Romanian President Speaks Out Against Government's Proposal to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

President says prime minister did not consult him before submitting draft proposal to cabinet and that move could only occur after peace process completed

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 2, 2017.
Marc Israel Sellem

Romania's president expressed opposition Friday to a draft resolution submitted to the cabinet by the prime minister that would move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said the country's prime minister, Viorica Dncil, had not consulted him before submitting the draft resolution, and that such a move could only occur once a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is completed. 

Dncil submitted the draft resolution on Thursday, and it now depends on the approval of ministers.

The proposal to relocate the embassy was made following a visit to Bucharest by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) last week, where she met with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. Hotovely told him that "there will be a historic window of opportunity following the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem." The Romanian foreign minister replied that he would examine the matter.

Hotovely is slated to visit the Czech Republic soon, which is expected to be the next state to declare a similar intention. Romania and the Czech Republic belong to the European Union, whose official policy opposes unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and supports the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of two states, Israel and Palestine, along the 1967 borders.

Also on Thursday, which marked Israel's 70th Independence Day, Netanyahu said at a reception for foreign diplomats to celebrate the holiday that Israel would help the first 10 countries to transfer their embassies to the city: "There are two things you can to help Israel celebrate this wonderful Independence Day. The first thing is to speak out against Iran... the second thing you can do to promote peace is to move your embassy here."