Telephone conversation of President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, with Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu

05 January 2018

President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on Friday, 5 January, had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, on the latter’s initiative.

During the conversation, the two high officials mentioned about the stage and the perspectives of developing the relations between Romania and Israel, and about the evolutions in adopting the resolution on the status of Jerusalem, by the UN General Assembly, on 21 December 2017; in this context, the matter of Jerusalem’s status was touched upon.  

The two high officials also shared opinions on Iran’s current situation.  

Prime Minister Netanyahu highly appreciated the close friendship between the two states and peoples, based on mutual interests. The Israeli Prime Minister further thanked for Romania’s abstention to vote on the occasion of adopting the UN General Assembly Resolution regarding the status of Jerusalem, in December.   

In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis highlighted the symbolism of this year’s celebrating seven decades of unceasing diplomatic relations between the two states, coincident with the 70th anniversary since the Israeli State was established and with the celebration of Modern Romania’s Centenary. The President of Romania assured that our country continues to support the development, consolidation and diversification of the relations, having  a strategic character, with the State of Israel.  

With regard to the recent evolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem, President Klaus Iohannis reiterated the main elements of Romania’s position on the UN General Assembly Resolution on 21 December 2017, that had been expressed at voting time and at „explanation of vote” session following it. One of the recommendations of the Resolution for the member states is to abstain from setting up diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and to increase the international efforts for an enduring, comprehensive and fair peace in the Middle East.           

In accordance with this position, which had been approved by the President of Romania prior to voting, and which had been based on the well-founded proposal, in writing, of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem represents a central topic within the peace negotiations and its status should be decided only after an agreement between the two parts is signed. During the explanation for its vote, Romania emphasized the necessity of a just and enduring resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by implementing „the solution of the two states”. Israel and Palestine, which should coexist in peace and security, as a unique feasible alternative able to guarantee meeting the aspirations of both sides. Additionally, on that occasion it was revealed that our country’s positioning related to the status of Jerusalem continues to be concordant with the one decided through the resolutions of the UN Security Council and of the UN General Assembly regarding it. Concurrently, while expressing its position on the occasion of the explanation of vote, Romania called for calmness, encouraged the two parts to restart the direct dialogue in order to unblock the peace process and stated that, at present, it is necessary to renew the international efforts to relaunch it. This was the context in which the moment of advancing the resolution that was adopted on the 21 December 2017 was regarded restrainedly by Romania, and the reason for Romania’s decision to abstain from voting.    

Accordingly, a hypothetical decision to move the Embassy of Romania from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem can be made only based on the above-mentioned parameters and taking into account the eventual evolutions regarding the Peace Process in the Middle East and, enclosed within it, the matter of the status of Jerusalem.  

The two high officials also discussed about the current situation in Iran. President Klaus Iohannis revealed his regret about the loss of human lives registered ensuing the recent protests and his hope that the violence will cease and the freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly will be respected.