05BUCHAREST175 / 2005-01-20 15:46:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000175 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
1. (SBU) Summary.  President Basescu's first major foreign policy 
address, delivered to Romania's diplomatic corps on January 18, 
set benchmarks for an active foreign policy agenda during his 
first term.  Tackling corruption, continuing progress toward EU 
accession and strengthening Romania's strategic partnership with 
the U.S. and secondarily, the U.K. were singled out as top 
priorities.  Basescu devoted special attention to Romania's role 
in bolstering stability and security in the Black Sea region and 
the Western Balkans.  He also pledged to maintain Romania's 
military commitments to NATO operations and in Iraq. 
Strengthening Romania's unique relationship with neighboring 
Moldova, while developing more cooperative relations with Ukraine 
and a more "pragmatic" relationship with Russia also were 
highlighted as top priorities for the new administration.  End 
European Union Accession 2007: Full Steam Ahead 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
2.  (SBU) President Basescu delivered his first major foreign 
policy address to Bucharest's diplomatic corps on January 18, 
accompanied by his foreign policy advisors, Prime Minister Calin 
Popescu Tariceanu, and former Liberal-Democratic (PNL-PD) alliance 
presidential candidate Teodor Stolojan.  The well-polished and 
characteristically forthright address touched on key themes from 
the PNL-PD alliance electoral campaign, while also signaling 
Basescu's energetic approach to Romanian foreign policy. 
Characterizing 2005 as a "decisive" year, Basescu reiterated his 
support for Romania's anticipated 2007 accession to the European 
Union, while pledging to tackle the country's rampant corruption 
as a matter of national security.  He also voiced his desire for a 
"strong Romania," complete with economic and social reform and 
modernization, "inside a strong Europe." 
3.  (SBU) Basescu highlighted Romania's future position along the 
EU's easternmost border, calling for Romania to serve as a "pillar 
of stability and security in and between the Black Sea region and 
the Western Balkans."  According to Basescu, Romania will seek to 
attract Western investment in regional infrastructure, energy, 
communications and trade projects.  Characterizing recent 
political developments in Georgia and Ukraine as positive, Basescu 
pledged to build new regional "bridges of cooperation" in 
political, economic, and security spheres, while also working to 
"anchor" Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine and Georgia to 
Romanian-Moldovan Relations Receive Top Billing 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
4.  (SBU) Basescu bluntly stated that Moldova's "European future" 
was a "moral obligation" of Romania.  As such, he outlined the 
Moldovan-Romanian relationship as a top priority for his 
presidential mandate.  He pledged Romania's support for Moldova's 
path to EU integration and greater social and economic stability. 
Basescu directly addressed Romania's stake in resolving the 
Transnistria conflict, urging observance of the OSCE Istanbul 
commitments on Transnistria and calling for a more active EU and 
U.S. role in resolving the conflict.  Taking a more nationalistic 
tone, he also alluded to the need to protect Romanian language, 
culture and traditions within Moldova while emphasizing the need 
to bring stability to Moldova, a critical area lying at both 
Romania's eastern border and the future border of the EU.  While 
urging the development of more cooperative relations with Ukraine, 
Basescu called for developing a more pragmatic relationship, 
especially in the economic field, with Russia. 
Transatlantic Ties: NATO, U.S. and U.K. 
5.  (SBU) A hallmark of his presidential campaign, Basescu again 
singled out the strategic U.S.-Romanian relationship as a 
benchmark of Romania's foreign policy.  Basescu urged an intense 
dialogue with the U.S. and praised U.S. support for Romania's 
political, economic, military and administrative reform.  Basescu 
defined Romania's ongoing commitment to the global war on terror, 
full participation in NATO, adherence to "common democratic 
values", pursuit of enhanced economic relations, and future 
cooperation on the "Greater Black Sea projects" as key pillars of 
the U.S.-Romanian strategic partnership. 
6.  (SBU) Basescu described Romania's partnership with European 
states as the cornerstone of the country's successful European 
integration.  Within that rubric, Basescu highlighted a desire to 
further develop a privileged Romanian-U.K. relationship, evidenced 
by his statement that he will pay his first official visit to the 
United Kingdom by the end of January. 
Minorities and Human Rights 
7.  (SBU) Basescu took a step back from the foreign policy focus 
of his address to voice support for minority rights within 
Romania, while dismissing the possibility of "autonomy on ethnic 
grounds," a proposal often raised by some in Romania's more 
radical ethnic Hungarian community.  In sharp contrast to the 
occasional anti-Semitic statements and actions of former President 
Iliescu, Basescu flatly stated that he would "be intransigent with 
any kind of extremist, xenophobic or ant-Semitic manifestation." 
He further pledged to support the work of the International 
Commission on the Holocaust in Romania (Wiesel Commission) and to 
advance Holocaust education initiatives.  Employment and 
educational opportunities for the Roma community also were 
outlined along with his support for "genuine public-private 
partnerships" in developing Romania's foreign policy, especially 
regarding Romania's European integration. 
Ongoing Commitment to Iraq 
8.  (SBU) Basescu pledged to fulfill Romania's commitments 
alongside coalition partners in Iraq and voiced the GOR's support 
for Iraqi reconstruction and rehabilitation projects.  With 
Romania's position as a non-permanent member on the UN Security 
Council, Basescu characterized Romania as a "responsible and 
predictable partner" while calling for a "new consensus on global 
9. (SBU) Comment:  Basescu's first major foreign policy address 
outlined a vigorous agenda, especially in regional affairs, 
including Moldova and Ukraine.  His continued emphasis on strong 
relations with the U.S. and U.K. tracks with what he has said 
repeatedly during and after his presidential campaign.  Romanians 
are now watching to see how Basescu matches his broad vision on 
foreign policy and other issues with concrete steps, as the 
government prepares to appoint officials to the roughly sixty 
senior sub-ministerial positions key in implementing the new 
government's plan.  End Comment. 
10. (U) AmEmbassy Bucharest's reporting telegrams are available on 
the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest. 

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