President invites PM to Cotroceni on Tuesday over thorny issue of embassy to Jerusalem following tensions with ruling coalition

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President Klaus Iohannis has invited PM Viorica Dancila for consultation at Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday on the topic of relocation of the Romanian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while the premier confirmed she would attend the meeting.

The invitation of the President says that ”considering the opinions expressed by the Government on the latest developments in the foreign policy, based on article 86 in the Constitution, I invite you for consultations on May 15 at 11:00hr at the Cotroceni Palace. Consultations are aimed to clarify some foreign policy aspects, including the topic of relocating the Romanian embassy from Israel, which represent urgent and extremely important matters.

The document mentions that the prime minister can be accompanied by the resort ministers at the meeting.

The premier replied: ”I received your invitation for consultations on current topic of foreign policy, namely the latest developments in the Middle East and the bilateral relations of Romania with Israel. I confirm participation.

The invitation comes at the end of an extremely tense day between the head of state and the members of the Government and of the ruling party. It all started when the Presidency announced earlier on Monday that FM Teodor Melescanu is summoned at Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday to explain discordant stance on Jerusalem embassy with the EU. Although the FM has initially accepted, he backed out later in the day following harsh attacks of the ruling leaders and said he would not go. PM Dancila, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea and the Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu slammed the invitation addressed to the FM, arguing the premier should have been consulted first.

After President Iohannis announced during the weekend  he would summon FM Teodor Melescanu to explain the motivation for blocking the EU statement on the embassy relocation to Jerusalem, the Presidential Administration announced the meeting will take place at Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday at 11:00hr.

PM Dancila has promptly retorted that the President should call the prime-minister first if he wants to have a talk with the foreign minister.

Viorice Dancila says that everybody must assume and respect the procedure.

I hope to talk to Mr. President. If the president wants a minister to come to Cotroceni, he must speak first with the prime-minister, this is the normal procedure. Mr. Melescanu has talked to me and he will go if the prime minister gives the consent. I cannot give my consent for something which I am not asked for,” the premier said.

Asked during the weekend in Blaj if he talked to PM Viorica Dancila about the resignation topic, Klaus Iohannis answered he hadn’t, while also sending a message to Dancila. “I haven’t talked these issues with her and I think she’d better do what she is told to.

„You should analyse Mr. President’s statement and you’ll see if it sounds like a threat,” PM Dancila told journalists, referring to Iohannis’ statement.

Moreover, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea has lashed out at the head of state over this statement, stating on Monday that “the explicit threat” of President Iohannis against PM Dancila is made “in the mafia style”. As for Romania’s position on the EU statement to condemn the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Dragnea delivered a message to Iohannis, saying “there is no <daddy> position” on this and that the Iohannis age is even worse than the Basescu one.

 “The Foreign Ministry has very clear tasks. The Foreign minister gives tasks to the Romanian diplomatic representatives. We all hoped that Basescu era is over. It seems that Iohannis era is even worse than the Basescu era. There is no<daddy> position in Romania’s Constitution. There is the President position, with some clearly defined competences. We cannot stay indifferent to see that some adventures generated by various interests can put Romania in a confronting position with the US. I will not accept that and I will do my best to prevent such a stance, politically and constitutionally,” Dragnea underlined, adding that Romania’s stance has been always to support the peace process in the Middle East and to support and stimulate the pursuit of negotiations.
However, soon after the PM’s and PSD chair’s statements, Antena 3 reported that FM Melescanu would attend the meeting required by President Iohannis on Tuesday, although he had initially said he would go.

Political sources revealed he had indeed a phone conversation with PM Dancila and they haad agreed that Melescanu would not go to Cotroceni presidential palace.

On the other hand, Digi24 informed that FM Melescanu might eventually go to talk to Iohannis if the President calls prime minister Dancila.

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