Iohannis in Budapest: “It is absolutely necessary to avoid unilateral or controversial gestures”

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President Klaus Iohannis is on an official visit to Hungary on Wednesday, at the invitation of President Katalin Novák. It is the first official visit to Budapest by a Romanian president in the last 14 years and is an opportunity to “discuss the status of the Strategic Partnership relationship”, the Presidential Administration reports. He conveyed to the president of the Hungarian state that, in order to develop the bilateral relationship, “it is absolutely necessary to avoid unilateral or controversial gestures”.

However, the President of Romania did not with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who left for a three-day visit to Georgia.

“My visit today to Budapest, at the invitation of President Katalin Novak, is an important signal regarding the future development of our bilateral relationship. (…) I expressed the full readiness of the Romanian authorities to act to strengthen dialogue and bilateral cooperation and to offer even more substance to the strategic partnership between our countries. Romania aims for this dialogue to have a positive dynamic, of development and deepening, in the interest of all our citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin. Romania promotes an open, transparent, pragmatic approach, based on mutual trust. I firmly believe that it is absolutely necessary to avoid unilateral or controversial gestures”, Klaus Iohannis said in the joint press statement.

The Romanian president also spoke about minorities, which contribute to the creation of “bridges” between the state of citizenship and the related state. “There must be a determination on both sides to look at the future of our relations in a perspective focused on development, cooperation, identifying the elements that unite us and similar interests, rather than those that divide them. I emphasized that the people who belong to national minorities contribute to the creation and consolidation of bridges between the state of citizenship, which is the only one responsible for the protection of their rights, and the related state”, said Klaus Iohannis.

Schengen issue

President Klaus Iohannis also declared, in a joint press conference with the president of Hungary, Katalin Novák, that he did not understand Austria’s argument which claimed that it did not has nothing against the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen, but that the European area of ​​free movement does not work well and then they oppose the accession of these states.

In her turn, Katalin Novák said that when Hungary takes over the presidency of the EU Council, it will do everything so that, in the second semester of the following year, Romania and Bulgaria enter the Schengen zone.

“Hungary has been a fair and firm partner in this matter from the start, it has expressed its opinion from the beginning that it is in favor of Romania’s accession to Schengen, and we thank it for this firm attitude.In the future, obviously on the diplomatic channels well known to Budapest, he can continue to try to clarify to Hungary’s neighbors from the west that this is how things are.I repeat, there is no argument against Romania’s accession”, stated Klaus Iohannis.

“The last argument brought by those who opposed (Austria – n.r.) was a bit difficult to understand.    Their statement was that they have nothing against Romania and Bulgaria, but the space does not work well and then they are against it. My opinion is that the accession of Romania and Bulgaria would not only make Schengen stronger, it would also facilitate the negotiations to improve Schengen procedures. Any way we look at it, Romania’s accession would be a gain for the EU, only that not everyone has understood this very well yet”, Iohannis added.

In her turn, the President of Hungary, Katalin Novák, said again that her country strongly supports the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen and that it will continue diplomatic efforts to support this process, and when Hungary takes over the presidency of the EU Council, it will do everything for that, in the second semester of the following year, Romania and Bulgaria enter Schengen.

“I believe that we must evaluate this tendency of Romania to enter Schengen, because it is committed to the defense of the external border of Schengen, at the border of Romania. Of course we say this in all existing forums. If this situation is not resolved until the Hungarian presidency in the EU, then Hungary will do everything, in its position as president, so that in the second semester of the following year Romania and Bulgaria enter Schengen and this problem is resolved . As has already happened for Hungary to solve serious problems once it takes over the EU Presidency”, Novák underlined.

 

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