Romania's Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu attended a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels on Monday that discussed current foreign policy affairs such as Ukraine, Syria, the Horn of Africa and Venezuela.For the fifth anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity, the attending foreign ministers reconfirmed the European Union's support for the reform efforts of Ukraine and the commitment to further measures in favour of Ukraine's economic stability, with the expectation being that the state officials there will keep up the momentum of reforms even in the pre-electoral period, according to Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
In his speech, Melescanu reiterated the constant support given by Romania to the European and Euro-Atlantic path of Ukraine and encouraged the continuation of the comprehensive process of reforms needed to achieve that goal.
Melescanu reconfirmed Romania's firm support for Ukraine's territorial sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, as well as its condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. He advocated the need for close monitoring at EU level of developments in the Azov Sea as they carry strategic implications for the entire Black Sea region.
Regarding Syria, the talks focused on recent developments in the country and the state of the local political process. The foreign ministers also coordinated their preparations for the third Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the region, which will take place in Brussels, March 13 and 14.
Melescanu reiterated the importance of the UN framework for a political settlement of the conflict, in line with the Security Council resolutions, notably Resolution 2254/2015 and the Geneva Communiqué (2012), expressing support for the efforts of the new Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria UN Geir Pedersen.
Part of the talks on the Horn of Africa, the ministers reviewed the developments since the last ministerial discussion in June 2018, including findings of the visit to the region of High Representative Federico Mogherini (February 9-10).
As a follow-up to the informal Gymnich meeting in Bucharest (January 31 - February 1), the ministers held an informal exchange of views on developments in Venezuela, including in relation to the launch of the International Contact Group and the first ministerial meeting. Melescanu showed that national reconciliation is the only viable solution to the political and humanitarian crisis faced by the country, as well as the start of negotiations that allow the organisation of new, free and fair elections with the participation of all the parties and in accordance with the democratic principles and constitutional provisions.
On the same day, Melescanu attended a working breakfast, organised by Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, with Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin as an honorary guest. The European foreign ministers had an opportunity to make an informal exchange of views on the political and security situation in Ukraine as related to the situation in the Black Sea after the incident of November 25, 2018, in the Azov Sea. Also addressed was the general framework of the EU-Ukraine relations, as well as the particular needs that the Ukrainian state officials expect to be covered with EU support, in order to advance reforms and strengthen the resilience of the institutions.
In his speech, Melescanu also reiterated Romania's support for Ukraine's European agenda, the concern with security threats in the region, the need to continue reforms and the importance of conducting a balanced election campaign and free, fair and transparent elections that will provide legitimacy to the newly elected, according to MAE.
On the side-lines of the FAC meeting, Melescanu had bilateral political contacts with counterparts from the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Finland, Italy and Slovakia to discuss bilateral issues and the European foreign policy agenda.