Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has reiterated her commitment to relocate the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a call with Israel’s Ambassador to Bucharest David Saranga, after she accused the Palestinian envoy of deceit.
“My word is my word. I stand behind what I said in the past. There is no change in policy,” Dancila said.
The Palestinian envoy to Romania, Fuad Kokaly, earlier implied that the government in Bucharest had reneged on its plans to relocate the embassy.
Kokaly told a group of reporters following a meeting with the president of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, that the senior Romanian official had pledged not to change the current location of Romania’s embassy in Israel.
However, Prime Minister Dancila dismissed Kokaly’s remarks as “fake news” and denied that Romania had made any official commitments to the Palestinian leadership not to move its embassy to the capital of the Jewish State.
The Palestinian official’s remarks, the prime minister stressed, “do not in any way reflect what was said in the meeting. I asked the envoy to take back [his remarks] because they are not connected to reality.”
In a message to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, her advisers clarified that Kokaly “severely deceived us. We have learned a life lesson.” They also said Dancila was “shocked by the Palestinian envoy’s announcement.”
Dancila had told a cheering crowd at the AIPAC Policy Conference in March that, “I, as prime minister of Romania, and the government that I run, will move our embassy to Jerusalem,” breaking ranks with the country’s president, Klaus Iohannis, and the official position of the European Union.
The prime minister promised that Romania would “remain the same loyal friend and the strongest European voice in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
Her stance would align Romania with the United States, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and later moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.
[Photo: Spokesperson unit of the President of Israel / Wikimedia Commons]