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September 29, 2022

AJC delegation receives assurances in Bucharest that Romania will continue to show openness towards the Jewish communities

Speaker Dragnea: Jewish communities in US are familiar with Romania’s active role in fighting anti-Semitism, xenophobia, discrimination


Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Liviu Dragnea met on Friday with a delegation led by Chief Executive Officer David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), occasion on which Romania’s active role in fighting discrimination, xenophobia and anti-Semitism was highlighted (photo).

“Today, I had a very interesting meeting with Mr David Harris, the American Jewish Committee Chief Executive Officer. I was satisfied and also surprised to learn that the representatives of the Jewish communities of the US are familiar with the active role of Romania in respect to fighting any form of anti-Semitism, xenophobia or discrimination. Mr Harris was also pleasantly impressed by the collaboration between the Romanian authorities and Jewish organisations in carrying out the project of the Holocaust Museum of Romania,” Dragnea wrote on Facebook.

He mentioned talking also about the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US, mentioning in this context the boosting of the transatlantic dialogue.

“In my opinion, it was a good meeting for Romania,” Dragnea concluded.

According to a release of the Chamber of Deputies, within the meeting, the two officials talked about Romania’s active role, on an international level, in fighting discriminations of any kind, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, mentioning Romania’s firm commitment in respect to the Jewish Diaspora, as well as the involvement, alongside Jewish organisations, in the development and implementation of the project belonging to Romania’s Museum of Jewish History and Holocaust.

In the context of the close relationship with the State of Israel, as well as from the perspective of a fully committed ally in the Strategic Partnership with the US, the Romanian side expressed its entire availability in terms of boosting the development of the transatlantic dialogue, the quoted source mentions.

The delegation led by AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris is paying a visit to Romania between 18-20 January.


President Iohannis: Romanian authorities will remain open to Jewish community


President Klaus Iohannis on Friday received at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace a delegation of the American Jewish Committee – AJC, headed by its Chief Executive Officer David Harris, in which context he reiterated that the Romanian authorities will continue to show complete openness towards the Jewish community, reads a release of the Presidential Administration.

President Iohannis thanked again AJC for inviting him as a guest of honour to the Global Forum of the organization held in June 2017, and for awarding him the prestigious distinction “Light Unto the Nations.”

The head of the state also voiced his appreciation for the entire activity of the AJC, including for its good cooperation with the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, and gave assurance that the Romanian authorities will continue to show complete openness towards the Jewish community, in the spirit of tolerance and diversity and based on a firm commitment to combating extremism, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, while also taking responsibility of the past and commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

In his turn, the AJC CEO congratulated Romania for its performance in this area and encouraged the Romanian authorities to continue to develop the topic of Holocaust in education. David Harris especially appreciated the manner in which Romania exercised the presidency of the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust (IHRA) over March 2016 – March 2017, while also remarking the results obtained in the field of education and research on the topic of the Holocaust, especially by adopting the working definition of antisemitism, which is an important instrument in combating it.

They also exchanged opinions on the Strategic Partnership existing between Romania and the USA and the privileged relations between Romania and Israel, to which strengthening the AJC wants to continue to contribute.

The Presidential Administration showed that the Chief Executive Officer of the AJC thanked President Iohannis for all that our country did under the Strategic Partnership with the USA, proving that it is a strong and committed partner, on which the USA can rely. In this respect, David Harris mentioned including the visit that President Klaus Iohannis paid to Washington in June 2017, by voicing his special appreciation for the results of the latter’s meeting with President Donald Trump.

“The AJC official stressed how important is for the American Jewish Committee such a strong voice that Romania has at European and regional level, as well as in what concerns the Transatlantic relation and other topical issues, while also underscoring his appreciation for the constant support that Romania granted to the strengthening of the relation between EU and Israel,” specified the Presidential Administration.

During the meeting, they also exchanged opinions related to the developments in the Eastern Vicinity, including in the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the relations with Russia, the developments in the Peace Process in the Middle East, the situation in Iran, the preparations for the Summit of “The Three Seas Initiative” to take place in Bucharest this year, the risks of extremist trends in Romania growing and modalities to fight them.

The AJC Executive Committee thanked the head of the state for Romania’s balanced standpoint in relation to the Peace Process in the Middle East and for Romania’s “abstention” vote on the occasion of the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution of December regarding the status of Jerusalem. In this context, President Klaus Iohannis reiterated the already known, consistent position of Romania in relation to this issue and showed that he is watching very carefully developments in the area, regarding which he believes there is need of renewed international to rebuild the level of trust between the parties and relaunch direct dialogue.

Discussions also focused aspects of interest for the Jewish community in Romania, such as restitution of properties and the project of the National Museum of Jewish and Holocaust History in Romania.

Participating in the meeting was also Aurel Vainer, who is the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER).

Funded in 1906, AJC is one of the oldest Jewish organizations in the United States of America, militating for combating antisemitism at global level, promoting human rights, religious pluralism and consolidation of Jewish communities in the United States and everywhere.


Interim PM Fifor meets AJC delegation


Interim Prime Minister Mihai Fifor met on Friday at the Victoria Palace with a delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), led by Chief Executive Officer David Harris. During talks the two officials tackled Romania’s relationship with the US, including the cooperation inside NATO, the relation with the State of Israel and the AJC’s role in supporting Romania’s dialogue with the two countries on a political level.

According to a release of the Government, the Interim PM underscored Romania’s strategic role in the Black Sea region, our country’s firm commitment towards the transatlantic relationship as members of the North-Atlantic Alliance, bringing to mind also the very good relation between Romania and the State of Israel.

“Romania has been and will remain a trustworthy strategic partner of the US and a solid ally inside NATO and we want the strengthening of relations with Israel,” Mihai Fifor stated, as quoted in the release.

Furthermore, the Interim PM reviewed the concrete elements of Romania’s participation in NATO actions and our country’s economic potential, taking into account that Romania recorder, over the past two years, the biggest economic growth of the EU states.

“The Romanian delegation members talked with AJC representatives about Romania’s candidacy for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), bringing to mind the major interest of US investors for Romania, showed in the context of the Trade Winds Forum, which took place in October 2017, in Bucharest,” the release informs.

The cited source points out that other topics evoked during the meeting were the project of inaugurating a National Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust in Bucharest, as well as reference to Romania’s exerting the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first semester of 2019.

The Romanian Governmental delegation present in the talks included Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, Government Secretary General Andreea Lambru, Secretary of State Ramona Lohan and President of the National Authority for Property Restitution George Baesu.

President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania Aurel Vainer also participated in the meeting.

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