Romania and Syria to open cultural institutes in Damascus and Bucharest
Premier Emil Boc and the Syrian Finances Minister Mohammad al Hussein agreed on Thursday that the authorities of both countries would open cultural institutes in Damascus and Bucharest, considering the great number of Romanians who have worked in Syria, and of Syrians studying and working in Romania. During a meeting at Victoria Palace, the Syrian Finances Minister showed that approximately 35,000 Syrian citizens had studied in Romanian universities, including him, as he graduated the Economical Studies Academy in Bucharest. Premier Emil Boc assured the Syrian Minister that Romania granted full support to the actions initiated by the Syrian Government regarding the signing of the EU – Syria Association Agreement, a government press release reads.
US Embassy launched works at new HQs
The US Embassy to Romania yesterday inaugurated construction works on its new headquarters, in a ceremony attended by charge d’affaires Jeri Guthrie-Corn and secretary of state with the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Bogdan Aurescu.
The new headquarters will be built on a 40,000 square meter plot of land in a residential complex located near Tunari forest. A street in the complex will be named after professor Liviu Librescu, a Romanian-born teacher who died while trying to protect his students in the Virginia Tech University attack two years ago. The building will be constructed by American International Contractors – Special Projects, in collaboration with several constructors in Romania, such as Bog’Art and Apolodor. Embassy officials said the plot of land on which the headquarters will be built has been rented for a 99-year period. The officials did not specify what amounts exactly the construction will cost or how much they have to pay for rent, but underlined that the project allows large investments in Romania, both in terms of financial benefits and of labor force. Guthrie-Corn said her speech at the ceremony that the project was initiated several years ago as part of a wider programme by the US State Department to build new embassy headquarters throughout the world. In turn, Aurescu said the new HQ will stand a clear proof of how strong and durable the strategic partnership between Romania and the US is and both sides’ engagement to work further to strengthen bilateral ties.
Russian Foreign Ministry says no talks over treasure with Diaconescu
Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu is distorting Russia’s stance as regards the treasure, according to a press release on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, quoted by Realitatea TV. The press release, signed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Andrey Nesterenko, says that Diaconescu and Lavrov discussed the resumption of a joint commission in charge of analyzing bilateral issues, not the resumption of negotiations over the treasure. “The purpose of this structure is not to ‘restore the Romanian treasure’,” the release quotes Nesterenko as saying.
Earlier this week, Diaconescu said during a live video chat with Realitatea TV viewers that he and Lavrov agreed to have the commission restored. Diaconescu also said that the creation of this commission in 2003 was a great success because Russia thus implicitly admitted the issue of the Romanian treasure.