Romania is “a genuine friend of the Jewish people and of Israel in the fight against anti-Semitism,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told a join plenary sitting of the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest on Wednesday.
“Romania is a genuine friend of the Jewish people and of Israel, a Jewish and democratic state, in which all citizens are equal in their rights,” he said, according to the official translation.
He spoke about the democratic values of his country, and also about the security challenges in the Middle East.
“Like any democracy, the state of Israel accepts pointed criticism. We will not be able to accept attempts to undermine and undermine our right to exist through the illicit use of violent means and by exploiting international law, interpreted as if that would allow one to strike Israel,” said Rivlin.
He underscored that “the Jewish people and the people of Israel, with all their branches, are not in any conflict with Islam.”
“We have no war with Islam or the Arab peoples of the Middle East or the world. We are indeed fighting the dark forces, which are trying to impose terror and exterminate anyone who opposes them, and especially the State of Israel. The Iranian terrorist regime and its collaborators in Lebanon and Gaza are striving to undermine our very existence, and Israel has a right and a duty, I would say, to defend its citizens, to protect its citizens from nuclear power, rocket attacks, terror threats,” said Rivlin.
The Israeli president is paying a three day state visit to Romania at the invitation of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. He stressed that this is his first visit to Romania as president, late in his term of office.
“As a representative of the Knesset, I have been here before, in many places in Romania,” Rivlin told the solemn sitting chaired by Senate Chair Anca Dragu and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban.
At the beginning of his speech, Rivlin paid tribute to the Holocaust survivor writer Aharon Appelfeld.
“Aharon Appelfeld is one of many, many Israelis of Romanian descent – 600,000 Romanian citizens of Romanian descent. Among them are poets, writers, rabbis, scientists, thinkers, religious leaders and politicians,” the Israeli president said.
He added that “the Jewish people are a people for whom memory is not something abstract.” “Memory is burned in our flesh. We carry our memory with us wherever we go. Memories weigh on our bodies. We have good memories, we have bad memories,” added Rivlin.
He spoke of President Iohannis’ visit to Israel, along with other European leaders in 2020 marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. “We stood together and heard a clear voice pledging to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and more, the obligation to fight now and in the future, the fight against anti-Semitism and any kind of racism and any kind of xenophobia,” added Rivlin.
He also mentioned the need to build trust between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. “This is the first important step in moving towards peace,” he added.
The meeting began with the singing of the national anthems of Israel and Romania.
Romania’s Prime Minister Florin Cituw as also present at the Parliament meeting, alongside officials of Israeli business operators, as well as guests of the Embassy of Israel in Romania.
After the speech, the Israeli president has scheduled talks with the Dragu and Orban.
Later at the Parliament House, a meeting of the Romania – Israel Economic Forum is scheduled.
Senate Chair Dragu: Israel is Romania’s closest ally and strategic partner in the Middle East
Israel is Romania’s closest ally and strategic partner in the Middle East, and the Romanian-Israeli relationship is based on trust and sustainability, Chair of the Romanian Senate Anca Dragu told a joint sitting of the Romanian Parliament on Wednesday where visiting President of Israel Reuven Rivlin gave a speech.
Dragu said that “the visit to Romania of the highest representative of the State of Israel a few days before the celebration of 73 years of uninterrupted diplomatic ties is an important moment for the bilateral relationship between our countries.”
“We, the elected representatives of the Romanian people, senators and MPs, wanted to mark, honour and greet this important moment by inviting President Rivlin to the joint plenary sitting of Parliament,” said Dragu.
She added that the two countries have common visions on many issues on the international agenda, especially in the fight against terrorism and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Israel is Romania’s closest ally and strategic partner in the Middle East, and the Romanian-Israeli relationship is based on trust and sustainability. We also confidently look to the future of our relationship, based on the fact that we share common values, especially in terms of democracy. Our countries have common visions on many issues on the international agenda, especially in the fight against terrorism, and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Israel has managed to carry out an impressive vaccination process, worldwide admired and recognised,” added Dragu.
According to her, the relationship between Romania and Israel will continue to develop both politically and economically, in areas such as science, technology, health, agriculture, defence and security.
“I would like to assure you, dear President Rivlin, of all the support of the Romanian Parliament for all those legislative projects and initiatives that will contribute positively to our bilateral relationship. Welcome to the Romanian Parliament!” added the chairperson of the Romanian Senate.
Speaker Orban: Cooperation between Romania and the Israeli State is built on solid grounds
Cooperation between Romania and the State of Israel is built on a “solid” foundation of mutual respect and “deep” friendship, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Ludovic Orban, stated on Wednesday, at the joint plenary sitting of Parliament which convened on Wednesday for a speech by the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, currently on a state visit to Romania.
“Mr. President, fate made us see each other in a very short space of time twice and the memory of the beautiful meeting I had in a Jerusalem (…) I am very glad that you are here today and we look forward to the message you are sending. Cooperation between our two countries is built on a solid foundation of mutual respect and deep friendship, as you underscored yesterday in Bucharest. We thank you for these warm words and we assure you that the relationship between our states has a special significance for us, and that we want to continue in the same excellent way,” said Orban.
He added that the potential for deepening bilateral co-operation is “enormous” and that the State of Israel has outstanding expertise in areas particularly relevant to the future.
“I welcome the initiative to boost dialogue and cooperation between Romanian and Israeli companies for the benefit of both parties. I assure you that, at parliamentary level, we will support both the strengthening of relations between our countries and all proposals that lead to a better life for our citizens,” Ludovic Orban said.
Compiled from Agerpres
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