Romania President Slates Plan to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the official ceremony for Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers at the National Memorial Hall for Israel's Fallen in Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery Jerusalem Wednesday

The final decision is now up to President Klaus Iohannis.

Liviu Dragnea, the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), told a local television channel on April 19 that "the decision has been made" and that "procedures [for the move] have started".

In a statement, Iohannis urged the government to show "responsibility and discernment on major foreign policy decisions that have strategic effects including on national security".

He added that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would bring benefits to Romania and that this is a huge opportunity that the country must take.

Romania's decision comes just a week after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely flew to Bucharest to meet with Romanian government officials, one of many foreign trips planned as part of a campaign to persuade countries to make Jerusalem their centre of operations, thereby offering a de-facto recognition of the city as the Israeli capital.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has not officially confirmed the news.

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However, cabinet spokesperson Nelu Barbu told journalists on Wednesday that he hadn't seen any such document. Last week, Dancila named Netanyahu's personal physician Herman Berkovitz as her honorary advisor.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "at least half a dozen" countries were considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

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

President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala announced last month that his nation will also relocate its embassy to Jerusalem two days after the move by the United States, on May 16.

Earlier, on December 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking it an official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city.

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