President Basescu pays state visits to Israel and Palestinian Territories

According to the head of state, the visit is aimed at consolidating the relations between Israel and Romania.

Romania’s President Traian Basescu will be on state visits to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from Sunday till Tuesday, informs the Presidential Administration. On Monday morning Basescu will be received by President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres at the Beit Hanasi presidential residence. After the official talks with Peres the Romanian Head of State will go to the headquarters of the Government in Jerusalem, where he will make short press statements together with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Also on Monday too Traian Basescu will go to the Cemetery of Israeli Heroes to lay a wreath at Theodor Herzl’s tomb. He will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes.
Also on Monday Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel Avigdor Lieberman will give a lunch in honour of the Romanian Head of State.
After the lunch Traian Basescu will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Wailing Wall. In the evening Shimon Peres will give an official dinner in honour of his Romanian counterpart.
On Tuesday Basescu will hold talks with the President of the Knesset of the State of Israel Yuli Edelstein and will visit the Romanian Orthodox Church Settlement at the Holy Places. The Romanian President will also lay a wreath at the mausoleum of former President Yasser Arafat. About noon Traian Basescu will be received by President of the Palestinian Territories Mahmoud Abbas, with whom he will also make a joint press statement. At Ramallah Traian Basescu will meet the representatives of the Romanian community in the Palestinian Territories. On Tuesday too, in Tel Aviv, President Basescu will have a meeting with the representatives of the Romanian community in Israel too.
In an interview Traian Basescu gave to Kol Israel radio station on Friday, the Romanian Head of State described the relations between Israel and Romania as ‘excellent.’ ‘This is the main aim of the visit: the consolidation of the relations between Israel and Romania, which are excellent, but certainly very much solidarity can also be added to excellence,’ said the Romanian Head of State, who, at the request of the radio station, made it clear that regional questions too would be on the agenda of the talks he is going to hold in Israel.
Basescu said that so far, during his two mandates, commercial relations constantly increased and in 2013 alone they will advance by more than 28 pc against 2012. Basescu also appreciated “the excellent relations in military cooperation, in technology, by modernising fighter planes” with Israeli company Elbit, as well as the very good cooperation between security structures. “No matter if they are direct investments or Israeli investments coming from the Netherlands, Cyprus or Belgium, Israel is among the extremely consistent investors in Romania,” the president added.
Referring to regional problems like the peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians, the Romanian president said that during his visit he will also discuss the latest proposal made by Secretary of State John Kerry. “We start from the very important idea that peace cannot be reached in the region without Israel being guaranteed the security, while we also are the adepts of a compromise that will allow Palestinians have a state,” Basescu mentioned.
On anti-Semitism and the retrocession of Jewish properties
President Traian Basescu also said in the interview with the Israeli radio that there is no mass anti-Semitism in Romania, but there are sporadic statements made by politicians, such as Minister Dan Sova, which create an impression that does not reflect the reality.
Asked about the process of retroceding Jewish properties in Romania, Basescu said that this is at maximum 40 per cent retrocession in kind, “largely similar to that of all properties.”

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