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09BUCHAREST473 2009-07-08 07:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bucharest
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1. (SBU) MFA Director General Calin Stoica, accompanied by
Security Policy (NATO) Minister Counselor Dan Grigorescu, met
with Charge and POLMILOFF on July 7 to convey the GOR's
support for Iulian Chifu to be a candidate for the NATO
Secretary General's Panel of Experts to consult on the
development of a new NATO Strategic Concept. Stoica
emphasized Chifu's qualifications as a security expert, his
youth (he is 41 years old), and his solid standing among
international civil society organizations. Stoica
furthermore highlighted Chifu's experience and expertise in
the Caucasus, Black Sea area, and the full range of European
security issues. Recognizing that the decision is ultimately
the incoming Secretary General's call, Stoica nonetheless
hoped that consultations with close allies who might be
willing to put in a good word for Romania's candidate would
help Chifu's chances.

2. (C) Comment: Chifu is a close contact of this Mission.
He is the Director of the Conflict Prevention and Early
Warning Center in Bucharest and in that capacity has
organized multiple conferences on European security issues
including one on NATO and ESDP last winter, and most recently
one on NATO Capabilities and Budgeting for European Defense:
Territorial versus Expeditionary Forces. Chifu has an
impressive number of academic achievements and has authored
dozens of "white papers" for the Ministry of National Defense
and the Foreign Ministry on a wide range of European Security
issues from Transnistria to Consequence Management issues (CV
emailed to EUR/CE).

3. (C) (Comment Cont.) What Stoica did not say was that
President Basescu personally hand-picked Chifu to be
Romania's candidate. Basescu trusts Chifu to represents
Romania's interests without distortion. Chifu is also seen
as an extremely competent expert empowered directly by
Cotroceni Palace who would report faithfully to the
President, according to MFA State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu.
Aurescu added that Chifu's experience and standing are such
that he is above reproach from any of the three major parties
in Romania, an invaluable attribute during a presidential
election year. Mission concurs that Chifu should be fully
considered as a viable and professional representative of not
only Romania's but also more broadly of Eastern European
regional interests. End Comment.