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Romanian President addresses concerns of anti-semitism and Holocaust denial during his Israel visit

Romanian President Traian Basescu has finished a three day visit to Israel, where he met with president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In a speech delivered alongside Peres, Basescu said his trip aimed to bolster bilateral relationships, pointing to the two countries strong cooperation in trade and the medical and military sectors.

He also addressed concerns of anti-semitism in his homeland saying there was no place in Romania for discrimination.

Also Basescu said any incidents of Holocaust denial in Romania were born out of ignorance, and that the country was focused on teaching its true history.

Meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Basescu spoke about Romania’s support of the peace process, especially the talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

In a story about his visit, The Jewish Daily Forward acknowledged Romania had ramped up its Holocaust commemoration efforts after Basescu visited the US Holocaust memorial in Washington nine years ago.

Although this progress had facilitated its integration into the European Union and helped forge lucrative ties with Israel, the JDF said failures in the restitution of property and persistent Holocaust denial – even in academia and government – had tarnished the country’s reputation and threaten to eclipse the efforts by Romania to correct the effects of Ceausescu’s denial policy.

Shaun Turton shaun@romania-insider.com

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