Romanian President: Israel Must Be Recognized As A Jewish State

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Traian_Basescu_CotroceniEchoing a now accepted demand by Canada and the U.S. administration, Romanian President Traian Basescu said Monday he supports in principle Israel’s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state.

“If they [the Palestinians] want peace, they must follow the request of the Israeli people,” Mr. Basescu told JTA at his presidential palace last week before he embarked on a visit to Israel, that started Sunday.

But Mr. Basescu urged compromise as the process unfolds. When asked whether Israel should condition progress in peace talks on Palestinian compliance, he said, “Well, all of us must be wise. Of course, compromises are needed because otherwise we won’t find the solution and here maybe [late Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon is an example.”

Basescu compared the situation to Romania’s recognition of the Republic of Moldova as the homeland of the Moldavian people, despite the presence of a large contingent of Moldovans who consider themselves Romanians.

“Even in Europe, we fully support the idea that each person must assume his national belonging,” he told JTA. “For example, in order to be more clear, we have the Republic of Moldova, which was part of Romania before World War II. But in Moldova, there are people who [consider] themselves as being Romanians as well as people who [consider] themselves as being Moldavian. We recognize the right of both to be what they want to be.”

“The same situation [applies to] our relations with Israel and we’ll always support the idea that if the Israelis want to be declared as a Jewish state, they must be recognized [as such].”

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Romania is the only former Soviet country to have maintained diplomatic relations with Israel after 1967. Romania also recognized the 1988 first unilateral declaration of independence by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Photo/Wikipedia

(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)