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Bucharest, Oct 3 /Agerpres / - President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that he wants the Three Seas Initiative summit to be more visible and better performing, underlining that the initiative is a profoundly pro-European one.

"We want to make the summit more visible, more efficient and ultimately to promote joint projects of substance. We also want to unveil these projects to the European partners (...) This initiative is profoundly pro-European, but at the same time it underlines the importance of the transatlantic relationship, and these two messages we want to deliver very clearly in 2018, lest anybody have the impression that this initiative is not a European one. In no way do we want people to believe it is one that either has nothing to do with or runs contrary to the European Union (...) I think it is a valuable initiative and I am firmly committed to advance this initiative jointly with Madam President," Iohannis told a joint press conference in Bucharest with his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

He pointed out that the Three Seas Initiative summit initiated by the Croatian President will take place in Romania in 2018.

"This initiative comes to complement the existing approaches of regional economic development and infrastructure development in our region, and by our region I mean the whole area of the states that have become more recently EU members and still need important boosters for development," said Iohannis.

The Romanian head of state mentioned that there are "reasonable to good" infrastructure links on the East - West axis, but they are almost completely missing on the North - South axis.

"Madam President, because this time she flew with an airliner, wanted to emphasise the importance of direct links, when there is no direct link to us, but must pass through another European capital to the West. Trying to ride a car from Bulgaria to Poland one would learn it takes very long, while also being difficult; the same is true for train rides, but even flights are scarce, digital links are almost nonexistent (...). There are also energy links existing or under construction on the East-West route, less so on the North-South route, and for Croatia and Romania, a connection between the Croatian ports and the Romanian ports on both on the Danube and the Black Sea would be highly welcome," said Iohannis.

He added that the meeting in Bucharest must start producing concrete results.

"I'll propose that we try to outline a short list of feasible infrastructure projects agreed by all participants that we can then bring for example to the European Commission and ask for cohesion funds, because that is where they can fit. Similarly, I think we need to develop, before we meet in Bucharest in 2018, some initiatives for the future of this summit, for instance, to think whether or not it would be appropriate for us to invite other states in the area for 2019-2020, perhaps at first as an observer, after which we can think of other formats," he said.

Iohannis said that the important issues in conversation with his Croatian counterpart were Eastern Neighborhood, Moldova, Ukraine. Security and defense issues were also addressed.

"Both to Madam President and myself, the transatlantic relationship is valuable and we want together to emphasise that the transatlantic relationship does not oppose the European relationship, and they must happily complement each other," Iohannis said.

In her turn, Croatian President Grabar-Kitarovic added that the most important expectation from the summit of the Three Seas Initiative is its materialisation. She said Croatia has submitted a list of 50 projects worth 40 billion euros.

"We have to demonstrate to our citizens that this initiative is aimed at improving the standards of living of the citizens and removing the differences between such standards in our countries and other developed countries. We have not benefited from a deeply democratic society or an exchange market as other states within the EU did," said Grabar-Kitarovic. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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