President Rivlin arrives in Romania
President Rivlin arrives in RomaniaMarK Neyman/GPO

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin began his state visit to Romania today. The president was received by an honor guard in an official welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Bucharest. Following the ceremony, the president held a working meeting with President Klaus Iohannis, after which the two presidents gave joint statements to the press.

“Israel and Romania are strategic partners, allies and friends. Our deep ties are based both on our shared past and on our shared future. The Jewish community of Romania made great contributions to Jewish culture, to the development of the Romanian economy, and to the foundation and growth of the State of Israel. The fact that Romania was the only country in the Communist block never to cut ties with Israel reflects the strong links between our countries,” said the president, adding that we do not forget the history of anti-Semitic violence and murder, especially during the Holocaust and noting the importance of Romania’s commitment to the fight against antisemitism. “We greatly appreciate all the steps that Romania has taken to turn the promise of ‘never again’ into a reality, including your decision to build a Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust, your key role as President of IHRA in adopting the definition of antisemitism, and your participation last year in Jerusalem in our summit to mark seventy-five years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.”

“As you know, Israel faces constant threats from Iran, its proxies, and collaborators in Gaza and Lebanon. Israel has not only the right, but the duty, to protect its citizens from these terrorist organizations and regimes which overtly call for our extinction,” he said, noting the strong and close relations between the countries on a wide range of issues, including military cooperation. “As we work together to preserve the lessons of the past, we are also working together to build a bright, prosperous and secure future. I deeply believe that Israel-Romania cooperation has tremendous potential for our countries, our peoples and our region.”

“Our military cooperation is growing as well. You opened your skies to our air force, and the hearts of the brave men and women of our militaries opened to each other. We will always remember the lives and the sacrifice, of those who died in the 2010 helicopter crash, including Captain Stephen Claudius Darganah. We will forever honor their legacies and embrace their families,” he added. The president also expressed his thanks for Romania’s support for Israel in the European Union and the many joint projects that take place within EU frameworks, including continued support for Israel’s full participation in EU programs such as Horizon Europe.

President Klaus Iohannis: “It is a great pleasure for me to welcome the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and the 73 years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations which we will celebrate on 11 June. These are special, solid, historic relations. Our countries country continues to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to fight antisemitism and is a model for confronting it. We spoke about how the Romanian government has adopted the first national initiative to prevent and combat antisemitism, hatred and extremism. Today, it is important that every country has the tools to prevent these phenomena which adversely affect our society and which, unfortunately, are on the rise.”

The Romanian president added, “Romania believes that Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace and security, and works with all international partners to advance the two-state solution within the parameters of international law.”