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Potential US vice-president Joseph Biden had a face-off with Romanian politician in 1999 and threatened to block Romania's NATO accession

de V.O.     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 26 august 2008, 17:17 English | Regional Europe

Joseph Biden, the man chosen by Barack Obama to run for vice-president of the United States, visited Romania in September 1999 and had a heated dispute with a leader of the Romanian opposition of the time, on the issue of Romania's plans to join NATO. The event is told by James Rosapepe, former US Ambassador to Romania (1998-2001), now a Maryland Senator (D), in a column published in Wall Street Journal.

The argument of the column is to answer how Joseph Biden as Vice-President would manage his responsibilities in office.

Rosapepe says that in September 1999, when many a US official used to stop in Bucharest to thank Romanians for their support following the Kosovo conflict, Biden came to the Romanian capital with lots of tough questions from the very beginning.

At one meeting with leaders of opposition parties in Romania, one argued in favor of NATO accession as such a move would prevent NATO from attacking Romania over its relations with its Hungarian minority, as it had just attacked Yugoslavia. That infuriated Biden, who replied that should that be the reason Romania wanted to join the Alliance, he would make sure it would never happen.

He was later assured by other Romanian politicians that their colleague erred and that Romanians had good relations with the Hungarian minority.
























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