The President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas is on an official visit to Romania today, at the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis.
The President of Palestine was welcomed by the Romanian head of state the Cotroceni Presidential Palace with military honours on the ceremonial stage.
The delegation of President Iohannis included, among others, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, and presidential advisers Luminita Odobescu, Daniela Barsan, Delia Dinu, Ion Oprisor.
The two head of states discussed ways to encourage and strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest, particularly political dialogue, home affairs, education, economy and trade. The agenda of talks also included regional developments in the Middle East, the progress and prospects of the Peace Process, the security situation and the consequences of Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, the Romanian Presidency says.
President Iohannis: Achievement of peace in the Middle East remains a priority on Romania’s foreign agenda
The achievement of peace in the Middle East remains a priority on Romania’s foreign agenda, President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday after meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, who is on an official visit to Romania.
“I assured Mr. President that achieving peace in the Middle East remains a priority on our foreign agenda. I conveyed Romania’s full support for the just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, through direct negotiations leading to the implementation of the solution of two states, living side by side in peace and security. This is the only viable option capable to guarantee the fulfillment of the aspirations of both peoples and the observance of international law,” President Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace.
He voiced appreciation for the US involvement for the creation of a favorable framework for the resumption of the peace process.
“I expressed hope that, based on the involvement of the US and a constructive approach to the peace process, with the support of foreign partners, the regional security situation will improve. The security needs of both sides, Palestinians and Israelis, will be answered thus. As a state with traditionally close friendly relations with both states, Romania is in its turn ready to provide the necessary support. The current regional and global security challenges highlight, more than ever, the need for balance, moderation and visionary leadership. I have called for the implementation of constructive actions – an entreaty Romania strongly believes in and which it transmits to all actors in the Middle East on every occasion,” said the head of the state.
The two Presidents also discussed the constant support for Palestine in multilateral fora, including at EU level, with President Iohannis citing Romania’s efforts for the resumption of EU financial aid to Palestine as the latest example.
“Romania will also continue to support the launch of negotiations for an EU-Palestine association agreement,” he added.
The two Presidents also had an in-depth exchange of views on Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, with Klaus Iohannis presenting the support Romania is providing Ukraine on multiple levels – humanitarian, political, economic, sectoral – including the facilitation of grain exports.
Iohannis pointed out that Romania’s supporting Palestine has a long tradition, recalling the academic training in our country of hundreds of experts who have influenced the main areas of Palestinian social and economic life.
“Romania seeks the development and deepening of all areas of cooperation of common interest,” he added.
Talks also focused on education, an occasion on which President Iohannis announced that Romania had decided to increase the number of university scholarships offered to Palestinian citizens.
Romania increases university scholarships for Palestinian citizens
“Education remains a priority for both Romania and Palestine. We share the vision of the value of investing in human resources, with a concrete, long-term impact. In this regard, Romania has decided to increase the number of scholarships awarded to Palestinian citizens. We hope, Mr President, that the young Palestinians put the knowledge they have gained in Romania to the benefit of your country’s progress,” said Iohannis, according to Agerpres.
He added that a new bilateral educational programme will be signed at the Romanian Government House.
An intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in preventing and combatting organised crime, terrorism and other crimes is also slated to be signed.
President Abbas speaks about the need for Israel to cease unilateral actions which undermine the solution of the two states
The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, has spoken in Bucharest on Tuesday about “the need for Israel to cease unilateral actions which undermine the solution of the two states,” adding that “the current situation can no longer continue”.
“We are confirming the need for Israel to cease its unilateral actions that undermine the solution of the two states, as well as the orientation to enforcing the signed agreements in order to transit towards the political vision based on the solution of the two states in the principle of borders of 1967 and in accordance with the international legitimate decisions and towards the cease of the Israeli occupation on the territory of the state of Palestine with the capital in East Jerusalem, so that the states in the area live in security, peace and good neighborly relations. We are also confirming that the current situation can no longer carry on. That is why we are continuing to initiate contacts in order to gather international support to create initiatives that can prevent the aggravation of the situation, before it is too late, because the crash of the two states’ solution, which relies on international legitimations, will put us in front of difficult and complicated decisions. Despite all this, we are ready to be involved in any sort of peace efforts and initiatives, which are based on international legitimation, aspect which will lead to the rooting of the peace, stability and security in the area, to ceasing Israeli occupation and to forming the state of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem”, said Mahmoud Abbas, at Cotroceni Palace, after meeting with president Klaus Iohannis.
