Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta today received the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu

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Bucharest, February 14, 2024# RBJ – The Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, today received the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, at the Magistral Palace.
During the meeting, which lasted 40 minutes, the two delegations discussed the excellent state of bilateral relations, the Order of Malta’s cooperation with Romanian first-aid facilities, the development of the Cooperation Agreements, the work carried out in several disadvantaged communities in Romania and the activities of the Order’s Romanian Relief Corps (Serviciul de Ajutor Maltez în România) providing aid to displaced people in Ukraine.

The Grand Chancellor and the Romanian Prime Minister also discussed the different ways to optimize and strengthen cooperation, also at a regional level, based on the two Cooperation Agreements signed in 2002 and 2018 respectively. “We are pleased to confirm the excellent relations and friendly bonds between Romania and the Sovereign Order of Malta and we trust that a stronger operational collaboration with Romanian central and local authorities will increase the support to our Lords the Sick and the poor”, said Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, to whom the Romanian premier reiterated words of “heartfelt thanks for the incomparable commitment expressed by the volunteers and the various entities” of the Order of Malta in his country.

The meeting ended with the shared hope of further strengthening diplomatic ties between the Order of Malta and Romania. The Prime Minister invited the Grand Chancellor to visit his country soon. Established in 1991, during these thirty years of diplomatic engagements there have been numerous visits made and received by the two delegations, testifying to the excellent relations. The latest visit of a Romanian Prime Minister to the Sovereign Order of Malta was in 2018.

In addition to the Order of Malta’s Romanian Relief Corps, the Order’s Association also operates in the country, managing over one hundred projects, many in collaboration with local authorities, including Civil Protection and the Romanian Red Cross. Created in 1962, the Association operates countrywide with a network of over 1,200 volunteers. Its main activities include assistance programmes for the elderly and disabled, integration projects for the Roma community, training in emergency preparedness, and for the past two years assistance for Ukrainian refugees both at the border with Ukraine and in Ukraine itself in collaboration with the Order of Malta’s other entities active in the country.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Romania Marian Neacsu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Luminita Odobescu, and other members of the Romanian government. Also present was the Order of Malta’s Ambassador to Romania, Roberto Musneci.

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Romanian PM expressed his appreciation for the consistent humanitarian activity carried out by the Sovereign Order of Malta in Romania, through the assistance provided to several vulnerable categories – the elderly, the sick, children with disabilities, and poor families – but also through emergency management expertise in situations such as floods and snowfalls. The Order of Malta Romanian Relief Organization (SAMR) is recognized as a partner of the Romanian Department for Emergency Situations (DSU).

“The way the Order mobilized in Romania during the COVID-19 pandemic was also exemplary, and I would like to thank His Excellency, Ambassador Musneci and his team for the countless gestures of solidarity in support of the vulnerable, as well as the medical personnel in our country”, added the Head of the Romanian Executive.

The Romanian Prime Minister also mentioned the involvement of the Order’s volunteers in supporting Ukrainian refugees, through the assistance offered to the Romanian authorities at the border crossing points and other actions. “Sustained and predictable support is needed, on all levels, for Ukraine, a victim of Russian aggression that violates international law and humanitarian law. We further count on the voice of the Sovereign Order of Malta in multilateral forums to stop Russian aggression and support Ukraine. We call on the Sovereign Order of Malta to continue to speak out for international law observance and the civilian population protection ” Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu pointed out in this context.

The Head of the Romanian Executive wanted to highlight in particular Romania’s openness to carrying out an exchange of experiences with the SMOM in the field of humanitarian assistance, an area of excellence of the Sovereign Order of Malta, given that our country is in a process of rendering more effective the international development cooperation and humanitarian aid policy and extended the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, the invitation to visit Romania.

The Romanian delegation led by Prime Minister Ciolacu also included Vice Prime Minister Marian Neacșu and Foreign Affairs Minister Luminița Odobescu.

Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, was accompanied by Giampaolo Cantini, SMOM Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Roberto Musneci, the SMOM Ambassador to Romania.

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