111645 6/11/2007 14:08 07BUCHAREST677 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXYZ0008 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0677 1621408 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 111408Z JUN 07 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6812 C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000677
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2017 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, RO SUBJECT: YOUR MEETING WITH ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ADRIAN CIOROIANU
1. (C) Your meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu on June 13 affords us a golden opportunity to influence the thinking of a new, untested Minister on issues important to us. More importantly, it underscores our support for a close partnership with Romania, whatever the political coloration of the moment. Cioroianu will also have meetings in Washington with Deputy Defense Secretary Englund, NSC,s Hadley and DHS,s Chertoff.
2. (C) Cioroianu is young (40), a relative newcomer to foreign policy matters, and has been on the job only since April. For the past several years, he has been mostly absorbed with his role as a European parliamentarian and issues involving Romania's integration into the European Union. What we say to him now will help establish a baseline for however long he remains in office. We should be clear and direct with him about our policy objectives. That includes our strong desire to see Romanian troops remain in Iraq, where they continue to be needed. We also would like to see Romania take the next step in building on its already substantial contributions in Afghanistan, including taking on a PRT. I have worked hard to persuade all of the major political protagonists here to put up a "firewall" between their domestic political posturing and the larger U.S.-Romania foreign policy equities, including NATO and Romania's commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the western Balkans. For the most past, we have succeeded. But your meeting provides another opportunity to reiterate this message.
3. (C) Cioroianu is very much a Tariceanu loyalist. Although he has said he sees his role as a balancing factor in Romanian foreign policy-making, the fact is that Cioroianu does not enjoy President Basescu's confidence and has had his hands tied by the continuing political combat between Basescu and Prime Minister Tariceanu. (Basecu opposed his nomination as Foreign Minister, citing his inexperience and lack of resonance with the President's foreign policy objectives.) Like many others in his Liberal Party, Cioroianu feels that there must be some type of tradeoff between supporting the U.S. and supporting the EU, but his MFA handlers have been working with him to help him see that there does not have to be a zero-sum game between Washington and Brussels. Along with PM Tariceanu, Cioroianu also believes that the USG has tilted too much in Basescu's direction and that Basescu has used his special relationship with the U.S. as leverage in his domestic political battles. You should make clear that from our standpoint, the close strategic cooperation between our two countries should transcend political personalities and the daily headlines.
4. (C) After thanking Romania for its strong support in the Global War on Terror, you will want to underscore the value we place on Romania hosting the 2008 NATO Summit, and to note that the venue reflects President Bush,s vision of a Europe, whole, free and at peace. Cioroianu will be receptive and may ask for suggestions for an appropriate theme that encompasses Romania's interest in promoting stability to the Black Sea region and in securing critical energy supply routes out of the Caspian. While Cioroianu has actually advocated behind closed doors for stronger business ties with Russia, his Ministry still sees the Black Sea as a core national security priority, including the unresolved questions surrounding Moldova and its separatist enclave of Transnistria. Just last week, in the run-up to the CFE Extraordinary Conference, Bucharest proved sensitive to any suggestion that Allies might dilute language on the Istanbul commitments in exchange for Russia's continued adherence to the CFE Treaty.
5. (C) Cioroianu will also put down a marker on Romania's objective of finding a place in the visa waiver program, as befitting a close strategic partner and ally of the United States. He is aware of the Congressional primacy on this issue, but will still be looking for reassurances from you that Romania is getting the attention that he believes that Romania has earned.
6. (C) Finally, if you have time, you might ask Cioroianu to do what he can to have a Romanian ambassador to Washington named right away. The post has been vacant since last September, another casualty of the political infighting in Bucharest.