Foreign ministry denies reports two of Romanian embassy staff in Ankara arrested

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The Foreign Affairs Ministry denies reports carried by the Austrian media on Saturday that two staff of the Romanian embassy in Ankara were arrested in Aug. 2008 for being involved in a network of illegal immigration to Austria.

‘The Foreign Ministry checked and found that the information that two staff of the Romanian embassy in Ankara had been arrested is not sustained, but what we can explain at this moment is that Romania only issued visas that are valid on our country’s territory, as it cannot issue (other kind of visas) until it joins Schengen Area.

With the visas issued by the Romanian embassies, the foreign nationals can travel to Romania only’, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Alin Serbanescu told on Sunday.

The information was carried by the Austrian media on Saturday, a day before Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu’s visit to Austria to attend the Europe Forum on an invitation from his Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger.

Romania is currently completing the procedures meant to evaluate it for joining Schengen Area, which Bucharest has pledged to become a member of in March 2011.

Regional daily Salzburgr Nachrichten said on Saturday that two employees of the Romanian embassy in Ankara were arrested in Aug. 2008 over involvement in a network of illegal immigration to Austria.
The two employees were said to have trafficked visas and to have thus helped hundreds or even thousands of Turks to get to Austria, to Salzburg more precisely, via Romania and Hungary.
Hungary joined Schengen Area on Dec. 21, 2007.
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