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ForMin Aurescu: We are witnessing unprecedented increase in anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
bogdan aurescu

Romania is making significant efforts to become a true regional model in terms of taking responsibility for its past and promoting the Holocaust remembrance, Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said at a ministerial meeting in Brussels on Sunday of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) organised by the Luxembourg presidency of the organisation. 

Aurescu is quoted in a press statement released by the Foreign Ministry (MAE) as underscoring in his opening remarks to the meeting the importance of the organisation's activity in the current international context, marked by a worrying increase in anti-Semitism and intolerance. The head of the Romanian diplomacy expressed Romania's unwavering support for the meeting passing a ministerial declaration to reaffirm the principles of the Stockholm Declaration, the founding document of the IHRA of 2000. 

"Twenty years after the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration, we are witnessing, with deep regret, an unprecedented increase in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in our societies. We therefore have a responsibility to act to ensure a climate of respect, tolerance and diversity for the Jewish communities in our countries. Romania is making important efforts to become a true regional model in terms of taking responsibility for its past and promoting Holocaust remembrance. At the same time, under the recent Romanian presidency of the EU Council, we promoted as a priority the fight against anti-Semitism. We hope that other EU Council presidents will follow suit," said Aurescu. 

At the meeting, Aurescu "also referenced a successful mandate of the Romanian Presidency-in-Office of IHRA, between March 2016 - March 2017, which focused on three priorities: strengthening Holocaust education, encouraging academic research and combating anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination". In this context, Aurescu mentioned the personality of diplomat Mihnea Constantinescu, who coordinated the programme of the Romanian IHRA presidency, paying tribute to his memory. 

"Minister Bogdan Aurescu also presented the concrete steps recently taken by Romania in terms of taking responsibility for its past, Holocaust education and research and remembering the victims of the Holocaust, including the introduction in the Romanian legislation of the working definition of anti-Semitism, as agreed upon under the Romanian presidency of IHRA, reconfirming Romania's continuous commitment in these areas."

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