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President Iohannis on Romania’s embassy relocation to Jerusalem: I understand Gov’t wanted to set up a debate platform

Referring to the memorandum adopted by the Romanian Gov’t on relocating the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, President Klaus Iohannis says he understood that the Executive wanted to actually set up a debate platform, adding that he hasn’t received the memorandum so far.

I had a very long discussion and I’ve talked to many people. I understand now the Government actually wanted to create a sort of debate platform around this topic. An exploratory discussion is not wrong, but it’s a long way up to an effective relocation. We must observe the laws. We are UN members and the UN is very clearly approaching this issue. The logistic argument makes no sense in this matter (…) No EU member state is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until the parties agree on Jerusalem’s statute. It’s obvious a matter that should be discussed by the involved sides and only after that we can concretely discuss about relocating our embassy to Jerusalem,” said the head of state on Monday evening.

Iohannis also said the memorandum adopted by the Gov’t in this respect hasn’t reached the presidency yet.

We cannot compare Romania’s situation to the USA’s one. The U.S. is the greatest political and economic power and has a particular approach. We have a balanced, respected approach for more than half of a century, and people there trusted us. If we made such a move, we would lose half of century of democracy,” the Romanian President underlined.

On Friday, President Iohannis stated he hadn’t been consulted on a potential relocation of our embassy to Jerusalem, after the previous evening PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea had announced the relocation as a certain step.

Iohannis also said that he had called PM Viorica Dancila and that she hadn’t answered the phone.

The premier retorted she had attended The Tulips Symphony in Pitesti and hadn’t been aware of the President’s call, but later on mass media released photos from Pitesti showing the premier carrying the mobile phone in her hand all through the event. The PM called President Iohannis back three hours later.

Asked on Monday to comment the phone incident, President Iohannis said: “You know, if the prime minister were a man, I would say something to him. As the PM is a lady, I abstain”.

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