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U.S. Nominated Ambassador To Romania To Focus On Corruption, International Adoptions
The nominated U.S. Ambassador to Romania said the improvement of the economic environment for American companies, especially through the fight against corruption, as well as the resumption of international adoptions will be his priorities throughout the mandate, according to the U.S. Senate website.
Mark H. Gitenstein made these statements Tuesday evening, during his hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will decide whether to confirm him as Ambassador to Romania. Gitenstein said “There is a significant U.S. business presence in Romania, but we can and should do more. If confirmed, one of my highest priorities as ambassador will be to improve the environment for U.S. businesses and to increase trade between our two countries.”
Gitenstein added: “key to that effort will be convincing Romania to invest the resources needed to fight corruption, increase transparency, reform fiscal controls, and cement an independent judiciary and regulatory apparatus. Romania will not be able to attract long-term investment dollars without ensuring fairness to U.S. companies in terms of approvals, payments and reimbursements as they fulfill their contractual commitments.
Another priority of the U.S.A., according to Gitenstein, is the “resumption of international adoptions (…) in particular the so-called “pipeline” cases.” “I can’t imagine how heart-wrenching it must be for parents to work so hard to identify a needy child to take into their home, only to suffer years of separation from them with no idea when they can be reunited,” Gitenstein said
“The story of Romania in the past two decades is a remarkable one – from a Soviet satellite to one of our most loyal and dependable allies in the region; and from a struggling government-managed market to what was the fastest growing economy in Europe before the world-wide recession hit. Fourteen Romanian soldiers have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, and three times that number have been wounded. Romania’s commitment to this effort has earned it a place alongside other steadfast allies,” he said.
Gitenstein also mentioned the “genuine commitment expressed by leaders like President Basescu to eradicate anti-Semitism and end discrimination against the Roma people.” In the matter, Gitenstein added: “If confirmed, I will be honored to be present at the planned dedication in Bucharest this fall of a Holocaust memorial. I was also pleased to see the Romanian government rescue Roma harassed in Ireland last month. However, we have work to continue with Romania in areas such as property restitution.”
Moreover, the Obama nominated Ambassador said he is American of Romanian origins, as his parents were immigrants from Romania in 1890.
“My great grandparents immigrated to America in the 1890s from Romania. If I am confirmed, I will be proud to be the first Romanian-American to hold this post,” Gitenstein said.
Mark Gitenstein, nominated on June 12 by American President Barack Obama for the position of Ambassador to Romania, stood out through lobby activities in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the consultancy offered to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a career in law.
According to the U.S. White House website, “Mr. Gitenstein is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in issues related to national security and civil liberties. He is also a partner at the Washington office of the multi-national firm Mayer Brown LLP. Prior to his work at Mayer Brown, Mr. Gitenstein was the Executive Director of The Foundation for Change Inc. Previously, Mr. Gitenstein worked as a Senate staff member for 17 years— both in Senator Biden’s personal office, and then as Chief Counsel with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is the author of Matters of Principle, an award winning book on his experience managing the Judiciary Committee staff during the confirmation battle over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987. Mr. Gitenstein holds a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.”
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