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June 29, 2022

Basescu explains Sarkozy incident

President Traian Basescu denied, on Monday evening, in a phone-in on B1TV, that there had been any argument with the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, at the NATO Summit, and explained that the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s gesture in Lisbon did not refer to any of them, Mediafax reports.

“After taking the family picture, each went to attend to his own commitments. Sarkozy had a meeting. I told him we had to discuss the Schengen issue. It’s perfectly true this was one of the major issues we had to discuss. I don’t know what you’ve made of his gesture. All I can tell you is we agreed he had to go, he had a bilateral meeting. I had a bilateral with the Polish president scheduled a bit later. I was less pressed for time,” Basescu stated. He explained that, although France had some objections related to the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification, it did not block in any way the documents in Parliament and the debate regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area was set to start in January.

“As regards Berlusconi … you shouldn’t think his gesture was directed to one of the colleagues in the European Council. His gesture was in reference to something else entirely. It had nothing to do with what was going on there, it was a comment that the Italian premier made, in reference to some features published in a paper, and he was saying ‘It’s not true’. That’s all,” Basescu explained. The national and international press gave extensive coverage to the incident, describing it as a “brutal refusal” from president Sarkozy, in response to Basescu’s attempt to initiate a conversation.

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