Romanian FM Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu will visit Israel from July 1-6, 2005.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The Foreign Minister of Romania, Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu, arrived in Israel on Friday, July 1, for an official visit as the guest of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom.

On the visiting minister’s agenda is lunch with his Israeli counterpart and discussions on a broad range of bilateral subjects that reflect the rich diversity of the relations between the two countries. The two ministers will also discuss other topics of mutual interest such as regional and multilateral issues. Minister Shalom will brief his Romanian counterpart on Israel’s preparations for the Disengagement and the resumption of the peace process.

During his visit, Minister Ungureanu will also meet with President Moshe Katsav, the Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin, Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert.

The relations between Israel and Romania are unique in that Romania was the only country in East Europe that did not sever diplomatic relations with Israel since their establishment in 1948. Diplomatic channels, which were kept open all these years, have developed and grown in different directions, especially since 1989. The friendship between the two states finds expression on the bilateral as well as multilateral plane, especially in the framework of the United Nations, in which Romania is a currently serving as an elected member of the Security Council.

The mutual trade between Israel and Romania is constantly on the rise, reaching $200 million in 2004. Romania is one of Israel’s leading trade partners in Eastern-Central Europe, with 1,600 joint projects and intensive commercial activity alongside visits by financial ministers and high-level delegations.

Israel has among its population 450,000 Jews of Romanian origin, many of whom are active in bringing the two peoples closer together, strengthening ties on many levels.

Foreign Minister Ungureanu is a senior fellow of Judaic Studies at Oxford University. He also was twice the recipient of the Felix Posen award from the Hebrew University, for his research in the field of Jewish studies.

Minister Ungueanu will give a lecture, as the guest of the Foreign Relations Council, on the topic "Romanian-Israeli relations in the context of Romania’s integration into the European Union" and also on "Antisemitism in Europe" at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, the Hebrew University.