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December 6, 2021

Israel infrastructure minister: We want to help Romania

Israel wants to help Romania become a country able to offer its citizens all the services they need by getting involved in projects on water, electricity, gas or sewerage and by offering expertise, Israeli Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Waters Silvan Shalom told AGERPRES on Tuesday.
Shalom, also responsible for the regional cooperation portfolio, began a three-day working visit to Romania on Monday, as part of a regional tour that will also take him to the Republic of Moldova and Albania, the Israeli embassy in Bucharest announced.
We consider we have many things in common. We share a very good relation. We have a very large community of Jews who initially came from Romania. There is a very strong community of Jews here (in Romania – editor’s note). We want to put such special relations into practice, said he minister, who is accompanied by a delegation including ministry officials and executives of Israeli institutions and companies operating in energy and water technology.
He stressed Israel wants to get involved in projects on water, electricity, gas or sewerage and bring its expertise and high-tech successes ‘in order to help Romania become a country able to offer its citizens all the services they need’. We are speaking of options to help connecting the remote villages to the water system, so they might have water daily. We try to help Romania have gas in case of a gas crisis. But we are also speaking of electricity. These days you have a project with the Republic of Moldova, you have your own networks in Romania and the efficiency obtained by the electricity system is extremely high. We can share our expertise with the Romanian companies, with the Romanian government. We would be very glad to do this, the minister said.
Shalom underscored the two sides want to reach the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, that should finally be accomplished and said he is being accompanied on his visit by the managing directors of the main three Israeli water, electricity and gas companies in a move aimed to forge direct ties with the Romanian authorities and avoid bureaucracy. He explained there will be in each of the Romanian ministries concerned a contact person who will keep in touch with the ministry he heads and with the Israeli companies, so as to fulfil the discussed options.
Shalom insisted the Romanian authorities are the ones who must decide what advantages they can offer the Israeli investors, who ‘are willing to come’ and who ‘wait to take part in those projects to be funded by the European Union in the next years’.
Israel was also involved in 2010, and Israeli companies connected 1,000 villages in Romania to the water system. We are experienced in doing this thing all over the world, particularly in Romania. We did it before and we can continue doing it. /…/ There also are other offers regarding waste water, water recycling, which is used by Israeli companies in a very efficient manner. For example, we re-use 87 percent of our waste water. It is a huge figure. In most of the world the percentage is of up to 10 percent. We can bring our expertise, the technology we have developed for very many years. Maybe because we were under a boycott for many years, we had to develop on our own and the result is positive, he stressed.The Israeli delegation is scheduled to have meetings with several Romanian high-ranking governmental representatives, ministers and officials as well as with heads of institutions and companies. The meetings will focus on the opportunities for beefing up the bilateral cooperation in such sectors as energy infrastructure, water management, water treatment and supply and regional cooperation, the embassy said in the release.
The visit comes after the second round of inter-governmental consultations having taken place in Jerusalem in June.

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