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Romania Says It Will Move Its Embassy To Jerusalem


Prime Minister Viorica Dancila (file photo)

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has announced that Bucharest will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Dancila made the announcement in Washington on March 24 at the annual policy conference of the main pro-Israel lobby group in the United States -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

"I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government that I run, will move our embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel," Dancila said.

"I can promise you this: Romania will remain the same loyal friend and the strongest European voice in support of the Jewish people and the state of Israel," she said.

Saeb Erekat, a senior official in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), criticized Romania over Dancila's announcement, calling the move a "blatant violation of Palestinian rights, international law, and UN resolutions."

Erekat said such moves contribute to "eliminating the two-state solution, the only way towards peace and stability in the whole region."

The "two-state solution" refers to a United Nations' plan of 1974 to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a future independent Palestinian state that exists alongside Israel "side by side within secure and recognized borders" based on pre-1967 borders.

However, the formal boundary line is still subject to dispute and negotiation -- with both Israel and the Palestinians claiming Jerusalem as their capital.

The United States became the first country to move its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, a decision made by President Donald Trump in late 2017 that reversed nearly seven decades of U.S. foreign policy on the issue.

The move was followed by Guatemala and Paraguay, although Paraguay has since moved its embassy back to Tel Aviv.

No European country has yet moved its embassy to Jerusalem -- although several have opened diplomatic presences there, including the Czech Republic, which has announced that it intends to relocate its embassy in the future.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez also told the AIPAC conference in Washington on March 24 that his country plans to "immediately open our official diplomatic mission" and "extend" the work of the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem.

With reporting by AP and dpa
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