Speaking to JTA at his presidential palace two days before an Israel visit that began Sunday, Basescu said that “if they [the Palestinians] want peace, they must follow the request of the Israeli people.”
Yet when asked whether Israel should condition progress in peace talks on Palestinian compliance, he said, “Well, all of us must be wise. Of course, compromises are needed because otherwise we won’t find the solution and here maybe [late Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon is an example.”
Basescu, whose second and final term in office will end this year, landed in Israel on Sunday for his second presidential visit there. He said his objectives for the visit were to consolidate progress in bilateral relations with Israel and relations with Romanian-speaking Israelis, who number approximately 500,000, according to the president.
Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as the Jewish state as a means of guaranteeing that an agreement on the partition of land would end all territorial claims.