Geoana, Basescu discuss foreign policy at election debate

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Romania’s foreign policy, particularly in regard to the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation, was the object of dispute at an election debate on Thursday evening between presidential candidates Mircea Geoana and Traian Basescu.

Geoana pointed out that foreign policy is an important power of Romania’s President, saying that Romania has reached a point in time where its prestige is seriously affected by prolonged crisis, and also that there was no right cooperation between the President and former Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu. ‘Many times domestic issues irrupted into foreign policy themes.

Romania has to stay the country that is building a strong European and Euro-Atlantic profile for itself and our loyalty to Europe and the US should remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy,’ said Geoana.

Yet, he underscored that, given the fact that the world is changing, that multiple problems are emerging in Romania’s neighbourhoods and emerging powers, such as China, India and Russia become more visible and new developments are emerging in the world, ‘Romania’s foreign policy should become more pragmatic to allow the country to be loyal to its Western alliances, but also to develop commercial, trade and investment relations with those which, in the end, are the powers of the 21st century.’

‘We will have to attach special attention to relations with the Republic of Moldova, which was the country that toppled Europe’s last communist regime. On December 1, Romania’s National Day, the new state leadership in Moldova decided to repeal the Stalinist idea that the Moldovan language is a separate language,’ said Geoana.
Traian Basescu underscored that national interests should be at the core of the country’s foreign policy.

He believes Romania has good relations with the US, with which it has concluded a strategic partnership, and the results of this relationship is confirmed, among other things, by the presence of US troops at Romania’s military bases at the country’s eastern borders. ‘At the same time, we need a consistent policy within the European Union that is correlated with the interests of the countries that many times have similar interests. For this reason, through diplomatic efforts, we have managed to sign a partnership with France within the EU.

As far as the Republic of Moldova is concerned, immediately after its communist regime was replaced, the new power agreed with us and we signed the decrees under which Romanian consular offices were opened in Cabul and Balti, Molodva, and another one will open in Iasi, Romania,’ said Basescu, the incumbent President, mentioning that an agreement on small border trade has also been signed between the two countries to facilitate the movement of Moldovan citizens in Romania.

To Traian Basescu it is essential that Romania develop a peace policy south of the Danube River, in the Balkans, and also a policy to link the region to Central Asia and particularly to the Caspian region.

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