Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta met with President Shimon Peres in Israel on Sunday morning.

Ponta, who is on a semi-private visit to Israel, visited Peres’ at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday just prior to the president’s departure for a state visit to China.

Ponta, 41, who has been in office for two years, told Peres that throughout Europe, a new young generation of political leaders is taking over and bringing a new dynamic to their respective countries.

Relating to the unrest in Ukraine and a certain degree of instability in the region, Ponta told Peres that Romania is safe, economically sound, and politically and diplomatically in a good position as a member of NATO and the European Union.  It also has a special relationship with the United States.

Ponta recalled that he had last met Peres in 2004. At that time, he was a very young politician, and Peres had given him some very sound advice, he said. Ponta is a lawyer by training and his area of expertise is criminal law, on which he has written extensively. He is also a former basketball star.

Referring to Romania’s relations with Israel, Ponta said that Romania has a very positive attitude towards Israel. “You can count on us for partnership”, he said, adding that he will be back soon on an official visit and will bring a large delegation whose members will discuss a variety of agreements with their Israeli counterparts.

Peres noted that Israel has a unique relationship with Romania, which was the only Communist bloc country which did not sever relations in 1967 and whose Jewish community remained active even under Communist rule.

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