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ForMin Aurescu to participate in EU Foreign Ministers' informal meeting

Bogdan Aurescu

Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu will participate Thursday through Friday in the informal (Gymich) informal meeting of Foreign Ministers from EU member states, which will take place in Brest, France, organised by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release, the discussion agenda includes the security situation in EU's Eastern Neighbourhood, the EU - China relations and the developments in Mali.

Before the meeting, there will be a joint working lunch of Foreign and Defence Ministers from EU member states on the Strategic Compass. Discussions on the Strategic Compass take place in the continuation of the joint meeting of EU Foreign and Defence Ministers of November 15, 2021.

European Foreign Ministers will also attend an informal lunch with Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and President of the African Union 2022-2023, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission. The main topic will be the preparation of the EU-African Union Summit, scheduled for February 2022.

Minister Aurescu will hail the evolution of the Strategic Compass document towards a common approach to the Common Security and Defence Policy, in line with the principles of the 2016 EU Global Strategy.He will highlight the need of a proper reflection in the document of the current security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, including in the Black Sea extended region, the need to resolve protracted conflicts in the region, as well as the need for an in-depth discussion on the EU's rapid response capability, taking into account the need to ensure full complementarity with NATO and to avoid any duplication, and strengthening tools to combat hybrid threats.

The approach to the security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood is taking place in the context of the deterioration of the security environment in the region. Minister Bogdan Aurescu will present Romania's assessment of recent developments and reiterate the messages regarding the importance of maintaining EU unity and maintaining the policy of taking firm and credible measures to deter Russia, while strengthening the resilience of Ukraine and its partners in the Eastern Neighbourhood. He will highlight the need to strengthen the EU-US and EU-NATO partnerships, as well as support for the implementation of the June 2021 European Council conclusions on EU policy towards Russia.

The EU-China relations will be discussed with a view to identifying ways in which they can evolve in the current context. The head of Romanian diplomacy will bring to mind the validity of the EU's multi-faceted approach in the Joint Communication "EU-China: A Strategic Outlook" of March 2019, but also the importance of the EU's position based on the fundamental values of international law, democracy and human rights.

In the context of the recent extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on January 9, 2021, there will be a discussion on developments in Mali. The Romanian Foreign Minister will emphasise the need to maintain international pressure on this country in order to respect the assumed electoral calendar and to avoid actions that could affect the EU-Mali relationship as a whole or the security situation in the region. In this context, he will enumerate Romania's commitments in the region, including the decision to participate in the Takuba mission.

During the informal lunch, there will be an exchange of views with African Union representatives on how to strengthen EU-AU strategic links, based on common priorities such as prosperity, security and mobility and in preparation for the February 2022 EU-AU Summit. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu will highlight the importance of a summit with concrete results, reflecting the common vision of the future of EU-Africa relations, Agerpres informs.


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