President Klaus Iohannis is paying a three-day visit to Germany and on Monday, the first part of the visit, he has had talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a joint press conference, the two officials praised the efficient bilateral talks and tackled domestic and international issues, as well as economic relations. President Iohannis stressed that the political crisis in Romania will not influence the foreign policy. “These are fields I deal with and all Romanian politicians agree on the foreign policy,” Iohannis said. Chancellor Merkel said in turn the Romania has made important progress in regard to the rule of law and the fight against corruption and that “their weakening would not be good and we would have to question the progress.” Both leaders have stressed the importance of the trans-Atlantic relationship.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main statements:
- I thank President Iohannis for being in Germany. We have discussed about the political situation;
- This a year of multiple jubilees – 25 years since the signing of the friendship treaty, ten years since Romania has joined the European Union;
- The German minority in Romania is an important bridge between our countries, the president being a living proof;
- We have discussed about the very dynamic economic relations, growing by tens of percentage points;
- Next week, during the European Council, we will act together in regard to the extension of the common market;
- Romania has made important progress in regard to the rule of law and the fight against corruption. Their weakening would not be good and we would have to question the progress;
- Border protection is very important, so is the stability in the countries where the immigrants come from, Libya for example. Cooperation is needed in the Middle East: Syria, Yemen.
- The talks have taken place in a friendly atmosphere;
- I believe the idea of a multi-speed Europe has been misunderstood. All European states can be part of all European projects is they meet the criteria.
- We want to have a close cooperation in defence within the EU, a more active role within NATO. We, the Europeans, want political solutions as well. We express our support to the article 5 of NATO. There are some controversies in the US, such as the unilateral denouncement of the Paris Treaty;
President Klaus Iohannis’ main statements:
- Esteemed Mrs. Chancellor, dear Angela, thank you for this very good and intense meeting. I have started today a working visit. The first things I’ve done was to sign in the condolences book for former Chancellor Helmut Kohl;
- We have every reason to meet, to discuss and celebrate 50 years since resuming the diplomatic relations, 25 years since the signing of the friendship treaty;
- The relationship with Germany is not only a strategic one for Romania, but also a privileged one, one of the best relationships we have;
- Germany is the most important trade partner for Romania, with steady increases of over 10 percent during the past years. This shows how close we are, both economically and politically;
- When we will take over the EU rotating presidency some heavy issues will be on the agenda: Brexit, the next EU budget, I believe we will play an important and positive part;
- We have also talked about the European project. We have both agreed it is a valuable project, which should be continued and improved. We should find the best ways to get closer to the European citizen, to stimulate security, to find the best ways to build a better EU, a more accepted one;
- I have mentioned the issue of the Schengen area and Mrs. Chancellor encourages me to continue the talks with our European partners, we may succeed to solve the issue in a reasonable timeframe;
- We have talked about the Trans-Atlantic relationship. I have shortly presented my visit to the US and we have agreed we have a common and important stance: the Trans-Atlantic relationship is vital, the EU is important for the US and the other way around;
- We have agreed we should not opt between the EU and NATO, we should cooperate;
- We have reviewed the eastern neighbourhood, issues related to Republic of Moldova, to Ukraine, in detail about the Black Sea area and the security in this space, we have identical opinions. It is a vital area for the EU as well as for NATO;
- It was a very intense dialogue and it was a pleasure for me;
- The issue of multi-speed Europe is not a problem as is was, some issues were related to its definition. For the western countries it was important that the projects are not blocked by some countries. All projects have to open to all Member States. The project of European Prosecutor’s Office – Romania was initiator, but not all countries are involved.
- I’ve sent a message to the ruling coalition to urgently solve the crisis and this will happen. Romania is a strong country. The crisis will not have any effect whatsoever on the foreign policy. I am the one to deal with this field. On this topic all politicians have the same view.
- The relationship between the EU and the US should be a very good one. I said this in Washington, I believe it is a very important message and should be put into practice. There’s no need to opt between NATO and the EU or between the EU and the US. This is impossible.
President Klaus Iohannis is on a three-day working visit to Germany. The Romanian head of state will also meet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.