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Thousands Rally In Moldova For Unification With Romania

Rally organizers claimed that 25,000 people took part in the demonstration on May 16, but this figure was disputed by the police.

Thousands of people have marched in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, in support of that country's unification with Romania.

The Action 2012 group, which organized the rally, says 25,000 people took part in the demonstration on May 16. Police put the number at 5,000.

The protesters say unification with EU-member Romania is the only chance for the country to solve its social problems.

Organizers timed the event to commemorate 203 years since Bessarabia was occupied by Imperial Russia.

The demonstration followed the controversial expulsion for five years on May 14 of Action 2012 leader George Simion on grounds that his activities could endanger national security.

Simion, a Romanian citizen, had come to Moldova to help organize and take part in the march.

Moldova and Romania generally enjoy close relations.

Polls show 10 to 20 percent of Moldovans support unification.

With reporting by AP