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March 24, 2023

Basescu-Abbas talks in Ramallah

Romanian president says preconditions should be abandoned in the Middle East and peace talks should start.

President Traian Basescu yesterday paid an official visit to the Palestinian National Authority, at the invitation of his counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas. The visit agenda also features a meeting with the representatives of the Romanian community from the Palestinian Territories. The president was accompanied in Ramallah by the minister of Foreign Affairs Cristian Diaconescu. At the conclusion of the meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, President Basescu stated that peace negotiations should start in the Middle East, while any preconditions for the beginning of talks should be abandoned.

Basescu added that the Palestinians’ aspiration to have a country is understandable, but Israel too is entitled to its viewpoint about the Arab peace plan. The president also referred to opening a diplomatic representation office of Romania in Ramallah. He said he would have wished to inaugurate this building yesterday, but this was not possible because of technical and security reasons. However, the head of state assured that opening a diplomatic office is a matter of days or weeks. The Romanian president yesterday also visited the tomb of the former president of the Palestinan Authority, Yasser Arafat, Ma’an press agency reported on its web site, quoted by Mediafax.

In his turn, the Palestinian leader said Romania should become involved in the Middle East peace process, given its position and good relations with all the countries of the region.

Before leaving to Ramallah, President Basescu declared that the peace process of the Middle East “can be continued now, given the political evolutions in the region,” so that to reach the goal of “two states, Palestine and Israel, living in peace and security.” The visit to Ramallah is the conclusion of a series of meetings he had with Middle East leaders, which focused on security in the region – essential for Romania’s security, the president pointed out. “Romania has special economic interests in the Middle East region,” Basescu added, while announcing that an accord of cooperation was signed by the Romanian and Palestinian Foreign ministries.

Netanyahu calls on Abbas to resume peace talks

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed yesterday his call on Abbas to resume peace talks immediately, Reuters informed. “There is no reason for us not to meet anywhere in Israel and I suggest we meet… to advance peace for the benefit of both our peoples,” Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting, held in southern city of Beersheba.

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