Austrian President Heinz Fischer pays an official visit to Moldova on 16-17 November, following an invitation by President Nicolae Timofti.
The two heads of state had a face-to-face meeting and then they took part in official talks with participation of members of the two delegations. (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO91GIfOvrg&feature=youtu.be)
Timofti described the Moldovan-Austrian relations as excellent, and thanked the authorities for supporting Moldova’s European integration.
Timofti pointed out the significant evolution of the trade exchanges between the two states and welcomed the activity of the Austrian companies in Moldova, especially in bank, insurance and construction fields. He said the citizens had been convinced of the benefits of implementing the European standards after the exploitation of national roads, restored by the Strabag Company.
Fischer welcomed the achievements made by the Moldovan authorities on the reforms and consolidation of democratic institutions. He voiced confidence that the 30 November polls would confirm the fact that Moldova represented authentic democracy.
The Austrian president expressed confidence that holding of the Moldovan-Austrian forum of business people in Chisinau would contribute to boosting the bilateral economic ties.
He welcomed the ratification by the European Parliament of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement. He also pointed out that the Parliament in Vienna would ratify it soon.
The two officials tackled degradation of security climate in the region, as a result of the evolutions from Ukraine. The sides agreed that Ukraine had the right to choose future without external interference, and the European integration of the Eastern Partnership countries did not affect interests of Russia.
After the official talks, the two presidents gave a joint news conference. The Moldovan president made the following pres statement: (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmchUBz6Cpc&feature=youtu.be)
“Your Excellency, Mr. President Heinz Fischer,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I warmly greet a friend of Moldova, Mr. Heinz Fischer, Austrian President.
I want to thank him for visiting Moldova in an extremely important and responsible period for our country. This is the first visit to Moldova by an Austrian president.
Few days ago, the European Parliament gave us a strong signal of encouragement, by ratifying the Association Agreement and providing the perspective of our country’s accession to the EU.
The European friends, among whom Mr. Fischer, show us that there is no other development path for our country than the European way.
We have excellent political and economic ties with Austria. I thanked the president for the technical assistance and charity. Yesterday, Fischer visited the establishments of Austrian charitable foundation “Concordia” from Pirita and Dubasarii Vechi settlements.
I thank for these charity actions and for generous people who are carrying out them.
Austria is one of the most important foreign investors in Moldova. We appreciate it and we promise we will further back the Austrian enterprises operating in Moldova.
We highly appreciate the support Austria provides in our European integration.
The last week, I met new European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. I am sure that during the next years, by joint efforts, we will bring Moldova closer to the European standards and will advance to our goal – joining the EU.
We intend to submit an application for EU membership in 2015.
Mr. Fischer, be welcome in our country. The Moldovan people will be grateful for solidarity the Austrian people show to our country.
Asked by journalists to comment on the results of the presidential elections from Romania, Timofti congratulated new President Klaus Iohannis on victory at polls. “No matter who wins in Romania, I know that the new president will back the friendship relations with Moldova and European integration of our country”, he concluded.
Asked about the 30 November parliamentary elections, Timofti reconfirmed his support for the parties opting for Moldova’s European development. He voiced hope that the citizens were convinced of the benefits of European integration.
“I want Moldova to have good relations with Russia. I told President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Minsk that if Moldova joins the EU, we want to keep good relations with Russia in future, the same as his country has cooperation ties with Germany or France”, Timofti said.
Fischer said Austria respected Moldova’s decision to request in 2015 the status of candidate country for EU accession.
Fischer announced the Austrian authorities’ willingness to contribute to fight corruption in Moldova by transmitting expertise on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Academy from Vienna, as well as by signing cooperation agreements between the justice ministries of the two states.