He thanked Romania for supporting peace in the Middle East.
“I would like to thank Romania for its political and economic support and for helping our national institutions, which makes Romania, who has a distinguished status in the European Union, to be capable of playing a political role in animating the Peace Process, without which we will never reach peace and security in the Middle East”, the Palestinian President said.
Palestinian President, conferred the Star of Romania National Order
President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree decorating the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, the Presidential Administration reported on Tuesday.
According to the source, the Romanian president awarded to the Palestinian counterpart “The Star of Romania” National Order in the rank of Collar as a sign of “high appreciation for the exceptional contribution made to the promotion of dialogue and regional development, in order to support the relations of friendship and cooperation between our country and Palestine”.
PM Ciuca: Romania is ready to continue its efforts to facilitate the relaunch of the direct Israeli-Palestinian dialogue
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Victoria Palace of Government on Tuesday, context in which he stressed that Romania is ready to continue its efforts to facilitate the relaunch of the direct Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, by supporting any action that could lead to the comprehensive and lasting settlement of the conflict between the two parties, in accordance with the solution of the two states and in compliance with the international legislation, informs a Government press release.
According to the cited source, the prime minister assured that Romania will continue to be a partner and close friend of Palestine, in line with its balanced traditional stance and credibility it holds in relation to both sides.
“President Mahmoud Abbas evoked the good traditional relations between the two states and the fact that he has full confidence in the Romanian side’s capacity for any kind of mediation in advancing the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian leader brought to mind the traditional relations and his multiple visits in the region, as president or accompanying former leader Yasser Arafat,” shows the release.
At the same time, President Abbas welcomed the good relations of trust that exist between Romania and Israel, which create the premises for good offices and advantageous mediation for a correct and sustainable solution for peace in the Middle East.
Cooperation program between Romania and Palestine in higher education, academic research, signed at Gov’t venue
At the end of the meeting the two leaders participated in the signing of two bilateral agreements, the Education Implementation Program between the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and the Romanian Ministry of National Education and the Agreement between the Romanian Government and the Government of Palestine on combating organized crime, terrorism and other crimes
The cooperation program in the field of higher education and academic research between the Ministry of Education in Romania and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Palestine for the period of 2022 – 2025 was signed by Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates from Palestine, Riad Malki, at Victoria Palace, on Tuesday.
Minister Cimpeanu specified on Facebook that the program ensures a legal framework for continuing and consolidating bilateral collaboration between Romania and Palestine in the field of higher education and academic research.
“In this sense, there is an emphasis on developing direct cooperation between Romanian and Palestinian universities, but at the same time we encourage academic research, promoting exchange students, including through granting scholarships, capitalizing on collaboration opportunities offered through the Erasmus+ Program, as well as other actions and events for promoting cooperation,” Cimpeanu explained.
According to the Minister, the Romanian state will offer the Palestinian side 14 scholarships per year, for bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD and residency for accredited studies, in Romanian, within Romanian state universities. Palestinian scholarship students will also benefit from financing for learning Romanian during a university year. The program also states to acknowledge the periods of studies made in partner educational institutions.
Furthermore, the Palestinian side will offer scholarships for studying Arabic in Palestinian universities.
“Promoting language and culture between the two states is an important aspect of the bilateral cooperation, reflected in the signed document. Thus, it is especially stated that the parties will encourage and support language and literature studies of the other state in higher education, with the possibility of establishing lectureships and an exchange of lecturers for this purpose. Other areas of collaboration covered through this program include cooperation in the field of Quality Assurance (QA) in higher education at the level of departments and responsible agencies,” Sorin Cimpeanu mentioned.
Compiled from Agerpres