Repatriations of Romanians from Gaza continue
Romania will continue the dialogue with the Israeli and Egyptian authorities for the evacuation of the Romanian citizens and their family members in the Gaza Strip, depending on the developments on the ground and the agreement of the parties involved, the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced. Moreover, a consular team will remain available in the area of the Rafah border-crossing to Egypt to provide further assistance. The first group of almost one hundred Romanian citizens and their family members were evacuated from the Gaza Strip and transported to Romania from Cairo with a TAROM aircraft. There are also other groups of Romanians who requested permission from the Israeli and Egyptian authorities to transit the border crossing point to Egypt. On board the first aircraft were the PM Marcel Ciolacu and the FM Luminiţa Odobescu, who met in Cairo with the evacuated persons. The head of the Romanian diplomacy declared that the security situation is extremely difficult and complex, which requires a permanent updating of the evacuation plans. And Marcel Ciolacu gave assurances that Romanian citizens and family members will continue to be supported by the Romanian Government to reach extended families and integrate into Romanian society.
Important decisions made by the Romanian Government
The Romanian government adopted, during Thursday's meeting, the new pension law, which provides for two increases for 2024. The document also establishes the recalculation of all pensions according to new criteria, so that the inequities in the system should be eliminated. At the end of the government session, the labor minister Simona Bucura-Oprescu said that the pension law is a stable and sustainable law, which will eliminate inequities, and which is based on respect for contributions and work. She expressed confidence that budgetary resources will be found for the implementation of the two expected increases in 2024 and evoked a better collection of revenues and the reduction of tax evasion. The executive wants the pension law to be adopted by Parliament by November 20.
Klaus Iohannis in Brussels
The best option is for Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Schengen Area together, and all negotiations and all attempts to convince those who are still reluctant on this issue are converging towards this, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Brussels. The Romanian president talked with the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, and participated in the signing of a memorandum of collaboration in the nuclear field, but the official visit had more stakes. One of them concerned the support for the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union, all the more so since, on the same day, in Brussels, the European Commission gave the green light to the European Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Moreover, Belgium will take over the presidency of the EU Council in January and will manage both the agenda and the framework of these negotiations. Thus, the discussion extended from economic aspects to defense aspects, especially since a contingent of the Belgian army is in Romania to strengthen NATO's eastern flank. At the end of his visit to Brussels, Klaus Iohannis was received by His Majesty Philippe, King of Belgium, at the castle in Laeken.
F-16 aircraft in Romania
On Tuesday, the Netherlands sent the first five F-16 fighter planes to Romania, to the air base in Feteşti (south), which will be used to train the Ukrainian pilots. The European F-16 Training Center was established there as a result of the collaboration between the Romanian and Dutch defense ministries. Given the current geopolitical context and Romania's strategic position in the Black Sea region, this center becomes essential for cross-border collaboration, strengthening security and consolidating solidarity within NATO. The Romanian defense ministry reminds that this center will be an international hub for the training of F-16 aircraft pilots and will facilitate the increase of interoperability between allies. Romania thus joins other allied nations in supporting the training of Ukrainian pilots for the future use of F-16 aircraft. The center will contribute to the creation of common operational standards and to strengthening the capacity of the North Atlantic Alliance to face the complex challenges in the Black Sea region and in Eastern Europe.
The first Romanian judge at the International Court of Justice
Romania’s former foreign minister, the current presidential adviser Bogdan Aurescu was voted, on Thursday, a judge at the International Court of Justice, thus becoming the first Romanian to occupy this position. This represents a victory of the Romanian diplomacy, says the Romanian Foreign Ministry, pointing out that Romania promotes a foreign policy based on respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as for international law. In a congratulatory message, President Klaus Iohannis writes that this is a success of Romanian diplomacy, which reflects "our firm commitment to the international order based on rules". The judges of the International Court of Justice are elected for nine years by the General Assembly and the UN Security Council, from a wider list of candidates. (LS)