The Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine are joining forces for the evacuation of their citizens from the Gaza Strip. It should be noted that Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid. On the morning of October 19, Chisinau declared that it is not yet clear if refugees, including Moldovans, waiting to be evacuated, will be able to cross the Rafah border. The ministers from these three countries discussed the collaboration of diplomatic teams to facilitate the evacuation of Moldovan, Romanian, and Ukrainian citizens from the Gaza Strip.
Vice Prime Minister Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, had a telephone conversation with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luminița Odobescu and the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitri Kuleba.
Officials discussed “the collaboration of diplomatic teams to facilitate the evacuation of our citizens from the Gaza Strip.”
“Through this collaboration, we strive to ensure the fastest and safest evacuation of our citizens through the Rafah crossing, located on the border with Egypt,” said representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in Chisinau.
“We are determined to further develop our cooperation within this trilateral format, including through common infrastructure projects, which have already brought tangible benefits,” Popescu said, according to the Ministry.
The Rafah crossing point, on the border with Egypt, is currently the only evacuation point for over 2 million people from the Gaza Strip.
On August 18, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced during his visit to Israel that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had agreed to open the Rafah checkpoint to send humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.
Contacted on October 19 for a comment, Igor Zaharov, the spokesperson for MAEIE, stated that Cairo has only given the green light for the passage of humanitarian aid convoys. According to him, it is not yet clear if refugees, including Moldovans waiting to be evacuated, will be able to cross the Rafah border.
Recently, Moldova’s Ambassador to Israel, Alexandr Roitman, stated that there are approximately 13,000 Moldovan citizens in Israel officially: 7,000 in construction and 5,000 in home care. There were officially about 100 Moldovans in the Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of the military conflict between Israel and the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip, 1,204 citizens of the Republic of Moldova have returned home through regular air flights, while 415 Moldovan citizens have departed for Tel Aviv.
Authorities in Chisinau have set up a Crisis Cell to analyze the security situation in Israel, condemning the attacks against the country. On October 11, MAEIE announced that a 35-year-old Moldovan citizen had lost his life in Israel. On October 18, the Israeli army released an update stating that, in total, two Moldovans had lost their lives in Israel since the start of the military conflict. The diplomacy in Chisinau specified that they are documenting the information and will provide further details later.