Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu told DC News on Wednesday that he intends to carry out consultations with US partners regarding the proposal to move Romania’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the goal being that of making “an informed” decision.
He stated that, with respect to the issue of moving the diplomatic mission, “there are some matters regarding the functionality, a better functioning of embassies that are in Tel Aviv and are commuting daily.”
Furthermore, the head of the Romanian diplomacy talked about the context in which the alternative to move the embassy is taken into account. At the end of 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the US acknowledges Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the US diplomatic mission in Israel will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The UN General Assembly passed on 21 December 2017 a resolution requesting the US to withdraw their decision acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, international news agencies informed.
“Romania observes the General Assembly resolutions, observes the Security Council resolutions and our point of view is that a very quick relaunch of the direct negotiations dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians is needed, and it is also necessary that [negotiations] start from the foundations designed and approved at the UN level, namely the idea of the existence of two states,” Melescanu said on this issue.
He stated that, in order to make “an informed” decision, Romania should have “all the data.” “We will have to carry out some consultations on this matter with our US partners (…) It is one of the projects that I’m pursuing,” he pointed out.
Melescanu also spoke about the pragmatic aspects of this relocation. “From a practical stand, there are many advantages in relocating a diplomatic office in a country whom we have very tight relations with, such as Israel,” the Minister stressed.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy also talked about Romania’s decision to abstain from voting in the session of the UN General Assembly on the statutes of Jerusalem.
“The decision to express a vote through abstention, to abstain from voting, was exclusively determined by the fact we want Romania to play a role as a mediator. We did not wish to officially take one party’s side against the other, on the contrary, to present ourselves as a country that has a great desire and openness to contribute to finding a solution to this conflict,” Teodor Melescanu stated.
No agreement signed with Hungarian counterpart Szijjarto
Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu told DCNews on Wednesday that in the meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, he did not sign any agreement with the latter and that he agreed with the Hungarian official that the Romania-Hungary talks “must focus mainly on what is a solid base, that is economic relations and the development of these relations.”
Melescanu had on Monday a meeting with Hungary’s Foreign Minister and Foreign Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto. The head of the Romanian diplomacy explained that he had with his counterpart talks on “the idea of opening two new border points in relation to Hungary” and on issues related to energy interconnection.
In the context, he spoke about the EU project, partly funded by the European Union, the Bulgaria – Romania – Hungary – Austria – BRUA pipeline, “a project that is practically finalized to a large extent, with some technical issues left.”
“In the case of the explorations made by Exxon in the Black Sea, depending on the resources exploited there, it is one of the points of natural gas supply in our area,” Melescanu pointed out.
Regarding the relations with the neighboring country, the Romanian minister said that the events related to the Centenary of the Great Union will not have negative themes.
“Nothing of what will happen under the sign of Centenary will have anti-something connotations,” Melescanu underscored.
At the same time, he also referred to the fact that this year elections will be held in Hungary.
“We agreed that during this electoral campaign period, the dialogue between us and the cooperation should focus on what is a solid base – on the economic relations and the development of these relations,” he pointed out, referring to the dialogue with Szijjarto.
The minister was also asked about Romania’s coming closer to the Visegrad group. The head of the Romanian diplomacy nuanced that this closeness is related to the interests of the countries in the region. “I think it is a very good thing that the Visegrad group is doing. When discussing the Eastern Partnership (…) it is good to be invited to participate and contribute (…). When discussing interconnection programs on energy, gas, Romania is obviously interested,” Melescanu said.
He described the group as one “trying to promote also other ideas”.
“I do not see where the idea that Romania is a country that wants to integrate into Visegrad group comes from. The Visegrad group is a structure of mainly the Central European countries, trying to promote also other ideas and I do not see why we could not participate,” he pointed out.
In this context, Melescanu referred to “rumors” regarding the signing of some agreements.
“I have also seen this: I have signed agreements with Szijjarto. No agreement has been signed, we cannot sign. The agreements must be approved at government level,” the Romanian foreign minister said.