DIPLOMACY

President Iohannis to visit Israel and Palestine on first state visit of his mandate

President Klaus Iohannis is to make a six-day state visit to Israel and Palestine, the first of his mandate, starting Sunday.

On Monday morning, the Romanian head of state will be received by his counterpart, President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, at the Beit HaNassi presidential residence. According to the agenda of the visit, released by the Presidential Administration, the two officials will hold official talks and are scheduled to hold a joint press conference.

Later during the day, President Iohannis is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the seat of the Israeli government for closed-door talks. President Iohannis will also attend a luncheon offered by the Israeli PM. The two officials are to make a joint press statement.

Also on Monday, President Iohannis and first lady Carmen Iohannis will have a meeting with Patriarch Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, followed by a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.

At the end of the day, President Iohannis and the first lady will attend a state dinner given by his Israeli counterpart and Israeli first lady Nechama Rivlin.

On Tuesday, the Romanian head of state and the first lady will visit the Mount Herzl National Cemetery where they will lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodor Herzl. The Romanian president will also visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Memorial, followed by a brief press statement.

On Tuesday President Iohannis will hold talks with Knesset opposition leader and Chairman of the Labour Party Isaac Herzog as well as with Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. The Romanian head of state and first lady will also visit the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

In Wednesday, the Romanian President will visit the Western Wall and will meet in Jerusalem representatives of the Romanian community in Israel.

On Thursday, President Iohannis is scheduled to meet President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas for closed-door talks. The two officials will hold a joint press statement. The Romanian head of state will attend a luncheon offered by the Palestinian president.

President Iohannis announced the state visit on March 3, adding that, as it was scheduled a few months back, it could not be canceled. President Iohannis delegated PM Dacian Ciolos to attend the March 7 European Union -Turkey summit in Brussels and the informal meeting of the European Council members.

According to the Romanian head of state, talks between Romanian and Israel are aimed at improving cooperation, indicating that the two countries have very good working relations in many areas.

The delegation accompanying President Iohannis on his state visit to Israel includes Minister of Education Adrian Curaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lazar Comanescu and presidential advisors Dan Mihalache, Andrei Muraru, Leonard Orban, Ion Oprisor and Sergiu Nistor.

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