The political disputes surrounding a failed proposal to withdraw Romanian troops from Iraq continued on Monday as the Liberal Party (PNL) held talks over the rebellion of two of its ministers against the PNL-initiated idea last week and President Basescu called the move as an „anti-Romania putsch”.

PNL requested the Supreme Defense Council - CSAT last week to decide the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Iraq. But the request was not preceded by debates with Romania’s Western allies or PNL’s domestic political partners and that sparked a wave of protests, leading to a rejection of the plan in the CSAT on Friday.

Today, President Traian Basescu said the PNL initiative was a „putsch against Romania. But his acid statements were accompanied by other, milder ones made by Democratic Party (PD) leader Emil Boc, whose party propelled Basescu to power in 2004.

According to Boc, the Romanian army should not get involved in the political talks related to the troops withdrawal. And he said that Romania complies with its promises on the international stage, thus proving „the credibility of Romania” among its Western partners.

PD is a senior member of the governing coalition, along with PNL.

The Liberals, meanwhile, debated on Monday morning what to do in the case of two Liberal ministers, Sebastian Vladescu (Finance) and Mihai Razvan Ungureanu (Foreign Affairs), who dodged the party line and voted against the troops withdrawal at the CSAT session on Friday.

The party decided eventually not to sanction the two ministers because, as prime minister and PNL president Calin Popescu Tariceanu said, what is most important is that the two finish their terms and provide continuity taking into account Romania’s plans to join the EU early next year.