ForMin Corlatean, Palestinian counterpart sign agreement abolishing visas for holders of diplomatic passports

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Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean and his Palestinian counterpart Riad Al-Malki on Wednesday signed an Agreement between the Romanian and the Palestinian Governments abolishing entry visas for holders of diplomatic passports.

The two ministers also signed a Cooperation Protocol between the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the Palestinian one, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding concerning economic cooperation between the two countries' governments.

All these documents reflect, in the Romanian official's opinion, the developments in the bilateral relations between the two states in the political, diplomatic, consular and economic fields.

'Romania and Palestine share a long friendship relation reflected both in the history of the bilateral relations as well as in the recent exchange of official visits in the past years. The second session of the Romanian-Palestinian Intergovernmental Committee represented an excellent occasion for bringing forward the political and economic dialogue between Romania and Palestine. The agreements that were signed this morning set the framework for our future cooperation in the political, diplomatic, consular and economic fields,' said Corlatean.

He explained that, besides the ministries that participated in the first session of the Intergovernmental Committee, which took place in Ramallah, in February-March 2011, new ministries were added this time and new cooperation fields.

'At the request of the Palestinian side, the ministries that participated in the first session of the Intergovernmental Committee, and I mean MAE, the Ministry of Health, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, were joined by more ministries. The new fields of cooperation that were proposed, are first of all infrastructure and housing, education, youth and sports, as well as tourism,' said Corlatean.

Moreover, he underscored the fact that he intends to get more involvement, including of the private sector, in the economic and institutional development of Palestine.

'We intend to get the private sector more involved and intensify investment promotion activities on both sides. We want to attract the Romanian institutions and companies in an effort to build the Palestinian institutions and help the economy of the country. This approach is fully consistent with the principle recognised and agreed by us and the world community of implementing solutions proposed for the two states — Palestine and Israel — to be able to live in peace and security. Romania wants to contribute to the consolidation of the Palestinian institutions and help the Palestinian economy become functional and more efficient,' added Corlatean.

He also underscored the fact that Romania offers to Palestine both specialist courses and special scholarships in fields such as diplomacy, emergency care and engineering.

He specified that on Wednesday a forum of businessmen will be held, on which occasion the Cooperation Protocol between the Romanian Chamber of Industry and the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of the Palestinian Federation is scheduled to enter into force.

In his turn, the Minister Raid Al-Malki voiced hope that in the future the Romanian-Palestinian bilateral relations will intensify. AGERPRES

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