111204 6/7/2007 7:56 07BUCHAREST665 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXRO8110 PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHBM #0665/01 1580756 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 070756Z JUN 07 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6796 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000665
STATE FOR NCE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2012 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, RO SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S JUNE 5 MEETING WITH FOREIGN MINISTER CIOROIANU
Classified By: Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman for reasons 1.4(b) and (d )
1. (C) Summary: Ambassador met with Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu on June 5 in advance of Cioroianu's visit to Washington next week. While in Washington, Cioroianu will stress Romania's continued commitment to our strategic partnership, to reform and to combating corruption, and to making the Bucharest NATO Summit a success. He also intends to present some ideas for Romania's participation in the visa waiver program. Cioroianu encouraged the Ambassador to speak to President Basescu and Prime Minister Tariceanu about a reconciliation so that the government's agenda can recover from the political turmoil of recent months. The Foreign Minister seemed most comfortable in his discussions about the domestic political scene. End Summary.
2. (C) In his meeting with the Ambassador, FM Cioroianu, accompanied by Director for US and Canada Catalin Ionita, laid out his agenda for the June 13 trip to Washington, including his scheduled meeting with the Secretary. Cioroianu said he will: 1) reaffirm the US-GOR strategic partnership; 2) underscore that the US and Romania share responsibility for broadening and deepening bilateral collaboration; 3) reaffirm his government's commitment to fighting corruption and promoting reforms; 4) address Romania's NATO Summit preparations; and 5) raise some "ideas" on the visa waiver program. The Ambassador welcomed the FM's comments but emphasized the importance of picking two to three of the most important points to emphasize in his meeting with the Secretary due to the time constraints.
3. (C) Cioroianu said that he would also invite the Secretary to visit Romania for a preparatory discussion prior
SIPDIS to the 2008 NATO Summit, if at all possible. He stated that he also has appointments with NSC Hadley, Deputy SecDef Englund, and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff. Cioroianu said he hoped to have good news "soon" with the naming of a new Romanian ambassador to the U.S. He underscored that he still needed to raise the name with President Basescu and hoped to get his support. Cioroianu said the nominee will be a professional diplomat.
4. (C) Cioroianu stated that he believes Romania has an opportunity to promote a bridge between NATO and EU. He said that there were no reasons why the Romania cannot move forward on both priorities without problems. Romania wants to be certain that Washington has strong confidence in Bucharest to hold a successful NATO Summit. The Ambassador thanked Cioroianu for Romania's support for the coalition and Allied operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cioroianu noted that the Allies needed to do everything they could in Afghanistan, and confirmed that Romania continues to explore the possibilities of taking up PRT responsibilities.
5. (C) In response to the Ambassador's inquiry about news reports that Defense Minister Melescanu had called on June 5 for joint Romanian-Bulgarian-Russian military maneuver exercises in the Black Sea, Cioroianu defended Melescanu arguing that he is a "smart, professional diplomat" and cautioned not to believe the press reports because he was sure that what was reported was not what Melescanu had probably said. He suggested that the Ambassador should simply ask Melescanu directly about what was said.
6. (C) Cioroianu said he was disappointed that Elie Wiesel would not be attending the Hi-Level OSCE Tolerance Conference this week in Bucharest. He noted that Wiesel had a problem with the agenda (NFI). Nonetheless, he said the OSCE message is a good and important one to get out and he hoped for good media coverage of the conference, especially in light of the current messy political climate.
7. (C) The Foreign Minister shifted the conversation to domestic politics, acknowledging that his Liberal party had made mistakes, including in supporting the recent referendum against President Basescu. Cioroianu expressed concern, however, that the Democrat Party was now making a mistake by trying to drive out Prime Minister Tariceanu from office. Cioroianu said it was sad that, following the referendum, Basescu has continued to put pressure on the PM, which risked losing more opportunities to move the government's agenda forward. Cioroianu asked the Ambassador to speak directly to the both Tariceanu and Basescu to encourage them to come back together. Cioroianu believed that the government should continue to work at least up to the European Parliamentary elections this fall, and only then consider the political configuration. He said that having Basescu's party pressing for early elections or otherwise changing the government would result in five more months of important work not
BUCHAREST 00000665 002 OF 002
getting done. Cioroianu asserted that there were no policy differences between the two, but rather that President Basescu was personalizing the issue with Tariceanu, and between the institutions.
8. (C) Comment: In one sense, Cioroianu told us what we wanted to hear; his emphasis on strengthening our close bilateral relationship and making the 2008 NATO summit a success was in fact welcome. On the other hand, it is clear that the foreign minister was more comfortable (and animated) talking domestic politics, and seems concerned that his Liberal party is much more politically vulnerable now that Basescu is back in office. End comment. TAUBMAN