In an effort to stop Romania’s government from relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, German chancellor Angela Merkel called Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis in April, urging him to stop Bucharest’s declared announcement to move its diplomatic building to Israel’s capital, jpost.com informs.
A Western source told The Jerusalem Post that Merkel lobbied the Romanian president to put a halt on the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem. It is believed that Merkel called other European politicians as part of a campaign to block the relocation of European embassies to Jerusalem.
A spokesperson for the Romanian ministry of foreign affairs wrote the Post on Friday by email that “Regarding your question, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot comment on alleged discussions between Angela Merkel and the Romanian President. We would advise you to contact the Presidential Administration should you need to have further information.” Iohannis’s office did not immediately respond to a Post query.
A spokeswoman for the Merkel administration wrote the Post on Thursday “We cannot report from confidential talks.” When asked if Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Merkel administration spokeswoman declined to answer directly. She said that the “status of Jerusalem should, in the framework of an agreement, be clarified.” The spokeswoman said a solution to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis can take place with an agreed upon two-state solution, adding “Until such an agreement is reached, all sides should avoid steps that sharpen the existing tensions and complicate a peaceful solution of the conflict.”
In April, Romania’s president called on Romania’s pro-Israel Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to resign because of the government’s approval to relocate the embassy in April. It is unclear if Merkel’s call to Iohannis played a role in his decision to urge Dancila’s ouster, jpost.com further informs.
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photo: President Klaus Iohannis during the press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel held in Berlin, June 2017.