ForMin Melescanu at FAC meeting: Permanent structured cooperation would occasion ambitious security process

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Permanent structured cooperation will provide the member state with an opportunity to contribute toward an inclusive and ambitious defence and security process, Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu told a meeting in Brussels of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on Monday.

On the side-lines of the meeting, Melescanu met his Slovakian and French counterparts.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry says in a press statement released on Monday that the EU foreign ministers mainly focused on the priorities for the next year in the implementation of the Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS), the latest developments in Libya as well as the latest developments in North Korea.

At a working lunch, the ministers discussed the EU's action priorities related to the management of migration amidst hardships facing Italy.

The EUGS debate was designed to identify action priorities for the next year. The conversations reflected support for the continuation of implementation in areas already discussed, including defence and security, resilience and an integrated approach of crises and conflicts, "with the EU committed to continue to advance the rules-based international order, multilateralism and support for regional organisations," according to MAE.

Melescanu highlighted Romania's involvement in tie EUGS implementation as well as the country's readiness to continue as an active contributor to the process. The major importance of defence and security progress was underscored, with the ministers agreeing that permanent structured cooperation will provide the member states with an opportunity to contribute toward an inclusive and ambitious process. Melescanu advocated the commissioning of resilience, mainly in support of the member states in the EU's neighbourhood, as well as cooperation with the UN, NATO and other regional organisations. He reiterated the importance of the EU efforts and Romania's contribution in support of reform and economic consolidation in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood.

The Libyan crisis was approached from its latest developments, with emphasis on identifying ways for the EU to contribute in the current context to the US efforts for a political solution, as well as institutional consolidation, including via the EU crisis-management missions EUNAVFOR Sophia and EUBAM Libya.

Mention was made of worrying developments in the Korean Peninsula, amidst North Korea's increasingly more frequent violations of the UN Security Council's resolutions, according to MAE. The debate allowed for an assessment of the prospects of the EU policy toward North Korea.

The meeting underscored part of regional players in supporting the demarches of the world community, as well as EU's readiness for additional engagement. Melescanu reiterated Romania's position on support for achieving the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. He firmly commended actions that generate additional tension in the peninsula and that are threatening regional as well as global peace and security.

Also discussed at the working lunch were the latest developments in the migration management measures, with emphasis on the central Mediterranean migration route. Melescanu highlighted the need for EU's approach to be a targeted and conjugated one adjusted for the operational capabilities and means in place and the member states' requirements for stability. He said that given the current context, increased external border security and efficient cooperation with the countries of origins and transit countries should be priorities in the EU's migration guidelines.

On the side-lines of the FAC meeting, Melescanu met his Slovakian and French counterparts.

In his conversation with Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, he centred mainly on the preparations for Romania taking over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019, sharing Slovakia's experience with holding the presidency in 2016.

The meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was an opportunity for reconfirming the strategic partnership between Romania and France designed to continue the development of the very close relationship between the two countries.

Talks highlighted highly favourable prospects for bilateral cooperation including inside the EU, on current affairs of major interest such as EU's external and internal security and Europe's future. The two ministers agreed to convene in a 2+2 meeting in Tallinn, September 7 and 8, to discuss ways to advance the themes mentioned in Brussels. AGERPRES (RO — author: Oana Ghita, editor: Florin Marin; EN — author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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