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AGERPRES special correspondent Florentina Peia reports: President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that the French-German cooperation and integration Treaty at Aachen, whose signing he attended, reflects the commitment of France and Germany to consolidating the European project, stressing that Romania will further remain close to the two countries in achieving this goal.

"This new treaty is not just an expression of the will of Germany and France to strengthen their special and historical relations. It also reflects the sincere expression of your commitment to the consolidation of the European project. I assure you in all firmness that Romania was, is and will continue to be close to France and Germany in pursuit of this objective. The real strength of the Franco-German engine is also given by its strength of attraction.The key to a viable European project lies in the opening of the Franco-German cooperation axis to an inclusive approach of the initiatives it promotes at European level, which is the best way to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the Member States," Iohannis said.

He brought to mind that the Elysee Treaty underlying the Aachen Treaty sealed the French-German friendship, 18 years after the end of the World War II and made possible the most grandiose integrationist political project in history, namely the European Union.

"The revival of the 'Elysee spirit' must revive the energy to continue the vision and the efforts of our predecessors to build a strong, united and cohesive Europe. Starting today we will be inspired not only by ''the spirit of Elysee' but also 'the spirit of Aachen'! In the current European context, the consolidation of the European project is a profound necessity, whose essence can only lie in the unity and solidarity of its member states," Iohannis said.

He pointed out that, despite some inherent differences of vision regarding the common European future and the rhythm and direction of development, he hopes that the cohesion force will eventually prove to be much stronger.

"The European Union will endure in the future through its openness and the will of the Member States to act jointly to strengthen the EU internally and externally. This is, as a matter of fact, the fundamental idea that guides Romania's tenure of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is essential that the vision for the future of the Union is based on consensual priorities, highlighting the added value of the European project and reflecting the needs and aspirations of the citizens. The victory of consensus in the Franco-German relationship is an example to follow in this respect. At the same time, 'the spirit of Aachen' will accompany us on the road to the Summit in Sibiu on May 9, 2019. The way in which Europe understands itself is based on common, fundamental values. At the Summit in Sibiu, our common message must be, ladies and gentlemen, this: we need a strong, inclusive, cohesive Union, ready to deal with all the challenges. This is the only way we can bring a clear, positive and hope-generating perspective regarding our common future!," concluded Iohannis.

President Iohannis attended the signing ceremony of the French-German cooperation and integration Treaty at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. The head of state represented Romania as Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union.

The German Chancellor and French President signed Tuesday in the Coronation Hall of Aachen Town Hall the Franco-German treaty of cooperation and integration. The event was attended by President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker.

The Aachen Treaty aims to complement the Elysee Treaty of 1963, which laid the foundations for close bilateral co-operation between the two states, the aim of the new document being to ensure greater convergence between Berlin and Paris, aiming at adapting the relations between the two countries to the challenges they face in the 21st century. The Treaty will strengthen the ties between Germany and France, especially in the economic field, that of foreign and security policy, education and culture, research and technology, climate change and the environment, as well as cross-border cooperation and civil society. The two countries seek to deepen their joint commitment to the security and prosperity of their citizens in a more sovereign, united and democratic Europe.

Under the new treaty, the two states express the view that closer bilateral cooperation contributes to the strengthening of the European Union.

On the sidelines of the trip to Germany, the Romanian president will also have a meeting with with the Romanian servicemen who are deployed at the NATO military base in Geilenkirchen. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Bogdan Gabaroi)

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