Türkiye, Romania forge strategic partnership, stress Black Sea security - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye, Romania forge strategic partnership, stress Black Sea security

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Turkish vice president, Romanian prime minister discuss NATO collaboration, mine threat in Black Sea during meetings in Bucharest

Türkiye’s Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz and Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu held bilateral and delegation-level meetings Friday to discuss a strategic partnership and Black Sea security in Bucharest, Romania.

During a news conference following the meetings, Yilmaz said, “Neighboring and allied countries” are working with Romania to ensure “the security of the Black Sea,” demonstrating a “proactive approach” to a mine threat due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

He stressed the importance of “mutual trust” in Turkish-Romanian relations, citing the 1934 Balkan Pact as a historical example of solidarity against international security challenges.

Yilmaz underscored the strategic partnership, NATO alliance and good neighborliness in the Black Sea as defining elements of the relationship 90 years later, congratulating Romania on its 20th anniversary of NATO membership.

He noted that Türkiye demonstrated strong support for Romania during its NATO accession process.

“We are also in agreement on establishing the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council at the level of heads of state and government and signing its founding document in the coming period. I believe that this agreement can be signed during the prime minister’s visit to Türkiye,” he said.

Yilmaz said Türkiye would be honored to host Prime Minister Ciolacu next May.

Defense cooperation

Yilmaz stressed the significant progress in defense industry cooperation with Romania in recent years.

He highlighted Türkiye’s defense minister’s successful visit to Romania and ongoing efforts under NATO, including Turkish F-16 fighter jets’ air policing duties in Romanian airspace.

Türkiye remains actively involved in resolving conflicts since the Ukraine war, ensuring global food security and safeguarding navigation in the Black Sea, according to Yilmaz.

He underscored that both countries reaffirmed their commitment to the Montreux Straits Convention.

“With the participation of our Romanian and Bulgarian allies have established the Mine Countermeasures Task Group (MCM Black Sea) against the mine threat in the Black Sea. We anticipate that this joint activity will start in the near future,” added Yilmaz.

Bilateral trade

Yilmaz underscored that “Romania’s largest trading partner among non-EU countries” is Türkiye and there is a “significant increase” in bilateral trade volume, exceeding “10 billion dollars for two consecutive years.”

He said Türkiye aims to “raise this even higher,” setting new “goals” during the Turkish president’s upcoming visit.

“There is no reason for our trade volume not to reach 12 – 13 billion dollars this year. The contribution of Turkish companies operating in Romania to this success is very important. When the investments of our companies in Romania are included, the figure reaches around 7.5 billion dollars,” he noted.

Yilmaz stressed the positive effect of Turkish companies in Romania, providing job opportunities and boosting exports.

He expressed satisfaction with ongoing cooperation across sectors like construction, health care, energy and automotive.

Yilmaz said both countries discussed energy collaboration, particularly praising Turkish involvement in the Tuzla-Podisor Natural Gas Pipeline Project.

And he underscored the importance of future meetings like the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to expand cooperation areas.

Israel-Palestine conflict

Yilmaz stated they discussed the tragedies in the Gaza Strip, stressing that Türkiye’s stance is very clear and explicit regarding the issue.

He said they continue to make every effort to ensure humanitarian aid reaches the people in Gaza as soon as possible, achieve a cease-fire and establish a permanent solution based on two states.

Türkiye pursues policies in favor of peace and tranquility in bilateral meetings and multilateral platforms, he said.

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