Cyprus is the 5th main foreign investor in Romania, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Titus Corlăţean said after talks here today with his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou -Marcoullis.
“We support an even further presence of the Cypriot capital in Romania in fields such as infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy and others,” Corlăţean, who paid a one-day official visit to Cyprus at the invitation of Marcoullis, said.
Replying to questions on energy matters, he said this also might be a domain of cooperation between the two countries, noting that Cypriot authorities have manifested an interest in cooperating through a university in Romania which has a long and important expertise and tradition in the oil and gas field, training students and engineers. He expressed readiness for joint training university programmes for preparing experts in Cyprus.
On her part, Marcoullis reiterated Cyprus’ full support to the full accession of Romania to the Schengen area as soon as possible, noting that “we have done our best as EU Presidency and we will continue to exert every effort so that this status of Schengen is accorded to Romania because they have done all that was needed to be done, they have fully implemented the Schengen aquis so we will continue to be very supportive of the Schengen status for Romania.”
The two Ministers signed an Agreement on Cooperation in Public Health and Medical Science. A Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Investment was also signed.
Corlăţean warmly thanked Cyprus for its support to the accession of Romania in the Schengen area, noting that “we count on the Presidency to support in December a good decision and endorse a decision for the accession of Romania in the Schengen area next year.”
He expressed appreciation for the role of Cyprus as President of the Council of the EU, noting that this is proof of the role that medium or small countries member states of the EU can play. He added that Cyprus plays a very positive and very active role as Presidency of the EU in a most complex period.
He said they discussed in detail different objectives of the EU related to the financial perspective after 2013, focusing on Agriculture and Cohesion Policies, given that both Romania and Cyprus are friends of the cohesion group.
Referring to bilateral relations, he noted that Cyprus and Romania have an excellent cooperation on the political level, enhanced economic cooperation and similar positions on many European and other issues as the foreign affairs of the EU, enlargement and the partnership with the southern and the eastern neighborhood of the EU.
“We expressed interest in enhancing this cooperation and support to the continuation of the enlargement process in the Balkans,” he noted.
Furthermore, he noted that “we have agreed to consolidate cooperation in the fields of economy, labour and social security, home affairs and education. It is also important to develop an even more dynamic dialogue at the level of authorities responsible with combating the negative phenomena related to the significant number of Romanian citizens living and working in Cyprus.”
The Romanian Minister said they discussed developments and perspectives in the Cyprus issue and that he assured that Romania gives full support to efforts for a fair and lasting agreement to achieve the reunification of the whole territory of Cyprus, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federal state with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Moreover Corlăţean expressed appreciation for the decision of the Cypriot Ministry of Education to approve the set up of Romanian language classes in the system of “Sunday-schools” for the Romanian pupils.
Responding to a question, he said they talked about the very valuable presence of the Romanian community in Cyprus. He noted that most Romanians living in Cyprus are well integrated and working hard for their families and also contributing to the economic effort of Cyprus.
On her part, Marcoullis said they discussed all aspects of bilateral relations. “We have a very high standard of bilateral relations at all levels because our relations date back many - many centuries,” she added.
She said that Cyprus and Romania have excellent cooperation in multilateral affairs, in many international organizations as the UN, the Council of Europe and OSCE.
Marcoullis said they had a good discussion on European issues and that they discussed developments regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the European crisis and the very important area for both countries that of enlargement, “especially enlargement towards our neighborhood which is the Western Balkans and not only.”
Cyprus has enlargement as one of its priorities, especially enlargement towards the Western Balkans, she noted, adding that she has visited all countries under accession process but also the perspective countries.
The Cypriot Minister said that she also discussed with her Romanian counterpart a number of international issues, noting that both of them are very concerned about the situation in Syria but also developments in Southern Neighborhood.
With regard to the issue of energy, Marcoullis said that she informed her Romanian counterpart about developments regarding Cyprus’ ongoing efforts to explore and exploit natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone and Cyprus’ delineation agreements with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, as well as about Turkish threats against Cyprus’ exploration activities in its EEZ and against companies which are participating in the second licensing round.
Marcoullis expressed Cyprus’ gratitude for Romania’s long-standing support towards efforts for the reunification of Cyprus. Romania has always stood by principles, by international law, she noted.
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