Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

IN PICTURES: Israelis around country gather to watch airshows on 70th birthday

Government decision to move the Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has led to tensions with Romania's president who said it would gravely complicate Romanian foreign policy.

But President Iohannis spoke out against the plan Friday, saying he had not been informed nor consulted.

On Thursday evening the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, told the Antena 3 TV channel: "The decision has been taken. procedures [for the move] have started".

Iohannis said the decision was "not based on firm, wide-ranging evaluations".

President Donald Trump sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a celebratory message on Twitter, and in Houston, Gov. Greg Abbott is celebrating at the Israeli Consulate.

"I am pleased to say that there are at least half a dozen countries that are now talking seriously to us about moving their embassies to Jerusalem", Netanyahu said. He said Romania's move has great value in the eyes of the USA administration.

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The Foreign Ministry emphasized Romania's "balanced position" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the fact that Romania recognized Palestine as a state.

Haaretz said the proposal to relocate the embassy was made following a visit to Bucharest by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who is a member of the centre-right ruling Likud party, where she met Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.

Romania will become the fourth country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, following the United States, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Romania has chose to move its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem thus recognizing the ancient city as the country's capital.

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