Paris, 21 November 2023 (TDI): French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna reaffirmed France’s commitment to bolstering the bilateral strategic partnership with Romania during a significant meeting with her Romania counterpart Luminita Odobescu in Paris on November 20, 2023.
The official visit of Odobescu to Paris included consultations with Minister Colonna, meetings with the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.
The discussions between both Foreign ministers highlighted the shared dedication to strengthening ties between the two nations and advancing collaborative efforts within the European Union (EU) and NATO.
In the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Minister Catherine Colonna expressed France’s unwavering support for Romania, recognizing the crucial role played by Romania in the region and the broader European security landscape. Minister Odobescu also emphasized Romania’s gratitude for France’s contribution to NATO Eastern Flank and the deployment of military forces.
Minister Odobescu also highlighted Romania’s appreciation for France’s role in supporting Romania’s accession to the Schengen area. In return, Minister Colonna also expressed France’s full support for this objective.
During the meeting, Both officials emphasized the importance of advancing the process of expanding the European Union, particularly in the Eastern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans. Both ministers agreed on the political priority of the European integration of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine with the short-term objective of obtaining a positive decision by the end of the year regarding the opening of accession negotiations with these two states.
The discussion also addressed the critical need for long-term commitment to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions and recognized this as a strategic investment in the security of the region and Europe as a whole. The importance of consistent European support for the Republic of Moldova was also highlighted.
Minister Odobescu drew attention to the situation in the Middle East emphasizing the need to prevent the escalation of conflict ensure humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip, release all hostages, and safely evacuate foreign citizens in Gaza.
She also met with the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay during her visit to Paris. She reiterated Romania’s commitment to joining the OECD and emphasized Romania’s active participation in OECD priorities and regional programs. The minister also advocated for increased cooperation with the Republic of Moldova, leveraging Romania’s expertise to support reform efforts in Chisinau toward EU accession.
In addition, she expressed Romania’s attachment to UNESCO’s fundamental values, including cultural diversity, respect for human rights, and the promotion of peace.
Romania conveyed its desire to actively engage in UNESCO’s agenda on topics such as ethics in artificial intelligence, education through culture and art, and the relationship between culture and sustainable development.