Some of the Romanians on the West Coast of the United States who would have liked to meet President Klaus Iohannis in San Francisco on Thursday evening, from 19:00 (Friday morning, Romanian time), will not be able to do so .
The place is not officially indicated either
Access to the discussion organized by the embassy with members of the diaspora is by invitation only, according to Libertatea information. Many of those who contacted the newspaper are Romanians who work at high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, two of the areas with a density of Romanian specialists. “I’ve spoken to a few people who are pissed off. It was a selection that I didn’t even know about”, said one of the Romanians from the area, who left the country for over 15 years.
By the way, neither on the Cotroceni Palace websitenor the one of Embassy of Romania in the USA there is no indicated place of meeting with the diaspora. According to the newspaper’s sources, the place is the Ritz Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton Street, San Francisco, 19:00 local time.
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Iohannis’s first meeting with a community of Romanians from outside in his second term
The last event at this level that the Romanians in the area remember is the visit of President Traian Băsescu, in September 2005, to San Francisco, “when entry was free”, they say.
According to TVR, the meeting on Thursday evening, US West Coast time, is the first meeting with a community outside the borders that Klaus Iohannis has since assuming the second mandate of the president in 2019.
The meeting with Romanians from the American diaspora is organized by the Embassy of Romania in the USA, led by Iohannis’ former advisor, Alexandru Muraru.
According to Libertatea sources, the limit of 200 people, carefully chosen, was imposed by the Romanian Embassy in Washington.
The meeting at the Carlton Ritz Hotel in San Francisco is followed, the next day, by another and smaller one with Romanian businessmen from Silicon Valley, also in a place not officially disclosed by Romanian officials.
Flight of over 4,000 km
Iohannis was in New York on Tuesday, where he met with representatives of the World Bank, participated in the UN General Assembly, during which he also had an intervention, participated in a summit on global food security, and on Wednesday participated at a dinner hosted by the American president, Joe Biden.
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From the East Coast, Iohannis flew more than 4,000 km for the two meetings with the select list of Romanians. The presidential agenda does not contain any other official meetings.
Who decided who are the invited Romanians?
Libertatea contacted the Presidential Administration to find out who organized the meeting with the Romanians on the West Coast of the United States, where it will take place, if participation is free or if it is by invitation.
Cotroceniul answered just one of the questions and confirmed what I knew. The venue for the meeting is the five-star Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown San Francisco.
For the rest of the information, the Presidential Administration directed us to the Romanian Embassy in the United States.
“During his visit to the United States of America, President Klaus Iohannis will have a meeting with members of the Romanian community on the West Coast of the USA, in San Francisco, California.
The event is organized by the Embassy of Romania in the United States of America and will take place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. For information regarding the number of invitations sent and the people who will participate in the meeting, please contact the Romanian Embassy in the USA”, reads the Presidency’s response.
The newspaper also contacted the Romanian Embassy in the USA and sent the same questions, without receiving any answer for now. No reaction has yet come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
Debate with journalists selected by the campaign staff
President Iohannis is not at the first meeting with the “selected audience”. At the end of the 2019 election campaign, the two counter-candidates for the presidency, Klaus Iohannis and Viorica Dăncilă, did not have a televised confrontation, because Iohannis refused.
“This is the situation and I did not accept the discussion with this lady mainly because she is the representative of a party that is undemocratic (PSD, ed.), which governed against the Romanians and I am not willing to legitimize such a thing”, he said then Iohannis.
However, the president organized a debate in the SNSPA auditorium with journalists and personalities from civil society selected by Klaus Iohannis’ campaign staff, one in which, for example, journalist Cristian Tudor Popescu refused to participate, although he had been invited.
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