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Iohannis-Netanyahu talk on relocation of the Romanian embassy to Jerusalem

In a recent phone discussion, President Klaus Iohannis talked with the Israeli Prime Minister about the relocation of the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the Romanian head of state pointing out that such a decision cannot be taken for now, but depending on the future development on the Peace Process in the Middle East.

According to the Presidential Administration, the conversation took place at the initiative of the Israeli Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has particularly emphasized the close relation of friendship existing between the two states and nations, based on mutual interests. Moreover, the Israeli head of the Executive thanked Romania for its vote of “abstention” at the adoption of the Resolution of the UN General Assembly in December regarding the status of Jerusalem,” reads a press release issued by the Presidential Administration.

In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis assured PM Netanyahu of Romania’s willingness to continue to develop, strengthen and diversify stategic relations with the State of Israel.

As for the recent development on the status of Jerusalem, President Iohannis reiterated Romania’s position, as expressed on the occasion of the vote and in the “the reasoning for the vote” after the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Resolution of December 21 2017, a document that recommends to the UN member states, among other things, to avoid setting up diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and strengthen international efforts for a sustainable, comprehensive and fair peace in the Middle East.

The Presidential Administration says that, according to this position, also agreed by the Romanian President before the vote, Jerusalem represents a central topic of the negotiations for peace and its status should be established through the conclusion of a direct agreement between the parties.

At the Un General Assembly, Romania called on  the need for a just and sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the implementation of “the solution of the two states”, Israel and Palestine, which should coexist in peace and safety, as this is the only viable option that can guarantee the fulfillment of both parties’ aspirations.

In support for its position adopted during the voting, Romania encouraged the parties to resume direct dialogue for unlocking the peace process and showed that, at present, there is a need of renewed international efforts to relaunch this dialogue, in which context the moment chosen for the promotion of the Resolution adopted on December 21 2017 was regarded with reluctance by our country, and also motivated its “abstention” decision.

In conclusion, a possible decision to move the Romanian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem can only be taken based on the abovementioned parameters while also considering the future developments of the Peace Process in the Middle East and, as part of it, the Jerusalem status issues,” mentions the release.

Palestine embassy hails President Iohannis’ stance

The Palestine Embassy in Bucharest hailed Klaus Iohannis’s statement to reaffirm Romania’s view on the status of Jerusalem.

“By deciding not to take into consideration the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem as a legitimate option, Romania proves, once again, the observance towards the principles of law and international law,” Ambassador of Palestine in Bucharest Fuad Kokaly stated, as quoted in the release.

The Middle East peace process is currently in a deadlock and, as the release of the Presidential Administration in Bucharest shows, it cannot be unlocked without implementing the solution of the two states, so that the State of Palestine with the capital in East Jerusalem exercises its right to self-determination and peacefully coexists with its neighbors, according to international law and all resolutions issued by the abovementioned international organizations,” the statement added.

The quoted source reveals that “the unilateral, singular decision, in a global context, of the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem only hinders peace and a climate of normality in the Holy City, the supreme spiritual symbol for more than half of the world’s population.”

In this context, we express our belief that Romania will further remain a guarantor of observing the international laws and, also, a partner in the efforts that the State of Palestine and the diplomatic mission in Bucharest carry out in order to continue the peace process in the Middle East,”  concludes the Palestine Embassy.

Diplomatic sources quoted by the central media in Bucharest revealed ten days ago that the Israeli Government is intensely negotiating with Romania, Czech Republic and Latvia the relocating of their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Iohannis’ stance comes after Social-Democrat Chairman Liviu Dragnea had said that the Foreign Ministry (MAE) should take seriously the possibility to relocate the Romanian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, noting that it has all the institutional capacity to conduct a serious analysis.

Read more about Dragnea’s arguments here.

About Alina Grigoras Butu