On the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, we have the pleasure to convey to the Israeli people the most sincere congratulations along with the best wishes for peace and prosperity.
Romania and the State of Israel share a relationship of natural partnership and uninterrupted diplomatic relations, based on a long-standing tradition of common values and aspirations. As it is well known, Romania was one of the first countries that recognized and established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, in 1948. Standing by the side of Israel in tumultuous times during the history of our relations is a proof of our commitment to further developing them. We overcame the barrier of different governance regimes, as well as the complications caused by the international crises of the various periods.
Our excellent relations, both at the bilateral and multilateral level, have developed steadily in the recent years and are based inter alia on the convergence of views on a wide range of international issues. The great number of high-level visits and other official contacts at all levels, including two sessions of intergovernmental consultations, added substantial value to these special Romanian-Israeli ties. The opportunities we have in front of us are excellent and both parties are committed to the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation.
Regarding the economic relations, there is a functional complementarity between the Romanian and Israeli economies, which lays the ground for achieving further progress in fields of mutual interest, such as emergency management, education and culture, energy, research and development, etc. We hope that we will soon be able to launch a new format of cooperation through the Partnership in the field of new technologies, initiated by Romania, which would allow us to develop common projects in its main areas (energy, critical infrastructure security, water management and sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurial innovation for high-tech areas).
Besides the political, economic and cultural bonds, we particularly value and appreciate the sound contribution of the Israelis originating from Romania to bringing our countries closer together. They continue to be attached to the Romanian cultural values and serve as a human bridge between our countries, in a commendable effort to get young Israeli generations closer to the Romanian heritage. Writers like Isaac Peltz and Elie Wiesel, playwright Eugene Ionesco, actors Edward Robinson, John Houseman and Molly Picon, conductor Sergiu Comissiona, pianists Clara Haskil and Theodor Fuchs, to name just a few, bring honor to their roots and are a reason of pride for Romania. Preserving Jewish cultural and religious identity has been a constant priority for Romania. The Romanian authorities are constantly supporting the organization of various cultural activities and Holocaust commemoration events, the restoration works of synagogues, as well as the demarches directed at Jewish property restitution.
As it is well known, Romania is firmly committed to combatting Antisemitism and all forms of intolerance, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, as fundamental principles of a democratic society, based on the respect and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms. Chairing between March 2016 and March 2017 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and adopting the working definition of Antisemitism became an important benchmark in our relationship. The Romanian authorities are strongly committed to sanctioning all forms of Antisemitism and Holocaust denial being supported, in this respect, by a comprehensive legal framework.
The Romanian EU Council Presidency has set the subject of combatting Antisemitism as one of its most important priorities on the agenda. Since we took over the Presidency, we have organized two events dedicated to the combatting of this phenomenon.
The first event, entitled “Fighting Anti-Semitism: a common approach for better protection of Jewish Communities in Europe – from policies to action” took place in Brussels on February 7, 2019 and aimed at promoting a consistent debate between the representatives of Jewish communities of Europe and those of European organizations and institutions, as well as national representatives.
The second event, entitled “The Future of Memory: The National Museum of History of the Jews and the Holocaust in Romania”, took place in Bucharest, on March 13 and focused on promoting one of the most important projects under consideration, the opening of the National History Museum of the Jews and the Holocaust in Romania.
Within the volatile security situation in the Middle East, Israel continues to be a pole of stability and democracy. We are facing now huge challenges that call for creative ideas, legitimate hopes, and bold visions for the future, post-conflict agendas, and the so much needed peace.
Based on the friendship and solidarity established between Romania and Israel, we are confident that our bilateral relations will continue to flourish in the coming years.
On this occasion of celebration and joy, we wish all our Israeli friends Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach!