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May 8, 2024 UPDATE

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Newsflash
Newsflash

, 08.05.2024, 20:00

VISIT The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, was on an official visit to the US on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday he was received at the White House by his American counterpart Joe Biden. The talks focused on the situation in Ukraine and the Black Sea area, as well as on strengthening security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Klaus Iohannis thanked for the substantial contribution of the United States to ensuring the security of Romania and the entire eastern flank of NATO, as well as for the recognition of the strategic role of the Black Sea in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In turn, Joe Biden expressed his special appreciation for the consistent efforts that Romania has been making for the benefit of the allied space and, at the same time, for the continuous support it gives to Ukraine. The issue of Romania’s admission to the Visa Waiver program was also addressed.

 

EUROPE DAY The National Parliament building in Bucharest is illuminated on Wednesday and Thursday, alongside many other landmarks in over 60 European cities, to mark 9 May, Europe Day, and the one-month countdown for the European Elections (6-9 June), the Romanian Chamber of Deputies announced. Every year, May 9 marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’ that set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe. On May 9th, 1950, the French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, whose members would pool coal and steel production, to prevent a new war between Europe’s nations. The declaration is regarded as the foundation of the European Union, which Romania joined in 2007.

 

DEFENCE The Romanian defence minister Angel Tîlvăr Wednesday received his Georgian counterpart Irakli Chikovani, who is on an official visit to Romania. During the talks, the two officials tackled regional security issues, in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the measures taken by Romania to ensure Black Sea traffic security, and the bilateral cooperation in the defence sector. The Romanian defence minister also assured his counterpart of Romania’s support for Georgia’s European accession efforts. In turn, Irakli Chikovani emphasised the importance of the EU’s monitoring mission (EUMM Georgia).

 

ISRAEL Romania’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies will convene next Tuesday in a special meeting devoted to the Day of Solidarity and Friendship between Romania and the state of Israel. The decision was made on Wednesday by the joint standing bureaus of the two parliamentary chambers. A law has recently taken effect, proclaiming May 14th as the Day of Solidarity and Friendship between Romania and the state of Israel.

 

CRIMINALITY The Romanian police reports a decrease in the number of crimes registered this year during the Labor Day and Orthodox Easter break. The number of robberies, serious traffic accidents, as well as the number of the victims of such incidents dropped, said the spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior, Monica Dajbog. She also announced that law enforcement agencies would continue to focus on ensuring the smooth running of public events on Europe Day and Romania’s Independence Day, on May 9, as well as during the election campaign for the parliamentary and local elections, which starts on May 10.

 

OLYMPIC GAMES After several days of sea travel on board a boat from Greece, the Olympic flame Wednesday arrived in Marseille, in the south of France, where it was welcomed by approximately 150,000 people. The former Romanian fencer Ana-Maria Brânza, an Olympic champion in the team event and twice silver medalist in the individual event, is to carry the Olympic flame together with other athletes from the 27 EU countries. Lit on April 16 in the ancient Greek site of Olympia, the flame – a symbol of the Olympic Games – will cross all of France, passing through the Antilles and French Polynesia, to reach Paris on the day of the opening ceremony, July 26. The Summer Olympics will run until August 11.

 

RED CROSS Every year, around the world, World Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Day is marked on May 8 with local and international events and activities. They recognise the significant contribution of the movement to the provision of humanitarian aid, medical assistance and protection for those in need around the world. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was founded at the initiative of Henry Dunant (1828-1910), a Swiss businessman, after one of the bloodiest battles of the century, that of Solferino (Italy), where the Austrian and French armies clashed causing 40,000 victims. He understood the urgent need to organise medical services to provide neutral humanitarian assistance during wars. As such, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aims to protect life and health, to prevent and alleviate human suffering without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religion, social class or political opinion. Currently, it provides vital assistance in armed conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics.

 

UKRAINE Russia Wednesday launched a new large-scale air attack against energy infrastructure in several parts of Ukraine, military and energy officials from Kyiv have announced. The Ukrainian army said that its air defence systems were involved in countering the attacks and intercepted the missiles launched towards Kyiv. Blasts were reported in the cities of Lviv and Zaporizhzhia. In another move, preparations are being made for the Global Peace Summit aimed at finding a solution to the war that has been going on for more than two years. The summit, to which Russia was not invited, will take place in Switzerland on June 15-16, and Ukraine hopes to garner broad support to persuade Moscow to agree to terms that Kyiv deems acceptable.

 

GAZA The Israeli army strengthened its air attacks on Gaza Strip, after taking control of the strategic crossing point to Egypt, Rafah. Meanwhile, mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United States convened in Cairo, in the presence of Israeli officials, to discuss a ceasefire agreement in exchange for the release of the hostages captured by Hamas. An official for the Palestinian group told France Presse that it could be the last chance for Israel to recover the captives alive. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the recent proposals by Hamas to agree on a ceasefire do not come close to meeting Israeli demands, but Israel is participating in the negotiations. Tuesday marked seven months since Hamas attacked Israel. 1,200 Israelis died then and 250 were taken hostage, of which about 100 were released later. In response, Israel launched a large-scale offensive that practically destroyed Gaza and killed around 35,000 Palestinians. (AMP)

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