The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, on Monday participated, via videoconference, in the 12th session of the EU-Israel Association Council, the first in the last decade.
In his intervention, Minister Aurescu welcomed the increasing diplomatic efforts undertaken by both sides, the EU and Israel, in the recent time, for the resumption of the Association Council and the high-level political dialogue, as well as for the judicious use of all EU-Israel political and sectoral cooperation opportunities, objectives promoted in a sustained manner by our country, according to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to AGERPRES.
He also voiced hope that the format of the Association Council will be used regularly and predictably in the coming period.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy also underscored the opportunity to further deepen relations between the EU and Israel, especially in the current international context, and to impress a higher level of ambition in political and economic cooperation with Israel, which is one of the most important EU partners in the Middle East. In this context, he emphasized that the current meeting provides a useful framework for strengthening the EU-Israel political dialogue, for setting the priorities of the bilateral partnership, as well as for deepening cooperation in areas of common interest, such as energy (including renewable energy), climate change, cyber security , new technologies, agriculture and water management.
He highlighted Romania’s firm commitment to combating anti-Semitism, recalling that the working definition of anti-Semitism was adopted thanks to the efforts of the Romanian Presidency-in-Exercise of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), exercised between March 2016 and March 2017.
Also, Aurescu underscored that the works of the Association Council represent a suitable platform including for addressing some regional topics, such as the Middle East Peace Process and the ways to achieve the solution of the two states, Israel and Palestine, to coexist in peace and security, and which is the only viable option that meets the aspirations of both parties. In this respect, he welcomed the mention of support for the two-state solution in the recent speech delivered by Prime Minister Lapid at the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly. Bogdan Aurescu reiterated Romania’s active support for any initiative, including measures to increase confidence between the two sides, which would lead to a political solution to the conflict and the implementation of the two-state solution.
This meeting was also attended by the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, together with ministers of foreign affairs from the member states of the European Union and representatives of the European Commission.
The EU-Israel Association Council was convened on the basis of the 2000 EU-Israel Association Agreement. On the occasion of the CAE meeting on July 18, 2022, the ministers of foreign affairs from the EU member states agreed to resume the work of the EU-Israel Association Council , after ten years in which this cooperation format was not organized.