What a few days ago was just a rumour, was confirmed on Thursday, when President Klaus Iohannis accepted the proposals for the appointment of new ambassadors.
After three months of his resigning his post as Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior is President Klaus Iohannis’ proposal for Ambassador of Romania to the United States of America. Aged 48, Maior headed SRI for almost nine years. Previously, he was a PSD senator. His father, Liviu Maior, was also an Ambassador to Canada, after being Minister of Education from 1992 to 1996.
His appointment as Ambassador to Washington is not a major surprise, and, in a certain way, was anticipated and expected, especially since, after his quitting SRI, Maior has been sending our quite a few signals in that direction.
Maior is close to Ponta, the current prime-minister being not just his friend, but also his wedding god-son. However, Maior’s nomination as ambassador to Washington came, according to official sources quoted by advarul.ro, by Iohannis, who already had the informal consent of American officials. In fact, during the three months since his resignation as head of SRI, G. Maior has smoothened his way to Washington. Withdrawn for a brief period, his name came back under public debate in February, when, after a visit to the US, Ponta mentioned him as a subject in his talks with CIA chief Joan Brennan.
Congratulations from CIA head
A few days after V. Ponta’s visit to the US, George Maior was announcing that he had been telephoned by John Brennan, on which occasion the CIA chief appreciated Maior’s contribution to the consolidation of the partnership with the US in the strategic intelligence area in the interest of the national security of either state as well as of the regional and international security. Maior, in his turn, thanked John Brennan for his contribution to the operative relations of the two services and assured him that, following discussions with the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, with Prime-Minister Victor Ponta and with in-coming SRI Director Eduard Hellvig, the partnership of the two institutions would go on at the same qualitative intelligence and operational level and that it would be a priority in Romania’s security policy. Maior also stressed the importance of cooperation between Romania and the USA especially in the extremely complex and tensed current international and regional strategic context.
Column in The Financial Times
Just two weeks before the president announced Maior as Ambassador of Romania to Washington, George Maior had signed a column in The Financial Times, stating that Russia had stepped up the information war with the West through cyber-attacks and propaganda targeted at numerous countries including Romania, and pleading for an EU and NATO security strategy. ‘As disclosures of cyber-attacks mounted last autumn on the US showed, Russia is engaged in an intense information war with the West. Other targets of the Russian cyber-attacks were Germany, Estonia, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia. As US intelligence director James Clapper was recently telling the US Senate, the Russian threat is ‘more serious than it was initially estimated’’ G. Maior stated in his opinion column with the headline ‘Russia’s silence war with the West’.
‘Lobby at diplomatic level’
Adevarul.ro quotes government sources as saying that George Maior also scored well in terms of image when he left SRI. ‘He has written columns in the foreign press, insisted on being a friend of the CIA director, plus other lobby activities, a natural lobby at a diplomatic level’, government sources told ‘Adevarul’, referring to a column signed by Maior in The Financial Times, as well as the fact that Maior had been telephonically contacted by CIA head John Brennan, who ‘thanked him for the special cooperation developed by CIA and SRI in the area of intelligence over the year’.