ForMin Aurescu: Round 320 -350 Romanians in Gaza Strip; no consular assistance requests so far

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said that in Gaza Strip there are round 320 - 350 Romanian citizens, and the diplomatic missions in the region have instructions to get prepared for supporting them, however, no consular assistance requests from Romanians in the conflict area have been received so far. "We have firmly condemned these rocket fires coming from the Gaza Strip over civilian inhabited areas in Israel. We have voiced our profound regret for the loss of human lives and the hope that these human lives losses will not occur anymore. Unfortunately, I see that such situations still exist. Furthermore, we have decided to convene a task force inside MAE, meant to carefully monitor the situation and draw up the possible lines of action to support the Romanian citizens, if the situation worsens even more," Aurescu told Prima TV private television broadcaster on Sunday. He pointed out that MAE (the Foreign Affairs Ministry) is in touch with all diplomatic missions in the region, which have already been instructed to be prepared to grant support to Romanian citizens, if necessary. "So far, there haven't been any consular assistance requests from Romanian citizens, nonetheless we have contacted the representatives of the Romanian communities, I am referring to those in Gaza Strip, as there are round 320 - 350 Romanian citizens, with double citizenship included, who might need consolidated consular support and we have already started to register those who, possibly, wish for such consular support, however at the current moment such a consular support is out of the question. Therefore, we are prepared to act. We have also discussed with other institutions of the Romanian state, which have been involved before in support efforts for Romanian citizens in similar situations. We are monitoring the development of the events and we'll act accordingly," the Foreign Minister added. Bogdan Aurescu highlighted that Romania has "exceptionally good relations" with the State of Israel, which is a partner of strategic valences to Romania, as well as "very good" relations with the Palestinian side. AGERPRES (RO - author: Eusebi Manolache, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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