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King cancels scheduled visit to Romania over plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem

By JT - Mar 25,2019 - Last updated at Mar 25,2019

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah has called off a planned trip to Romania following remarks by Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that her country's embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem.

His Majesty decided to cancel his visit to Romania, which had been scheduled to start Monday, in solidarity with Jerusalem.

The King's visit to Romania, which holds the EU's rotating chairmanship, had been planned to include meetings with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and parliament leaders , according to a statement by the Royal Hashemite Court.

His Majesty had also been scheduled to participate in the Aqaba Meetings, which had been planned to be hosted by Romania in partnership with Jordan.

On the sidelines of the visit, the Jordanian and Romanian governments had been due to sign an agreement, two memorandums of understanding, and a cooperation programme, while a Jordanian-Romanian business forum had been planned to be held, with the participation of private sector representatives from the two countries.

The Romanian prime minister promised Sunday in Washington that her country would move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with both the European position and apparently with her own country's president, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila made the announcement before the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential pro-Israel lobby.

Her stance would align Romania with the US position under President Donald Trump, and it came on a day when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was beginning a Washington visit to include an AIPAC appearance and a meeting with Trump.

Nonetheless it marked an awkward break with the position of the European Union at a time when Bucharest holds the EU's rotating chairmanship, the news agency reported.

Adding to the uncertainty, Romania's centrist president Klaus Iohannis has opposed the move as a breach of international law. He has said that in any case, such a shift would require presidential approval, according to AFP.


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