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Romanian President calls for PM's resignation over embassy move

April 30, 2018 2:24 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2018 2:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Romania’s President has called for the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister after not being consulted on ‘secret’ plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. 

President Klaus Iohannis demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, adding that she “is not up for the job of Romanian prime minister”, just three-months into her term as Romania’s first female premier. 

“As a result, the government is becoming a liability for Romania. That is why I am publicly calling for Dancila’s resignation.”

Dancila is yet to comment on the president’s call. 

Iohannis aired his opposition to the “secret memorandum” that was submitted to the cabinet- without his consultation- last week to move the Romanian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

"A secret document, a secret foreign policy memorandum, was discussed last week in the government. That was a big mistake," Iohannis said. "Because in foreign policy matters, the president should have been consulted, which did not happen."

“The Constitution reads that all decisions, for Romania’s interest, should have an institutional consultation between the Premier and the President.” Iohannis said. 

Last week, the president summoned prime minister Dancila to a meeting at the presidential Controceni Palace. In a rare move, Dancila refused to meet the president, upon her return from a trip to Israel with speaker of the chamber of deputies, Liviu Dragnea. Their visit was, according to the Romanian President “secretly prepared”, who added that they had no mandate for the visit.

“The visit that the premier is paying to Israel, and apparently the Chamber of Deputies speaker as well, is quite strange. They have never come for talks, Mrs. Prime Minister left with no mandate out there, so she has just spoken on behalf and for the Government, not for Romania,” Iohannis said, voicing his concerns of the secrecy of the ministers’ visit. 

According to the Romanian foreign ministry, Romania’s stance toward the relocation of embassies “has traditionally been a balanced one, including bilaterally recognizing the Palestinian state.” 

Last week Iohannis’ office released a statement consolidating the president’s stance as “in line with the one established by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.”

“Therefore, at this stage, relocating the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem would represent a violation of the relevant international law.”

Speaker of the chamber of deputies Liviu Dragnea has denied reports that a decision has been made on the relocation of the embassy but added that if Romania does make the move -the first EU member to do so- “it will count enormously and it will never be forgotten.”

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