Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Thursday that Premier Viorica Dancila has approved the proposed Romanian ambassador to Israel, but he cannot reveal his name because he is waiting for President Klaus Iohannis’s decision.
“Yesterday, the Prime Minister approved a proposed candidacy for Israel. For the time being I cannot tell you. We have to see what the President’s decision is going to be. At any rate, before obtaining the agreement, we cannot publicly reveal the name,” Teodor Melescanu stated.
Likewise, when asked whether the assessment of ambassadors has started, the minister replied: “Yes, of course, it has started, we have received the respective materials from basically all embassies and we are now trying to carry out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of these answers.”
Referring to the discontent that PSD leader Liviu Dragnea has expressed in what concerns ambassadors, Melescanu said there is room for improvement.
“Of course, the issues related to the promotion of economic interests are of priority, including through our governing programme. What the ministry can and must do is open doors, create contacts that would allow public or private companies to enjoy certain business opportunities. This has been mostly done, but there is room for better,” he added.
Referring to future appointments of Foreign Ministry (MAE) diplomats, Teodor Melescanu claimed that they are “career people” and the offices they hold are won via competition, stating that sometimes they are appointed via political decision too.
“In the MAE there are only career people, they enter via competition, so all those working at embassies are professionals. In what concerns the leadership of the embassies, it is mostly held also by ambassadors coming from the MAE, but sometimes there are political appointments too, just as happens in other states that are bigger and more democratic than us,” he concluded.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated two weeks ago that he expects the MAE to forward, as fast as possible, the proposal regarding Romania’s ambassador to Israel, stating that the Premier and the ruling coalition will also have a say.
“We, the Prime Minister and I, are expecting from the MAE, as fast as possible, the proposed ambassador to the State of Israel. It’s been more than a year since Romania last had an ambassador to Israel and this is not all right at all,” Liviu Dragnea said.
Perception of Romania inside EU, correct to large extent; fake news leads to bleak picture
Perception of Romania inside the European Union is, to a great extent, correct, but there is also fake news that leads to a murky image of the country, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Thursday.
“In our today’s world, perception is stronger than reality. Nobody knows what is really going on in Romania, but they have a perception of what is happening in Romania. (…) To a great extent it [the perception] is arguably correct, but at the same time, there is also much fake news to the delight of the press, but which does not reflect reality. Surely that leads to a murky picture of Romania. That is why public diplomacy and strategic communication are priorities with us in the Foreign Ministry (MAE),” Melescanu told Parliament.
Asked whether a law of defamation is still needed, as Liviu Dragnea, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies would argue, Melescanu said: “Things can be done in different manners.”
“I want to tell you that one of the most important and most effective means is a US organisation called the Anti-Defamation League, which has a very serious policy to fight against defamation. It is about the Jewish community. So that can be done by legal means but also by creating bodies that really can handle such problems,” Melescanu added.
He mentioned that it must be seen if regulations in this respect are to be contained in a single legal instrument.
“I think it can be done, taking into account the provisions that already exist in various laws,” said Melescanu.
Melescanu participated in the opening of the 7th edition of the International Conference on Diplomacy and Global Affairs – “2Day Ambassador,” organised by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Romania – the Lauder-Reut Educational Complex.
On March 12, national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said that PSD will sponsor a piece of legislation to punish people disrespecting Romania’s picture abroad.
Romania must support Republic of Moldova’s European path
Romania must strongly support the Republic of Moldova’s European path, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Thursday on the 100th anniversary on 27 March of Bessarabia’s Union to Romania.
“The event is very clear, basically it is the creation of the modern Romanian state, which represented a centuries’ dream to us and at the same time, an extremely important project. What we can do today is to firmly support, as we actually do, the Republic of Moldova in its European path because eventually, Moldova’s association with the EU will practically create a space of free circulation of people, capitals, goods, services and even the possibility to vote in local elections when you are member of the EU. Therefore I believe what we must do is to strongly support the European path of the Republic of Moldova,” Teodor Melescanu said in Parliament, asked about the significance of this event and what Romania can do today.
He also referred to the local communities in the Republic of Moldova that voted, at the local councils’ level, for the unification with Romania, mentioning that this demarche is the expression of a the desire to be as close as possible to our country and has no legal influence.
“It is the expression of a desire that many citizens of the Republic of Moldova have to be closer to Romania and to feel more Romanian than we do. This decision has no legal influence. It is the expression of a desire to be as close as possible to Romania, a desire that we also share,” Melescanu added.