Written by Press Release
Last night the Embassy of Romania hosted a reception to honour the Three Faiths Forum and to mark the forthcoming Third European Ecumenical Assembly to be held in Sibiu, Romania in September 2007. The event was part of the celebrations devoted to Romania's accession to the EU.
Bringing together representatives of the UK's Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities, the event celebrated the friendship and dialogue between these religions and underlined the benefits of mutual understanding amongst the three faiths.
The President of Romania, Traian Basescu, sent a message of support, recommending that the interfaith dialogue be maintained at the highest level in our contemporary world. Indeed, he said, "the new European context and its numerous challenges will give to Romania the opportunity to confirm its European vocation and to strengthen its determination in the pursuit of democracy and religious tolerance."
Sir Sigmund praised Romania for the considerable strides achieved in combating the scourge of anti-Semitism and in providing for Holocaust education. In wishing Romania well as the country consolidates its membership in the EU and takes up important chairmanships within the commission, he expressed the hope that the government would now move to the full restitution of Jewish communal and private property and give special care to the maintenance of Jewish cemeteries throughout the country.
This is an exciting and remarkable time in the modern history of Romania, Sir Sigmund said, and he looked forward to her taking a proper place at the heart of positive European endeavour.
The reception was also addressed by German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, who quoted Chancellor Angela Merkel by highlighting the message that tolerance is the soul of Europe. Ms. Raduta Matache, Charge d'Affaires of the Romanian Embassy, underlined the importance of inter confessional dialogue.
The reception was attended by many Ambassadors, and included the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Sir Anthony Figgis.