Update: Row over relocating Romania’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Presidency lashes out against PSD chair Dragnea


After chairman of the ruling Social Democrat Party Liviu Dragnea announced on Thursday night that Romania’s Embassy in Israel would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis retorted he hadn’t been informed or consulted about the Government’s intention to relocate the embassy.

Romania’s President has not been previously informed or consulted about this step. The Presidential Administration stresses this decision is not based on solid and thorough assessments. Such a step can be taken only following a deep analysis that should consider all of its consequences and foreign policy implications”, reads the Presidential Administration press release.

President Iohannis considers the Romanian Executive’s initiative can represent “only the start of an assessment process, which can be concluded only when the negotiations for the Peace Process in the Middle East end”.

This statute can be established only following the conclusion of a direct and final agreement between the parties. The President, as holder of Romania’s foreign policy decisions and as Romania’s representative worldwide, in compliance with the constitutional provisions, reiterates that our country’s constant stance regarding the Peace Process in the Middle East remains unaltered. President Klaus Iohannis underlines again the need of a just long-term resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by implementing the <two states solution>, Israel and Palestina, which should coexist in peace and security, as the only viable option, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the parties’ aspirations. President of Romania reaffirms that our country’s stance to the Jerusalem’s statute remains in compliance with the stance agreed by the resolutions of the UN Security Council and of the UN General Assembly,” further reads the release.

The Presidential Administration reminds that the UN resolutions were asking, among other others, the UN member states to abstain from settling diplomatic missions to Jerusalem and to intensify international efforts for a sustainable, just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Therefore, the Presidency points out that in this stage, relocating Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem would represent a breach of the relevant international law.

Considering all these aspects, President Klaus Iohannis urges all government and political decision makers to prove responsibility and discernment regarding Romania’s foreign policy major decisions, with strategic effects, including on the nationals safety of the Romanian citizens. To that end, such a decision must be taken only after consultations and the opinion of all institutions in the national security and foreign policy field, while the final decision constitutionally belongs to the President of Romania,” the press release concludes.

PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea announced on Thursday night that the government had adopted a memorandum to start the procedures to the effective relocation of the Romanian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Gov’t has adopted a memorandum deciding the start of the procedure for the effective relocation of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It may look like a less important thing. But our action has a huge symbolic value, first it is a symbolic value for a state that has a tremendous influence in the world, Israel, a state with which we have special relations for many years, a state where there are 500,000 Romanians and which has a high meaning for the American administration. We are practically the second country that does this. I think the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem will bring benefits to Romania on short, medium and long term. We have to use this huge chance,” Dragnea told Antena 3 private broadcaster.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has congratulated the Romanian Parliament speaker on Twitter Friday. “It has been in the spirit of the meeting we had in Bucharest last week and I hope to see Romania’s Embassy relocated to Jerusalem soon”, she twitted.

PM Dancila didn’t asnwer the President’s phone call for further details. The Gov’t stance

Moreover, political sources revealed that president Klaus Iohannis was trying to talk to PM Viorica Dancila about the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, but said the premier hadn’t answered the phone.

“The President has called Mrs. premier, but she hasn’t answered nor called him back”, the sources said.

However, the prime minister admitted on Friday that she hadn’t answered the president’s call in the first place, as she was attending an event in Pitesti, “the Tulips Symphony”, but added that she had called him back and subsequently had a conversation with the head of state.

In their turn, the Gov’t representatives told the media that the memorandum on relocating Romania’s embassy in Israel had been fowarded to the Foreign Ministry as “confidential document” and it will stay that way until a final decision.

“The classification decision has been taken for foreign policy reasons until the moment when consultation proceedings are concluded and the final decision is taken,” said the Gov’t.

Palestinian Authority asks Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority has demanded that Romania not move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The demand was delivered Thursday by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Romania’s envoy to Ramallah, Katalin Terlia during a meeting between the two men that took place on Israel’s 70th Independence Day, Jewish Press reports.

Hamdallah claimed that the meeting last week between the Romanian FM Melsecanu and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely to tackle the relocation issue would “violate international law and UN resolutions, and destroy chances of peace and establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” according to a statement by Hamdallah’s office quoted by WAFA.


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