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Romania can count on Greece's "full support" in its efforts to join the Schengen Area and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a joint statement delivered today with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.

Dendias also spoke about the importance of supporting the Western Balkan countries.

We must avoid creating a black hole in the Western Balkans. We, the EU countries in this enlarged region, have a responsibility and an interest in promoting the deeper integration process of the Western Balkan states, subject to certain conditions. During talks this May, Greece and Romania have already agreed on certain elements. If the European Union does not fill this void, others will try to do it and they do not follow the same principles. There are countries that support radical ideas and extremist movements. We must also support our eastern neighbors, Minister Dendias said according to the official translation.

Nikos Dendias also said that Greece will not allow the issue of migrants to be "instrumentalized" by other countries.

The recent events on the Polish border, in Lithuania and in Latvia, have shown us that no EU country is immune to these threats. Even if Afghanistan is geographically remote, be aware that it is very close, said the Greek Foreign Minister.

The Greek top diplomat expressed his gratitude for the support Romania offered his country in the fight against this summer's wildfires.

Allow me now to express the full and deep appreciation of the Mitsotakis Government for the support offered by Romania during the recent crisis caused by forest fires. Thank you very much! This important gesture comes from longtime friends, EU partners and NATO allies, Dendias said.

Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu brought to mind that the deployment of the Romanian forces was done under the European Civil Protection Mechanism, and that "the activation of this mechanism is yet another example of what the European Union and European solidarity mean."

Aurescu also spoke about the importance of the Greek and the Romanian community for the two states.

Following Wednesday's consultations, Aurescu added, the sides agreed on developing a joint plan "under which we can identify in more detail all those common goals and actions we can undertake together."

We are - both Romania and Greece - very involved in supporting the states in the region. Together we reiterated our support for the European perspective of the Western Balkan states. We want to see the concrete negotiation process for Albania and North Macedonia's accession unblocked as soon as possible, Aurescu said.

Nikos Dendias is a guest of the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomats (RADR) and participates today in the "Current security challenges" session that will see OSCE Secretary-General Helga Schmid join via video call.AGERPRES(RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Maria Voican)

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