President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday that, in terms of foreign policy, the collaboration of the Government with the Presidency “is not optional, but mandatory.”
“In respect to the foreign policy matter, the collaboration is not optional, but mandatory, there aren’t or, at least, there shouldn’t be different approaches,” President Iohannis stated in Sofia, where he is attending the informal meeting of the European Council and the EU-Western Balkans Summit.
According to the head of state, Romania will be powerful only if in terms of foreign affairs it will “in a single voice.”
“This thing has been very well understood by everyone,” Iohannis pointed out.
He underscored that it’s important that there are discussions for things that concern Romania, but this thing must be carried out in Romania.
“I don’t want us to go to the other extreme and not talk about things that concern us, thus, there are things that concern us and they need to be discussed, without having a talk we won’t get to any conclusion and here it’s very important, these discussions must be carried out in Romania with specialists, and not in front of the global audience. The approach that I criticised was her [the Prime Minister’s] departure to Israel, without consulting me, without even consulting with foreign policy specialists. They started to talk about relocating the embassy. This thing is simply not to be done. It’s not that it wouldn’t be nice, not that it would indicate a select education, no, such approaches seriously damage Romania and, for this reason, they should not occur,” the head of state argued.
President Iohannis mentioned that he was welcomed very well at the informal meeting of the European Council on Wednesday evening.
“I was very nicely welcomed. I am always welcomed nicely and I believe that it should be very clear: we are truly part of the EU, it is also true that we blunder sometimes, but here we are talking about an integration that we want to be increasingly more solid and I think that we are heading towards it,” Iohannis stated.
He said that the relocation of the Embassy in Israel had not been discussed at the informal meeting of the European Council on Wednesday evening.
“This matter hasn’t been discussed, it wasn’t on the informal meeting agenda and there were no talks on this topic, not even in private, on the sidelines of the meeting,” the head of state mentioned.
According to the President, any other resolution that the European Council would make regarding the relocation of the embassies in Israel was not on the table.
“This issue was not on the table and I believe that we have a pretty clear resolution. Nobody has currently signaled the need of a new statement on this topic. We all regretted that there were so many victims at the border with the Gaza Strip, but the relocation matter has not been discussed,” Iohannis added.
On the meeting agenda also included was the nuclear agreement with Iran because three European countries are signatories of this document.
“It will continue in view of keeping the nuclear agreement,” the head of state explained.
Furthermore, representatives of the European Commission presented the approach regarding customs duties with the US.
“We will continue the negotiation. Thus, the discussion with the US representatives will continue. A solution will be sought, but all these without being under pressure. We are partners, we want to stay partners, therefore, we want to negotiate so that all the parties be satisfied,” he added.
President Iohannis on being told to request mandate to attend European Council meetings: I will evaluate that
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday he would assess the demand for him to request a mandate in order to attend the meetings of the European Council.
“I will evaluate that, but with regard to information, they should be reading the law a little and to get informed at the primary source,” Iohannis said in Sofia, Bulgaria, when asked about the statement of the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea that the chief of state has to request a mandate from Parliament if he is to attend European Council meetings.
Dragnea argues that Iohannis should have at least one round of consultations with the Government and Parliament before European Council meetings.
According to him, the meetings of the European Council discuss issues that are very much related to Romania’s economy, economic measures, measures that are in the government’s province and some in Parliament’s.
“I dislike it that certain persons are trying to induce idea of Romania choosing between US and EU”
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday stated that he “profoundly” disliked the fact that certain persons in Romania are trying to induce the idea that our country would have to choose between the US and the EU, while underscoring such approach would be “profoundly wrong.”
“We are not playing into this logic of adversity with the United States of America. This is an extremely important partner for us. But, as any family would also have misunderstandings, partners too happen to have their issues. But this doesn’t mean that we are giving up our partnership relation with the USA or that anyone gives up the European Union. No! Such an approach would be fundamentally wrong. And allow me to say on this occasion that I profoundly dislike the fact that certain persons in Romania are trying to induce the idea that we have to choose between the United States and Europe. They couldn’t be more wrong! The idea itself is very toxic and counterproductive. We, Romanians, have already made our choice. We are with the United States and with the European Union. Nobody forced us to partner any of the two. It was strictly our will and we are going to continue like this and, whenever this is needed it, we will underscore the importance of both relations for Romania and the importance of the transatlantic relation. This will be discussed and re-discussed and we will succeed together in clarifying the problems that we have, such as, for instance, the export tariffs and other things,” said Iohannis, before his participation in the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia.
He underscored that Romania’s foreign policy is based on three pillars: the strategic partnership with the United States of America, the belonging to NATO and the belonging to the European Union.
“I underscored many times that the transatlantic relation is vital and believe me that I was pleased, not to say happy, yesterday evening, when I saw that most European leaders see things the same way,” stated Iohannis.
“If things go wrong, I warn; I cannot wait for catastrophe to befall us”
He also said that if he notices that “things go wrong” in Romania, his duty is to draw attention, saying that he cannot wait for “catastrophe to befall us.”
“There was no war, there was no peace [between him and the government]. Under Article 80 of the Constitution, which defines the role of the President, the President watches over the proper functioning of the public authorities. And watching over is not a passive state. I cannot wait for a catastrophe to befall us. If I see things go wrong, I think it is my duty to draw attention; it’s not an option, it’s my duty to draw attention, to invite to discussions, to ask for informed opinions and so on. That is what I am doing,” Iohannis said in Sofia, Bulgaria, ahead of an EU-Western Balkans Summit.
He added that if “the [Social Democratic Party] PSD and the government do not like being held a mirror up to, then they should work better.” Iohannis stressed that he had the final say about relocating an embassy.
“I agree that all aspects have to be there, because it is good to know where we stand so that we may make a decision, but the final say, according to the Constitution, rests with me, and I have never decided on important matters or even less important matters to Romania, without being informed. So, a decision-maker who start blabbing in a foreign country without knowing all the details of the problem is profoundly mistaken. I am not going to be wrong about this matter,” Iohannis explained.
“Romania has major failures in terms of European funds”
In addition, the Head of the State also said on Thursday that Romania has recorded “major failures” in terms of European funds.
“We have major failures in terms of European funds and I will make a statement on this subject in the coming days, because otherwise it seems that only letters are written and the problem is not solved. I want Romania to draw European funds because they are necessary for our development,” said Iohannis in Sofia, Bulgaria.
He pointed out that in recent days some very worrying talks about European funds have emerged and that, amidst preparations for negotiating the next financial framework, it is natural to start with an analysis of the present.
The President maintains his opinion that PM Dancila should resign
The President told journalists present in Sofia that he maintained his opinion that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila should resign.
Asked whether he still thought that Dancila should resign, the head of the state said: “Yes, obviously.”
“I cannot afford to threaten anybody. It would be a primitive attitude. I was just speaking about her resignation, and if someone watches Mafia movies too often, it is that person’s problem,” said Iohannis, before participating in the EU-Western Balkans Summit.
Iohannis on recalling Palestinian Ambassador: The matter will solve itself, neither of us should exaggerate
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday stated in relation to the recalling of the Palestinian Ambassador in Romania that the matter will solve itself and that “we shouldn’t exaggerate, neither of us.”
“The matter will solve itself. We shouldn’t exaggerate, neither of us,” said Iohannis, before his participation in the EU-Western Balkans Summit, when asked how was this situation going to be solved, in the context of the withdrawal of the Palestinian Ambassador.
Palestine’s Ambassador to Romania, His Excellency Fuad Kokaly, was urgently called on Wednesday morning to Ramallah for consultations, informed the Palestinian Embassy in Romania.