Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu on Monday attended a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) held in Brussels that focused on recent developments in Iran and Venezuela, the situation in Congo, and the post-Cotonou framework.
According to the Foreign Ministry (MAE), the Iran debate focused on recent developments following the withdrawal of the United States of America from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Foreign ministers from the EU member states reiterated their support for keeping agreement in place and the need for Iran to continue its full implementation. They also advocated maintaining the EU's solidarity position on this matter and taking steps to identify the best solutions to protect the economic and commercial interests of European business operators who might be affected.
Melescanu reiterated support for the efforts of France, Germany and the UK (E3) to further implement the JCPOA, as well as the key importance of the dialogue with the US in identifying a durable solution to the Iranian case. He said that "Romania will support the continuation of diplomatic efforts, including the E3 and US dialogue for real progress and a sustainable and comprehensive solution to the Iranian file," said MAE.
The discussion on Venezuela took place after a recent presidential election there.
The ministers criticised the election framework, highlighting the failure to observe the principles of political pluralism, democracy, transparency and the rule of law. They agreed on the need to extend individual sanctions. Melescanu said that "the only way to solve the crisis is a negotiation process that includes all Venezuelan political forces and defines the political and economic future of the country."
The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo was addressed in the light of the elections scheduled for December this year and a worrisome local humanitarian situation. Melescanu reiterated the importance for all political players to observe the Saint-Sylvestre Agreement signed on December 31, 2016, to embark on a comprehensive dialogue to avoid creating additional political tensions that could postpone a solution to the current crisis.
At an informal breakfast, the foreign ministers approached the situation in the Gaza Strip, expressing concern over the violence that led to a large number of protesters being injured.
The ministers reiterated their support for the two-state solution and the call to avoid any unilateral measures that could increase tension in the region. Melescanu mentioned Romania's equidistant position on the Middle East Peace Process, "consistently supporting the need for a just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by implementing the solution of two states that co-exist in peace and security."
MAE also shows that on the side-lines of the FAC meeting an informal working breakfast was held with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, hosted by the foreign ministers of Bulgaria and Austria. The exchange of views revealed general support for a stronger EU commitment to the Western Balkans region to facilitate the reform processes associated with the European perspective. The progress made by Skopje on the path of reforms was welcomed and encouraged. Foreign Minister Melescanu, who also had a bilateral meeting with Macedonian counterpart Nikola Dimitrov, reiterated Romania's support for the European prospects of the Western Balkans.