President Traian Basescu on Wednesday awarded a decoration to Spain's Ambassador in Bucharest Juan Pablo Garcia -Berdoy, who ends his diplomatic mission in Romania, the Romania Head of State saying he feels "as if parting with friend."
The ceremony started with the national anthem being played, after which Basescu handed the Ambassador the Faithful Service National Order in rank of Grand Cross for his contribution to the intensification of the Romanian-Spanish relations and for supporting Romania's joining the EuroAtlantic structures.
"The day when I am receiving you for your farewell visit makes me feel as if parting with a friend. It goes without saying that all the ambassadors are our friends, but I must tell you that it is a very rare thing for a head of state to feel one of his friends goes away at the same time with the departure of an ambassador.
You are a friend of the Romanians', of Romania's, of the relations between Romania and Spain," said Traian Basescu.
The Head of State also thanked Ambassador Juan Pablo Garcia -Bedroy for the visit he organized to the Royal House of Spain and confessed that some days he had spent with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were still fresh on his mind.
On the other hand the Head of State said that "Spain teaches Europe a lesson on the way in which Spanish and Romanian citizens of Europe can live together understanding and respecting one another."
He described the Ambassador's mandate as being a very successful one and voiced hope that his successor would also go on consolidating the relation between the two states.
Basescu also said that, leaving aside the cultural and linguistic affinities, "the almost natural liking between Romanians and Spaniards," the relation between the two countries was strengthened by the one million Romanians working in Spain, the Romanian community being the most numerous there.
The Head of State also thanked him for the activity he carried out during his term in office and for the way the Spanish authorities and the citizens, in general, treated the Romanians in his country.
"I am assuring you of all our friendship for Spain," added Traian Basescu, who conveyed His Majesty his greetings and the message that he had been looking forward to the visit of the Prince of Spain to Bucharest.
In is turn Spain's Ambassador said that his leaving was "a happy but also very sad moment." "I have been here for four years already. I feel at home and it is no beautiful or poetic way of putting it. It is a true feeling …
What matters most is the fact that a strong relationship has been created between Spain and Romania," said the Ambassador, who voiced conviction that the future of the relations between the two countries would be "even more beautiful."
"We have a common destiny, we understand that , if working together, we are more powerful and I think that this is a powerful engine meant to create … a permanent relation between Romania and Spain," said Juan Pablo Garcia -Bedroy.
He added that the King of Spain was very impressed by the visit of President Basescu to Madrid and that he would do everything that is up to the Royal House for the Romanians living in Spain and that the future visit of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia "confirms this attitude."
In the end he thanked him for his friendship and added that, in his heart of hearts, he would be one of Romania's friends in the future too.
Juan Pablo Garcia-Bedroy was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Spain in Bucharest in March 2005. In October the same year the Spanish official was also appointed Spain's Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, having his residence in Bucharest.
He started his diplomatic career in 1987 as an adviser with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. He was also an adviser for European affairs with Spain's Embassy in Bonn and before coming to Bucharest, he was director general of foreign policy for the European area with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.