basic principles that underpinned our commitment at the time have remained the same. Our partnership is strong. And this framework strengthens our cooperation, allowing us to reflect together on our strategic priorities for action in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe," Bogdan Aurescu said.
He stressed that, during the bilateral meeting with his Turkish counterpart on Thursday, the two agreed to continue the commitment to deepening the strategic dialogue, "to further NATO strengthening, by engaging in joint projects and initiatives on the Eastern Flank, by increasing our solidarity as a team, and by supporting the development of the capacities and aspirations of our partners".
The head of Romanian diplomacy pointed out that Turkey is currently one of Romania's most important economic partners - more than 16,000 Turkish companies carry out successful businesses in Romania - and, despite the pandemic, in 2020, bilateral trade relations amounted to almost 6.4 billion dollars.
He also expressed appreciation for Turkey's constant support for Romania's bid for the OECD, congratulating Turkey on the recent inauguration of the OECD Regional Centre in Istanbul in this context.
The Romanian chief diplomat also stressed that the human dimension is a fundamental pillar of the relationship between the two states.
"The Turkish-Tatar minority in Romania represents an important bridge between the two countries, as well as a significant landmark for social and cultural integration, the peaceful, mutually beneficial coexistence of our country," Aurescu said.
In the same context, he recalled that Romania has always been an active supporter of a positive, strong and dynamic EU-Turkey relationship, stemming from the fact that Turkey is a key partner and candidate state for EU membership.
He also referred to cooperation in the regional framework.
"Efforts to ensure regional prosperity and stability maintain Romania and Turkey in close cooperation within two major regional organisations, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC) and the South-Eastern European Cooperation Process (SEECP). As partners in the region, we share a common vision oriented towards coordinated approaches at regional level and the identification of solutions based on a "win-win" scenario. Romania has always been a strong promoter of increased interaction between BSEC and the European Union, for objective and pragmatic reasons: trade and investment. These are strong incentives for an in-depth relationship between BSEC and the EU," Aurescu said.
The conference was organized, in partnership, by the Centre for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning in Bucharest (CCP-EW), the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Turkey and the German Marshall Fund of the US and was conducted in hybrid format, with the participation, via video-conference, and representatives from the diplomatic environment in Bucharest and Ankara.