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Romania Approves New Ambassador To Moldova

CHISINAU -- The Romanian parliament today approved a new ambassador to Moldova amid signs of renewed friendship between the two countries, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Marius Lazurca, 38, is a historian who previously served as ambassador to the Vatican. He has a doctorate from Paris's Sorbonne University.

Lazurca would replace Filip Teodorescu, who was expelled by the Communist government in Chisinau almost one year ago on charges of interfering in Moldova's internal affairs.

Moldova's pro-Western government, which came to power after elections in July, has been keen to mend ties with EU-member Romania and secure its support for Moldova's European aspirations.

Romanian President Traian Basescu went to Chisinau last month on his first official visit abroad since being reelected in December.

He promised Moldovans easier access to Romanian citizenship, increased economic cooperation, and 100 million euros ($138 million) in financial aid over the next four years.

Romanians and Moldovans share a common language and history. Most of present-day Moldova was part of Romania until after World War II, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union.