By Adi Rubenstein, Yori Yalon & the Israel Hayom Staff
Romanian President Traian Basescu, who arrived in Israel on Sunday, gave an exclusive interview to Israel Hayom on Monday evening. The full interview will be published in Israel Hayom’s weekend edition.
Romanian President Traian Basescu in Israel on Monday – Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Basescu, 62, was welcomed by President Shimon Peres in a special ceremony on Monday, and was expected to visit the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday.
During his interview with Israel Hayom, the Romanian president said many friends from his elementary and middle school days had immigrated to Israel, and said that “one of the most important things for the Romanian community in Israel is of course the issue of property that was confiscated by the communist regime. I believe that within 10 years all those who are eligible will receive the compensation they deserve, whether in regard to land or to money.”
For the first time, Basescu discussed the joint Israeli-Romanian air force training accident that occurred three and a half years ago in Romania, in which four Israeli pilots, two Israeli mechanics and a Romanian liaison officer were killed when their Sikorsky helicopter crashed into the Carpathian mountains.
“The military cooperation between Israel and Romania was not damaged by the tragedy,” he said. “Our fighters cooperate with your fighters in any way possible. We understand the advantages we gain through this unique cooperation.”
Before departing for Israel, Basescu said Romania supports in principle Israel’s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state, but encourages compromises on this and other issues, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported.
Speaking to JTA at his presidential palace two days before his visit, Basescu said: “If they [the Palestinians] want peace, they must follow the request of the Israeli people. The same situation [applies to] our relations with Israel, and we’ll always support the idea that if the Israelis want to be declared as a Jewish state, they must be recognized [as such].”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=14893