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Romania Announces Plan to Move Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem—And Then Recants

March 24, 2019 News

Jerusalem is the historical and current capital of Israel. Illustrative. Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By Joshua Spurlock

Another nation on Sunday announced plans to move their embassy to Israel to the capital of Jerusalem—Romania—and then backed off that promise on the same day in high profile government disagreement. The eastern European nation currently holds the Presidency in the Council of the European Union, and on Sunday, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă told the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in the United States they were making the embassy change.

“I am pleased to announce today to the AIPAC audience that after the conclusion of the analysis by all the constitutional actors involved in the decision-making process in my country and, in full consensus, I as the Prime Minister of Romania and the Government that I lead move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” Dăncilă announced, according to a transcript of her comments posted to the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office website and translated by Google Translate.

But just hours after Dăncilă made her statement, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis flatly rejected that any such decision had been made and noted that he has the authority on any final decision on embassy moves, according to a report by Zaire.com and translated by Google Translate. President Iohannis went so far as to call Prime Minister Dăncilă of having “total ignorance in the field of foreign policy” while noting that the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is still under government review.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Israel on Sunday.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to express his appreciation to Honduras for their decision to take a step towards having an embassy in Jerusalem.

“I thank my friend, the President of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, for his announcement regarding the immediate opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that will deal with trade, as a first step towards transferring the embassy of Honduras to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu tweeted.

 

The topic of Honduras moving its embassy to Jerusalem was previously discussed between Netanyahu and Hernandez during their mutual visit to Brazil in January. Honduras joins multiple other Latin American countries to make the move.

Last year, the US formally moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and since their announcement the international dominoes have fallen despite opposition at the United Nations. In addition to those countries who have already moved their embassy, others such as the Czech Republic, Brazil and Australia have either started in that direction, discussed moving their embassies, or are opening new diplomatic offices in Jerusalem.

Romanian Premier Dăncilă alluded to that impact of the American step in her speech on Sunday. “The move of the US embassy is emblematic and demonstrates the strong link between the American and Israeli people,” said Dăncilă, noting that “this gesture also launched an international reflection process.”

Dăncilă referenced the decision by President Donald Trump to place the US Embassy in Jerusalem last year, calling it an “admirable and courageous step”, according to a translation of her speech by Google Translate. She said the American decision not only “impressed” her, but her government and the people of Romania as well.

Dăncilă’s also said she is “determined to contribute to an ever closer relationship of Israel with the whole of the European Union.”

Said Dăncilă, “I can promise you one thing: Romania will remain the same loyal friend and the most powerful European voice in support of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 24, 2019)

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