DIPLOMACY

Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson takes note “with surprise” of Russian counterpart’s assertions on a so-called failure by Romania to assume its historical past

The spokesperson for the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) has taken note “with surprise” of the assertions of the Russian counterpart on the marking in Romania of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and says “it is regrettable and strange how events and public information are mixed in confusion, through a message which’s purpose is difficult to understand.”

“We took note with surprise of the assertions of the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry of 4 February 2016 on marking in Romania of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is regrettable and strange the way t events and public information are mixed in confusion, through a message which’s purpose is difficult to understand. We are disappointed with the distorted information that was offered to the said spokesperson, before issuing their reaction,” reads a press statement of the MAE spokesperson issued to AGERPRES on Friday.

According to the cited source, as it is well known to the public, the central and local authorities of Romania organize every year events to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, on October 9 (National Day for Commemorating Holocaust Victims in Romania), January 27 (International Holocaust Remembrance Day) and August 2 (Day for Commemorating Roma Holocaust Victims).

“This year, too, on January 27, the MAE organized an event to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an event where the foreign minister and a number of guests took the floor, including the President of the Federation of Jewish communities in Romania and the President of the Association of Jews from Romania, survivors of the Holocaust. The event was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest, and media coverage provided enough information to any observer of official activities in Romania. Moreover, this event followed the distinct commemoration of 75 years of the Bucharest Pogrom victims,” reads the press statement.

The aforementioned source adds that “wrongly and incomprehensibly, the reaction of the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry makes abstraction of these realities and refers to an exhibition that has nothing to do with the programme of official events marking in Romania the International Holocaust Remembrance Day”.

“Equally erroneous and surprising are the [Russian] spokesperson’s deductions on a so-called failure by Romania to assume its historical past. As such, we recall the completion as early as 2004 of the Report by the Elie Wiesel International Commission for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, as well as the efforts in assuming the past and making it known to the Romanian society. Romania’s determination to actively contribute to the international efforts to prevent such historic tragedies, the progress made in the field of education on the Holocaust, the commitments assumed for cooperation with civil society on topics relating the commemoration of the Holocaust, combating anti-Semitism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance of any form are recognized and encouraged,” reads the press statement of the MAE’s spokesperson.

Also, the same source points out that the MAE “actively contributes to strengthening the proper legislative and institutional instruments to prevent and to penalize such phenomena and it can provide transparently detailed information about how Romania respects and assumes responsibilities regarding the commemoration of the Holocaust victims, promoting the education of young generations about that turbulent time in European history and in the history of Romania.”

“Moreover, we invite to an updated documentation on the responsibilities at international level that Romania has assumed in terms of the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] organization, as well as in other multilateral organizations,” concludes the press statement of the spokesperson for the MAE.

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