147688 3/28/2008 14:11 08BUCHAREST250 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 07BUCHAREST1317|07STATE159862|08BUCHAREST57|08STATE4865 VZCZCXRO7589 OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK DE RUEHBM #0250 0881411 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 281411Z MAR 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8112 INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000250
STATE FOR EUR/NCE A. JENSEN AND NEA/IPM T. BETTS/W. JENSEN NSC FOR A. STERLING
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2023 TAGS: PREL, MARR, MOPS, IZ, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIAN TIMELINE FOR IRAQ COALITION PARTICIPATION POST-CHAPTER VII MANDATE
REF: A. ELLIS-JENSEN EMAILS-PLUS B. BUCHAREST 0057 C. STATE 04865 D. 07 BUCHAREST 1317 E. 07 STATE 159862
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Mark A. Taplin; Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
1. (C) POLMILOFF met with MFA Director General for Global Affairs Petru Dumitru on March 27, along with MFA Middle East Director Dobre and three MOD representatives. Dumitru had requested the meeting in order to discuss Romania's legislative timeline for continued legal authority for Romanian military forces to operate in Iraq. Dumitru said that Romania is preparing two components for a post-Chapter VII Mandate for its troops. The first is the substance of a SOFA and timing for setting troop levels at the late-June meeting of the Supreme National Defense Council (CSAT), and the second is the ratification of a bilateral arrangement before the end of the legislative mandate and before national elections. Dobre said Romania must have at minimum four months after the draft bilateral arrangement and prior to the end of the current Parliament's term to complete legislative actions (the date for national elections is expected to be set for December).
2. (C) POLMILOFF used the opportunity to update the MFA and MOD representatives on the SOFA negotiations. COL Ilie (who drafts the MOD papers for the CSAT), expressed great appreciation for the update, and said the U.S. approach helped simplify matters; MFA Middle East Director Dobre and DG Dumitru concurred. Ilie confirmed that the MOD would recommend maintaining Romanian troops in Iraq at current levels. Ilie also said that the GOR will need to address the legal aspects for Romania's deployment in two phases. First, at the late-June CSAT meeting, there needs to be visible progress on the SOFA negotiations to support the recommendation for continued Romanian troop deployments in Iraq. Second, a Parliamentary decision that provides the legal basis for the deployment must be made before September, so that the draft SOFA must be received by Parliament in early August, "...but the sooner, the better." While the June CSAT will establish the levels for the deployment, there will still need to be a second CSAT to approve the signing of the SOFA and the forwarding of the text to Parliament. Ilie added; "Timing is critical."
3. (C) Comment: This was useful information from MOD and MFA. It was also good to get confirmation that the MFA and MOD are recommending that Iraqi troop levels not/not be reduced for the 2009 deployments. Currently, Romania has about 500 troops in Iraq. Dobre would appreciate periodic updates on the U.S.-Iraq SOFA negotiations so that Romania can prepare for the CSAT and Parliamentary decisions well in advance. End Comment. TAUBMAN