A visit of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose to the United States of America would have positive effects upon the process of lifting visas for Romanians in the US, the Romanian ambassador in Washington, George Maior told the private Digi24 TV broadcaster on Tuesday night.
“Our talks’ agenda with the US Congress is steadfast. It is more about the legislation and less about the relationship with the US Administration as regards this visas matter. The refusal rate for Romanians is around 10-15 percent. Should we drop to 3.5 percent then automatically we get into the Visa Waiver process. What we try to do is make it that at the Congress’s level only this denial rate element is not considered, but the fact that we are part of a serious military partnership with the United States, that it is also in the advantage of the US security considering what we do in the field of intelligence with the USA against terrorism and this thing is to be treated in another vision upon the way the visas are granted or Romania is included in the Visa Waiver programme. So, discussions with the Homeland Security Department on this matter. Things we are doing in a steady manner. And I believe that a visit by the Premier would have positive effects, from this viewpoint,” said Maior.
He stressed that certain countries, such as Romania, which in the past years have made serious steps to securing their borders, in the control of illegal immigration, would have “a better chance with the current Administration” for this approach. And, of course, he added, Romania’s accession to the Schengen area would have a certain relevance, too.
Romania’s ambassador in Washington said earlier on Tuesday, when attending the Annual Reunion of the Romanian Diplomacy, that he is working on a visit by Premier Mihai Tudose to the United States of America due this fall.
” Investigation committee of 2009 presidential election should acknowledge things were normal, democratic”
The members of the parliamentary committee investigating the 2009 presidential election should acknowledge that things were absolutely normal, democratic as regards the subject of their investigation, Romania’s ambassador to the United States of America said on Tuesday night, mentioning that he helped them out to find the truth.
“I have answered the committee’s demands, I have crossed the Atlantic to answer all questions politely. I said it is about a private event, that it has no illegal, immoral, unconstitutional connotation, and I believe I have proven the will to openly and sincerely cooperate with a parliamentary committee. I too have led once a parliamentary committee, I know what it means and I think I helped them out to find the truth.(…). I said the truth. I believe that they wished to find out the truth,” the former Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) head, George Maior told the private Digi24 broadcaster on Tuesday night.
“It’s a legitimate approach if seriously grounded. The people have tried to understand, I tried to help them out in this respect and finally I believe they should find that things were absolutely normal, democratic as regards what they are investigating,” Maior asserted.
Quizzed whether he would recommend SRI to provide additional information to the parliamentary committee, Maior answered: “I’ve even asked them to. They could provide one sole piece of information, a strategic one, namely that SRI did their duty from the viewpoint of the constitutional activity in the state and this is what the Service could do anytime if the Parliament is asking it.”
The parliamentary investigation committee on the 2009 presidential elections decided on Monday to inform Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis that the former SRI director, incumbent ambassador George Maior declined to answer the committee’s questions. The committee also decided to require SRI a point of view in connection with the eventual presence of the former SRI director George Maior and the former first deputy-head of SRI Florian Coldea in the house of former minister of the Interior Gabriel Oprea in the night of the 2009 presidential election.
“Global assertion for Romanian intelligence services”
George Maior, Romania’s ambassador to the US and former director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) considers that his and Florian Coldea’s decoration by the CIA highlights the way the Romanian intelligence services succeeded in asserting themselves globally.
“We can play globally as far as intelligence is concerned. You may have seen, and this is relevant, it’s iconic for Romania, that the former SRI heads have been awarded these weeks by the CIA topmost officials. This speaks volumes not in their favor personally, but about the way how the Romanian intelligence services succeeded in asserting themselves (…) including globally, in this relationship,” Maior told private broadcaster Digi 24.
Asked whether he was referring to himself and former SRI first deputy head Florian Coldea being decorated, George Maior confirmed.
In this context, Romania’s ambassador to the US highlighted the strong points that “make Romania one of the main pillars of the North Atlantic Alliance” in the Black Sea region. He mentioned the high involvement in the field of security and the military, Romania’s results in promoting the concept of democracy in a rather volatile area from this point of view, its participation in Afghanistan, in theaters of operations that are key to security, “the way in which Romania eventually exports stability to the Balkans or beyond its eastern borders to countries that are willing to go through certain integration stages towards more democratic orbits, say the EU or NATO.”
“We are a state with strong transatlantic valences, and this is the message President Iohannis very clearly and intelligently conveyed during his visit to the United States. We are an active member of the European Union, we promote this relationship which is vital to the EU – US global democratic order and I believe that in this context, and particularly having in view the challenge raised by the Brexit, our strategic role will grow in the European Union too, including as communication with the United States is concerned,” Maior said.
Ambassador Maior recommends Dragnea to provide government resources for embassies
Romania’s ambassador to the US George Maior said on Tuesday that his recommendation to Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea is to provide the government resources Romania’s embassies need to accomplish their goal of attracting foreign investment, stressing that this calls for a stable fiscal framework and a red-tape free environment, not mired by corruption suspicions.
“The embassies make do with very limited resources and yet they manage quite useful accomplishments. He actually had a very good message: economic diplomacy and the idea of attracting foreign investments to Romania. Of course this depends on how the government manages to create a stable, clear, predictable fiscal framework with a strongly trimmed down bureaucracy. The fact that law enforcement is clear from the point of view of foreign investors – and I am referring to corruption – all this comes naturally, if these aspects are handled on internal level,” Maior told private broadcaster Digi24, in connection with Liviu Dragnea’s statement regarding foreign ambassadors in Bucharest promoting the economic interests of their countries.
Maior said that if Romania wants foreign investments, it must have an effective legislation in place, “dealing with all these aspects so as to favor a bureaucracy-free environment, without suspicions of corruption, inviting a foreign investor to Romania, besides the other mentioned aspects: taxation, predictability, stability of the tax system.”
Maior said that the largest economic mission in the history of the Romanian-American relationship takes place this autumn, with over 200 US companies wishing to invest in Romania. “And all these things are of course, assessed by the US private structure that wants to invest in Romania and the greater the predictability, transparency and clarity in what we want to do in the legal field, the greater will be the success Mr. Dragnea seeks in attracting foreign investment,” Maior added.
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea said on Tuesday that he looks “with great envy” at the activity of foreign ambassadors accredited to Bucharest, who support the economic interests of their countries, asking in this context the Romanian diplomats to do the same.