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No deficiency in Presidency-SIE relationship, both parties say. Rumours denied

The Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) has announced on Thursday that “there is no syncope or weakness in the institutional relationship between the SIE and the Romanian President or the Presidential Administration.”

“There is no document to be called ‘executive order’ as there is not even the concept of  ‘executive order’, to be defined as the ‘main document governing the relationship between the President of Romania and information services, as the legal way by which they can initiate special operations,” SIE underscores, referring to reports that President Iohannis had refused to sign such a document authorizing a special operation, in legal terms, for the recovery of the Romanian citizen kidnapped in Burkina Faso. The information appeared in the daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei’.

Moreover, SIE said that “it had not submitted to the President of Romania any document, let alone an ‘executive order’. Consequently, the President of Romania did not refuse to sign the executive order of SIE, because there was no such document.”

The presidency said on Thursday that the use of the situation of the Romanian kidnapped in Burkina Faso by a newspaper “to inflame political speculation is irresponsible and unacceptable” denying that the President refused to sign a SIE document for the freeing of the hostage.

The Presidential Administration denied the information published on Thursday by ‘Evenimentul Zilei’, according to which between President Klaus Iohannis and SIE Director Mihai Razvan Ungureanu allegedly there was a conflict that culminated in a refusal of the president to sign an ‘executive order’ by SIE that could have released the kidnapped Romanian in Burin Faso.

The Presidency also notes that Romanian president does not involve in any way in the work of the Foreign Intelligence Service because he has no constitutional prerogative in this regard.

Iulian Ghergut (photo), responsible for the security of the manganese mine in Tambao, located in Oudalan region, near the border with Mali and Niger, was kidnapped by five armed persons on April 4 and taken to Burkina Faso. The kidnappers attacked a patrol convoy. A gendarme and a driver were injured in the attack nearby the mine exploited by Pan African Minerals, a branch of Timis Corporation, owned by Romanian businessman Frank Timis.

Early this month, reports surfaced regarding tense relations between President Klaus Iohannis and Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) chief Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, as the latter was absent from several events that have taken place lately, several political sources, including from Cotroceni Palace, have told hotnews.ro. It is not clear if relations have deteriorated so that the head of state to ask for Ungureanu’s resignation, although some sources claim this has already happened, but the SIE chief refused to leave.

Rumours claimed one of the causes that have led to poor relations is that “Ungureanu boasts that in 2019 he will be the next president” which allegedly disturbed the head of state, the quoted sources said for HotNews.ro. In addition, Ungureanu is allegedly reproached of being dependent on certain businessmen.

About Victor Lupu