DeCe News website says diplomatic sources have confirmed that Traian Basescu’s candidacy for the position as Secretary General of NATO has been discussed. The term of the current NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ends in August 2014 and the successor nomination is usually announced three to four months in advance.
According to dcnews.ro, Traian Basescu enjoys the support of both USA and a few important European capitals. Other names currently mentioned in connection with the office are Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, but he is known as critical of the West and Israel. According to the quoted source, the preparation of Traian Basescu’s candidacy for the position would explain the truce between Cotroceni and Victoria Palaces. In keeping with the scenario, the president needs no domestic conflicts and should demonstrate he can work together with political opponents and can obtain a consensus through mediation.
A NATO secretary general from Romania would be a major image strength abroad, regardless the government in office. DeCe News reminds that the NATO secretary general is generally selected from among former heads of state or government. ‘It is a misrepresentation unworthy of a media institution. There is no such approach of the Romanian state relative to international institutions that are our partners. In the Romanian state there is and has been no discussion on a possible candidacy of someone on behalf of the Romanian state or the president of Romania for the office of NATO secretary general,’ presidential spokesman Bogdan Oprea said on Romania TV. PM Victor Ponta also said he knew nothing about Traian Basescu’s possible candidacy. ‘I have no idea. To be completely honest, I have spoken to someone else from Romania who was very seriously thinking about running for the position, but I am not aware of Mr. Basescu’s such intentions,’ Ponta noted on Romania TV Sunday night.
According to Romania TV, Traian Basescu is not the only Romanian who allegedly targets the office, but ex-PSD President, currently Senator, Mircea Geoana, is also interested in becoming the Secretary General of NATO.
In a reply sent to DeCe News, the Presidency asked for ‘the rectification of undocumented and untrue information, noting that the President of Romania, Mr. Traian Basescu, does not intend to run for the office of Secretary General of NATO and that, at present, the institutions of the Romanian state were not engaged in any such action.’ The Presidential Administration called upon Romanian mass-media organisations and public personalities to not involve international organisations Romania is a member of in the domestic political game and accused DeCe News of having not asked for the position of the Presidency before running the story. PSD Senator Mircea Geoana told Mediafax yesterday that, during his recent visit to the US, he had pleaded that, in 2014, the office of NATO secretary general should go to one of the new allies in the organisation. He made the clarification in the context of the recent rumours suggesting that he was going to run for the position. The former foreign minister reminded that the choice of giving the post to one of the new member states had also been analysed before the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO Secretary General in 2009, when the role of the new allies in the trans-Atlantic security structure as well as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were considered. ‘After Rasmussen’s term, it is normal that the option should be brought up again,’ Geoana said. In fact, Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council (American strategic group for the promotion of NATO policies) has stated on his Twitter account that Mircea Geoana was ‘a credible candidate for the position as Secretary General of NATO’.