President Traian Basescu sent an official message on Friday, marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, arguing that Romania needed a strong civil society, aware of its rights and obligations in the public space, with a view to cultivating dialogue, understanding and tolerance as a path to peaceful cohabitation. “Acknowledging the tragedy of the Holocaust, which took the lives of millions of Jewish people across the world, as well as the tragic events in the history of the Jewish community in Romania, is a key-element in the evolution and becoming of a democratic nation,” the president’s message reads. Traian Basescu voiced his solidarity with the Jewish people and his compassion towards those sacrificed by a regime which legitimated, even in Romania, the exclusion and persecution of the Jewish and Roma communities. “The important things that the Romanian people have managed to accomplish throughout history have been those built through solidarity and respect for the other. The Jewish community has made a significant contribution to the common good, to our shared cultural heritage. I think it is only natural to repay their loyalty by honouring the memory of those who suffered and by taking responsibility for our past,” the head of state further argued, in his message.