President Klaus Iohannis “was not informed or consulted” regarding the potential relocation of the Romanian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a statement of the Presidential Administration.
Iohannis’ reaction came hours after the head of the ruling party PSD, Liviu Dragnea, said that the government approved a memorandum that kicks off the procedure for the effective relocation of the Israel-based embassy to Jerusalem.
“The movement of the embassy can bring very big benefits on the short, medium and long term and we have to use this huge chance and opportunity,” said Dragnea in an interview at Antena 3 TV station. He went on to say that Romania has “special relations” with Israel where over 500,000 Romanians are living at present.
The Romanian legislation states that the president has the final word on an embassy relocation decision. Meanwhile, the Presidential Administration said that such a move has to be based on a deep analysis that needs to take into account the foreign policy implications. It added that the president believes that the government’s initiative could act as a starting point for a process that can be finalized once the peace process in the Middle East is achieved.
“The president, as holder of the foreign policy decisions of Romania and representative of Romania abroad, in line with the provisions of the Constitution, reiterates the fact that the constant position of our country regarding the peace process in the Middle East remains unchanged. President Klaus Iohannis underlines once again the need for the just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the implementation of the ‘two state solution’, Israel and Palestine, that can co-exist in peace and security as the single option that is viable and capable of guaranteeing the fulfillment of the sides’ aspirations,” said the Presidential Administration.
The administration concluded that Romania’s institutions working on foreign affairs and national security matters have to be consulted before making such a decision.
If such a move is approved, Romania would be among the first states to move its embassy to Jerusalem after the US.
On December 6, 2017, American president Donald Trump formally announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.