- "49964","1/18/2006 12:07","06BUCHAREST95","Embassy Bucharest","CONFIDENTIAL","05BUCHAREST2250|05BUCHAREST2346","VZCZCXRO4555
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHBM #0095/01 0181207
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181207Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3437
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC","C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000095
STATE DEPT FOR EUR/NCE ) WILLIAM SILKWORTH, SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2016
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, CASC, PHUM, RO
SUBJECT: BASESCU DISCUSSES ADOPTIONS, BLACK SEA SECURITY,
AND BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH CONGRESSMAN WEXLER
REF: A) 2005 BUCHAREST 2250 B) 2005 BUCHAREST 2346
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Mark Taplin for Reasons 1.4 B an
1. (C) Summary. Romanian President Traian Basescu on January 10 discussed 10 inter-country adoptions, Black-Sea Security and Russia, and US-Romanian relations with visiting Congressman Robert Wexler. Basescu asserted that he had been \"mistaken\" during his trip to the U.S. in March 2005 in raising the expectations of prospective adoptive parents. While noting that Romania might conceivably pass an emergency ordinance in the spring to allow the processing of \"a few cases,\" Basescu said he had come to the conclusion that Romania could ably take care of its own abandoned and orphaned children. Turning to foreign and security policy, Basescu expressed hope for increased NATO and EU engagement in the region, while acknowledging the need to reassure Russia that its security and interests are not being threatened. Basescu described bilateral relations between the U.S. and Romania as \"better than ever.\" End Summary.
2. (C) Basescu told Congressman Wexler that \"he had made a mistake\" when he met with U.S. prospective parents in Washington in March 2005 and indicated their pending cases would be positively resolved. He pointed out that Romania\'s current law does not permit international adoptions and that -- as he has become more familiar with the system put in place by the new law -- he now shares the assessment that Romania can take care of its abandoned and orphaned children domestically. Basescu said that Romania planned to keep its current adoption law \"as is.\" He recognized that many parents outside of Romania would be very disappointed and said he understood their plight. Still, Basescu claimed that in a \"very few cases of exceptional humanitarian concern,\" the GOR would consider passing an emergency ordinance \"later in the spring\" that might allow a few select adoptions to take place if they met the necessary criteria. He did not indicate a specific timeline nor which criteria would be used or which cases might be considered under the proposed ordinance.
3. (SBU) Noting bipartisan concern in the U.S. Congress over the pending inter-country adoption cases from Romania, Congressman Wexler urged Basescu to do \"everything possible\" to allow the processing of inter-country adoption cases in the best interests of the children involved. He noted the mid-December report in with the European Parliament voted unanimously in support of allowing inter-country adoption for the pending cases. Congressman Wexler also noted that there were not enough prospective parents available in Romania for the number of orphaned and abandoned children, despite \"misleading\" GOR statistics to the contrary. He explained that he had come to Romania to resolve a pending case involving a family in his district who had adopted a Romanian girl and filed papers to adopt her twin sisters still in Romania. Congressman Wexler noted that, in his meeting earlier in the day with the State Secretary for the Office for Adoptions, he had learned that the situation of the twin girls was such that they might not be available for adoption. However, he urged Basescu to take a personal interest in the case and ensure that inter-country adoption be considered if a domestic solution was not available that would ensure the twins\' welfare. Basescu committed to follow the case closely and to provide an update to the Congressman on the case as events evolve.
Black Sea, Russia, and Bilateral Relations
4. (C) In response to Congressman Wexler\'s question of how the U.S. Congress might assist Romania in the area of Black Sea questions, Basescu underscored the importance of a coordinated approach to security and development in the Black Sea as \"important to Romania, the EU, NATO, and the U.S.\" At the same time, he acknowledged that \"every effort\" had to be made to reassure Russia that its security or economic interests are not being challenged. While there remained \"no doubt\" Russia must be \"kept in check,\" he said isolating Russia would be a \"big mistake.\" He noted positively that Russia did not react strongly to signing in December of the U.S.-Romania bilateral agreement to allow U.S. access to Romanian military facilities. He said Romania now seeks to pursue \"increased internationalization of the Black Sea\" first through regional economic development projects that would not put Russia on the defensive.
5. (C) Basescu characterized bilateral relations between the U.S. and Romania as \"better than ever.\" He described the BUCHAREST 00000095 002 OF 002 strategic partnership as pragmatic and based on mutual interests. He said the close bilateral relationship with the U.S. \"gives Romania more freedom in Europe\" and \"helps meet our common security goals.\"
6. (C) Comment: Basescu\'s comments on the Black Sea were new, and may indicate a shift in emphasis in the direction of broader regional cooperative initiatives that are not tied to strictly defined defense and security objectives. In fact, the Romanian president\'s approach with Congressman Wexler seemed to echo observations made by NSA Hadley during his Bucharest visit last October about the challenges of shaping a common approach to the Black Sea. Whether the GOR is actually internalizing a more broad-based strategy, or simply playing back our talking points to a visitor from Washington, remains to be seen. But there are signs, for sure, that Bucharest\'s views are evolving. Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources tell us that Bucharest is still intent on pushing forward its initiative for a broad-based \"Black Sea Forum\" summit, with the latest target date now set for June 5, possibly in Constanta. On the adoptions question, Congressman Wexler left Romania feeling somewhat encouraged by the fact that President Basescu had left the door open for a favorable resolution of a very limited number of exceptional pending cases, including the specific case involving his Florida constituents. However, as Basescu himself acknowledged during this meeting, the Romanian president has wrongly raised expectations before on this extremely delicate issue. End Comment.
7. (U) Amembassy Bucharest\'s reporting telegrams are available on the Bucharest SIPRNet website: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest