93830 1/24/2007 16:24 07BUCHAREST79 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 07SECSTATE7434 VZCZCXYZ0004 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0079/01 0241624 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 241624Z JAN 07 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5889 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000079
STATE FOR EUR/NCE, EUR/RPM, AND EUR/SCE. PLEASE PASS NSC
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/23/2017 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MARR, NATO, SB, RO SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S JANUARY 23 MEETING WITH FM UNGUREANU
REF: A. SECSTATE 7434
B. SECSTATE 5652 C. SECSTATE 4834 D. ELLIS-MAGSAMEN E-MAIL 01-18-07
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Mark A. Taplin for Reasons 1.4(b ) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: On January 23, Ambassador and Foreign Minister Ungureanu discussed the upcoming NATO Informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Kosovo, and Romania's bid for the 2008 NATO Summit. Ungureanu has become increasingly involved in promoting Romania's offer to host the NATO Summit in 2008, and will lobby select allies in Brussels during the upcoming NATO informal. He reaffirmed that Romania's position towards Kosovo was based "on principle," was unchanged, urging that Ahtisaari's report not be released until after Belgrade forms a new government. Dampening any expectations of new support, Ungureanu emphasized that Romania would be stretched to do much more beyond its ongoing contributions in Afghanistan. Finally, Ungureanu floated the idea of several senior level bilateral visits between Bucharest and Washington, and requested a pull aside with Secretary Rice. End Summary
Romania and the 2008 NATO Summit
2. (C) Ambassador accompanied by Acting Polcons shared an informal headcount of support for Romania (ref d), and encouraged Ungureanu to use any opportunity to promote Romania's interest in hosting the 2008 NATO Summit. The Ambassador noted that the U.S. will do what it can to support, but Romania would need to take the lead. The Ambassador mentioned that he would be encouraging President Basescu to make phone calls himself in pursuit of Romania's 2008 candidacy, and asked the FM to take advantage of the January Ministerial to press the Romanian case. Ungureanu confirmed he would be speaking to counterparts and impress upon them the importance of registering with the Private Office. Ungureanu confirmed what President Basescu had reported earlier to the Ambassador -- namely, that Italy's Prodi supports Romania for the 2008 Summit venue. Ungureanu expressed surprise to see Bulgaria listed on the pro-Romania side. Polcons noted that informally the private office counted Sofia in that category. . Help Serb moderates but nothing new on Kosovo . 3. (C) The Ambassador followed up on earlier conversations on Kosovo with Ungureanu, underscoring the importance of U.S. and EU unity, and requesting Romania's vocal support for UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari's report and conclusions on Kosovo's status (Ref b). Ungureanu expressed concern that the Romanian position was perhaps not fully understood, and elaborated that the Romanian argument was based on the principles of inviolability of frontiers, territorial integrity and no special collective rights, all of which were inscribed, he stressed, in the Helsinki Final Act. The FM noted that Romania was sensitive to the issues in Kosovo, would stick with the EU consensus, and would not oppose a UN Security Council Resolution. He invited the Ambassador to raise this issue directly with President Basescu at their upcoming meeting. Ungureanu described the January 18 conversation Basescu had with Serbia's President Tadic and Prime Minister Kostunica, reporting that the Romanian President had emphasized to the two Serbian leaders the necessity of accepting a Kosovo solution that would help Belgrade join the Euro-Atlantic family, including compliance with ICTY. Ungureanu noted that Basescu prior to the elections asked both Tadic and Kostunica to move past their personal disputes and work together.
4. (C) Commenting on the recent Serbian elections, Ungureanu asserted that, from Romania's perspective, the Serbian democratic reformers had done much better than in 2003. Ungureanu argued that Kostunica was the "axis" for forming a new government coalition, and Romania would not want anything to jeopardize his formation of a coalition government with Tadic and G-17. Alternatively, the least desirable option, a coalition government between Kostunica and the SRS, would damage Serbian chances for EU membership. Ungureanu briefed the Ambassador on the conclusion's of the EU Foreign Ministers' recent GAERC meeting. The FM said that a two-stage strategy by UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari to release the non-controversial elements of his final report on Kosovo by February 2, would be straightforward and not touch the core of his recommendations. The most important elements of Ahtisaari's report, which would be released possibly in March, would give Belgrade some time to form a government. But if the Ahtisaari's conclusions advocating an independent Kosovo should come out before Belgrade forms a government, it would strengthen the position of the radicals, and delay Serbia's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. In an effort to encourage Belgrade, Ungureanu noted that both the EU Troika and the EU General Directions Council Commission intended to visit Serbia before Ahtisaari airs his conclusions. Ungureanu said that "in any case, the technicalities of Kosovo are more important than Romania's position." . January 26 NATO Ministerial . 5. (C) Ambassador raised with Ungureanu U.S. objectives for the Informal Ministerial and noted the priority requests for additional commitments that the US is asking of all Allies (Refs a and c). Ungureanu acknowledged he had seen the U.S. objectives for the Ministerial, and noted the specific priorities. He said that Romania was one among a handful of NATO Allies fully engaged in Afghanistan, and is already pulling its weight in ISAF. . Other Requests . 6. (C) Before concluding the meeting, Ungureanu requested a pull aside with Secretary Rice at the January 26 Ministerial. He said foremost on his mind was to raise U.S. support for Romania to become a member of OECD. Second, he said that President Basescu would like to visit Washington in 2007. Third, Ungureanu would also like a Washington visit in early spring. Finally, he asked the Ambassador to convey an invitation for Vice President Cheney to come to Bucharest.
7.(C) Comment: Ungureanu told the Ambassador - off the record -- that the current political turmoil between Basescu and Prime Minister Tariceanu was no big deal; both would complete their normal mandate and continue to work together in spite of the current drama in the press. When the Ambassador suggested that the running feud between the President and Prime Minister hurts Romania's international image, the FM simply smiled and said, "tell people it just makes Romania exotic." End Comment. TAUBMAN