Oren David paid his first visit to Oradea on Tuesday to forge cooperation relations with the local authorities and the university staff and to meet the members of the Jewish community living in the northwestern Romanian county of Bihor.
The Israeli official met the Oradea mayor, Oradea University chancellor, the Medicine Faculty dean and high clerics representing the religions in the county – Christian Orthodox, Catholic, Greek Catholic, Reformed and Pentecostal.
He also visited the city’s Great Synagogue and the nearby Holocaust memorial monument.
During the meetings, Oren David underscored the special relation between Israel and Romania that has been strengthened by ‘the sixty years of unbroken diplomatic relations between Romania and the state of Israel’, as such relation is not only based on mutual interest but on sincere friendship too.
He evoked the important role played by the Jewish community in building Oradea and said he was impressed with the city, with the beauty of its buildings, the friendly atmosphere and the good relations between the ethnic groups.
The ambassador pointed out that the third-largest community in Israel is formed by the Jews who emigrated from Romania; he highlighted the role that the two states’ authorities had in working out visa rules for their citizens’ movement.
A ‘very positive’ event in the relations between the two states took place in March 2008, the ambassador said, when the visas for the Romanians seeking to visit Israel were lifted. There is an exception, though, namely the persons who have relatives or those who worked or are working in Israel, who still need an entry visa.
‘We can do very much in this area of tourism and I don’t think we should remind you all the attractions offered by Israel, a biblical country and a modern one at the same time’, Oren David said at a joint news conference with leader of Jewish community in Bihor county, Felix Koppelman.
Oradea forged twin ties with Israeli Givatayim town.