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Romania set to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem, says Prime Minister

Romania set to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem, says Prime Minister
Copyright REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Copyright REUTERS/Ammar Awad
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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Romanian Prime Minister announced a plan to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem at a meeting with a pro-Israel lobby in Washington DC.


Following on Donald Trump's steps, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă announced on Sunday that her country's embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem, a decision that will not sit well with Brussels.

Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington DC, Dăncilă called Trump's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem " admirable and courageous," adding that it made Romania's government think about doing the same.

"That is why 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, to move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," she announced to the pro-Israel lobby group.

The decision comes at a time when Romania is at odds with the European Union over the rule of law. The EU accused Romania, which currently holds the EU presidency, of backtracking on key reforms against corruption.

Earlier this year, Liviu Dragnea — the leader of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) — filed a lawsuit against Brussels after claims involving EU funds.

The idea of moving Romania's Israel embassy to Jerusalem was first suggested by Dragnea in 2017 after Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and promised to move the US embassy there.

In 2018, Dragnea said the Romanian government had approved a resolution to start the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

However, the country's president, Klaus Iohannis, said that relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would be in breach of international law.

Iohannis also warned that the move would contradict the EU's position on the matter after the bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that Trump's decision could have "worrying potential impact". He added that ultimately, "the decision [belongs], constitutionally, to the Romanian president.”

Neither Iohannis nor Mogherini has yet commented on Dăncilă's statement. 

The prime minister also promised to grant Romanian citizenship to Romanian Jews who were forced to give it up when they left the country under the communist regime and grant compensation to Holocaust survivors in Romania.

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