The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, said on Thursday President Klaus Iohannis’ statements on his visit to Israel have “a certain dose of anti-Semitism.”
“I would like to have one or two comments in connection with the statements made by President Iohannis. They are considered, and not only by me, with a certain dose of anti-Semitism. You also cannot offend in such a way. Well, he offended me, he offended Mrs. Prime Minister, but you cannot offend some officials from another country whom you accuse of secret agreements with some Romanian officials. This is unacceptable! There is an unwritten law that has been observed in Romania, and Basescu observed it, and I observe it, and I have often said publicly whenever the President was out of the country even though I was asked, even if I was in a particular conflict, I said: he is out of the country, he discusses for Romania, I hope, and I do not want for him to be asked there and answer some questions generated by me or by another colleague of mine or someone with whom he was in a conflict. He did not even take that into account,” Dragnea told Antena 3.
He added that he does not need the President of Romania’s approval to go on an official visit when he receives an invitation.
“I have the obligation to inform the Parliament and I will do so, the Prime Minister can inform the President without any problem, but I ask a question: I do not know if the President of Romania – with whom I admit I have been too well-meaning in the last months out of the wish not to create conflicts – before going to a European Council or other meetings he has taken a mandate from Parliament. He will say he does not need it. Has he had any discussion with the heads of the two chambers, has he had any discussion with the Prime Minister? Because he goes and makes all sorts of commitments on behalf of Romania, which must be put into practice either by the Parliament or the Government. So far, he has not informed us, but you cannot go out and ask some Romanian officials to ask for your approval to go to some meetings. Moreover, President Iohannis knew that the Prime Minister was going to Israel, he has not heard from the press. He started saying many untruthful things. He knew from the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister told me today that she had informed the President of Romania that she was going to Israel,” Dragnea said.
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday he is worried about the “secrecy” of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s visit to Israel and stressed that the Prime Minister did not speak in this visit for Romania, but for the Government.
He also spoke about the visit of the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, to Israel.
“As far as the visit of the Chamber’s Speaker is concerned, even a bigger secret. We learnt he had gone there only after he had arrived there. I do not know the reasons for this approach, who knows what secret deals Mr. Dragnea is doing there with the Jews,” said the head of state.
“Yes, I admit, I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister of Israel. Is this a crime?”
The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, also said on Thursday that he has a very good relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel, but does not consider this to be a “crime.”
“I have seen that in recent years in Romania we have had the foreign policy to await orders from others. (…) I say that we must have a foreign policy that primarily takes into account the interests of Romania. (…) A joint government meeting will be held in Bucharest, probably in July, at the latest, to sign some very important agreements for the Romanian economy and for the development of Romania. Yes, I admit, I have a very good relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel. Is this a crime, is this a bad thing? If I have a close relationship I do not have it for me, personally, because that Prime Minister Netanyahu does not come to Romania to help me with something but [this relationship] is for Romania,” Dragnea said at private TV broadcaster Antena 3.
He added that he has never said it has been decided that the Embassy of Romania in Israel will move to Jerusalem.
“When two such important states in the world as the United States and Israel are at a time when they might need support in a certain demarche, and if you give them that support at that exact moment, it will count enormously and it will never be forgotten and here we are talking about Romania’s major interests, not about petty interests or small political disputes,” Dragnea specified.
“Thank you for everything you are doing to strengthen our friendship. It is a good friendship. It is getting stronger all the time,” Netanyahu told Liviu Dragnea, according to a release published on the website of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.
“No Ambassador to Israel for one year and a half; bad signal”
He stated that Romania has not had an ambassador to Israel in one year and a half and this is “a very bad signal.”
“The proposal [for an ambassador to Israel, ed.n.] was tabled a long time ago (…). The president did not answer at all and I want to tell you that this inactivity does not do us any good, a year and a half since Romania hasn’t had an ambassador to Israel is a signal being sent to this country. I was listening to him [President Iohannis – ed.n.] earlier how much he fought for good relations with Israel. When you do not deign to send an Ambassador there….” Dragnea told private TV broadcaster Antena 3.
He added that he cannot comprehend why the president has not done anything in this regard.
“To me, it is inexplicable. The moment you have a strategic partner, Israel is not a regional actor, it is a global actor, we all know it, the moment you don’t send an ambassador there for one year and a half, it is a bad signal that you give. This shows, somebody might regard it as lack of respect. This is simply not done. I have another question: what does SIE [the Foreign Intelligence Service – ed.n.] expect to happen? We are talking about Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service, that should be led by a civilian and for over a year it hasn’t had civilian leadership there and nothing has happened. These things are unexplainable. This is how foreign policy is envisaged by the president,” Dragnea affirmed.
Iohannis: Even If PSD doesn’t like it, I am the Republic’s President; I am in charge with foreign affairs
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday specified that he will ask Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, at their meeting on Friday, about her visit to Israel, while pointing out that the one who is the President of the Republic, in charge with the country’s foreign affairs, is him.
“Be sure that I will ask Mrs Dancila about what determined her to pay a bilateral visit to Israel without even saying a word, without calling me out of politeness or paying me a visit, in the context in which, even if the PSD [Social Democratic Party] doesn’t like it, I am the one who is the President of the Republic, which means that I am the one who is in charge with the country’s foreign affairs,” Iohannis stated in Bacau.
PM Dancila, Speaker Dragnea, ForMin Melescanu welcomed by Israel’s President Rivlin. Israeli President welcomes the decision to accelerate domestic consultation in Romania on the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem. President Iohannis: Visit to Israel, full of curious things, without mandate. I’m concerned about the secrecy