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ForMin Aurescu says Romania deeply interested in moving away from defiance, confrontation

Bogdan Aurescu

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Tuesday that in the Romanian-Hungarian relationship "a climate of trust and mutual respect" needs to be restored, calling for "restraint and discernment."

"Romania is deeply interested in moving away from a logic of defiance and confrontation and we propose to create the premises for shaping a constructive, modern, civilised, pragmatic, European Romanian-Hungarian relationship. We need to restore a climate of trust and mutual respect in the bilateral relationship. We have a very good relationship that we built a long time ago, so that we can give the bilateral relationship a trajectory that fits our strategic partnership. We want a positive approach of the relationship with Hungary, as good neighbours. We want to act together on the basis of the principles of the 1996 political treaty, on the basis of the 2002 declaration of the Romanian-Hungarian strategic partnership for 21st Century Europe. That is why we have called for restrain and discernment and pleaded - especially in the current context marked by the harmful effects of the COVID-19 crisis affecting all citizens of our countries - for full and genuine involvement in building a good neighbourly relationship of a genuine strategic partnership,' Aurescu told a joint news conference with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Peter Szijjarto.

He said he had a "very substantial" discussion on the bilateral relationship. He also specified that, "despite the tense moments that have taken place lately," the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs "has refrained from reacting," aiming to de-escalate those moments. At the same time, Aurescu underscored that "a logic of partnership" avoids escalation "at any cost, and especially in critical moments."

"This is a visit that is taking place in a sensitive period of this bilateral relationship, and, as I confessed to the Minister, I was reluctant at first to organise this visit now, because we are ten days away from the day of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, June 4, which has different meanings for Romania and Hungary. Also, recently there have been a number of tense moments in the bilateral relationship. And this is also an exceptional context as a state of alert is in force in Romania," said Aurescu.

He added that he told his counterpart that he would have preferred the visit to take place after June 4, because good preparation for such a visit is necessary. On the other hand, he added that he invited Szijjarto to Bucharest, because Romania most sincerely wants to return to a real strategic partnership with Hungary.

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