Romania can count on France’s support to successfully hold the presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019, French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian has stated in Bucharest on Thursday during a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu.
The French FM Le Drian pointed out that Romania and France are strongly connected, “at an important moment for the European Union, when Romania is preparing to take over for the first time the presidency of the Council of the European Union.” “Romania can count on France’s support for the success of its first presidency of the Council of the EU,” he assured. France’s Foreign minister also said that the good bilateral relation would be reflected by the renewal of the Romanian-French strategic partnership and its roadmap, with a special focus on cooperating in the defence sector and on expanding the economic ties. “France is very present in the Romanian economy, due to the large companies in the automotive and aeronautics sectors,” Le Drian stated.
In his turn, Romanian FM Teodor Melescanu highlighted that the Romanian-French partnership “has had a major contribution to enhancing the bilateral relations.”
“We have talked about the joint initiative to update the roadmap, which could be signed right at the end of this year,” Melescanu said.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy asked France again for its support on the Schengen Area issue.
“I reiterated the request for France’s support in the view of a decision, regarding Romania’s joining the Schengen Area as soon as possible,” Melescanu stated.
Romania’s stance on chemic weapons in Syria
The two officials also discussed about the current situation in Syria and the use of chemical weapons, as well as about the Summit due in Sofia next month, an event focused on plans to enlarge the European Union to the Western Balkans.
Referring to Syria, the Romanian FM Melescanu said that Romania is strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons, especially when they are used against civilians.
“Romania is firmly condemning the use of chemical weapons in any circumstance, but particularly when they are used against civilians. We strongly support the idea of an investigation that could independently and impartially analyse all information in the field and to decide on the actions to the taken by the international community,” Melescanu told the joint press statement with his French counterpart.
French FM meet anti-corruption head Kovesi, Romanian President, PM and political leaders
France’s foreign minister also met president Klaus Iohannis, PM Viorica Dancila, the speakers of the Parliament, Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu, but also the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, according to the French Foreign Ministry. At the same time, Le Drian will award the Legion of Honour decoration to former PM and European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.
However, France’s Embassy in Bucharest made no comment about the meeting between Kovesi and the French FM. Photos of the French official with the Romanian authorities, except for Laura Codruta Kovesi, were posted on the embassy’s Facebook page.
“We have nothing to comment on this topic“, says the embassy in a statement to the press.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate has confirmed though the meeting.
“A meeting has taken place at the French Embassy’s HQs on April 11, 2018, as it has been on the French official’s agenda. For further details about the meeting please refer to France’s Embassy, which hosted the meeting,” reads a DNA press release.