Romania’s president has recalled 26 ambassadors, adding more than a dozen envoys on Monday to his list of recalls, a move that is linked to a fresh approach to foreign policy in difficult areas.
Most of the ambassadors called back were appointed by President Klaus Iohannis at the beginning of his first term as president and have served the customary four years in the role or even longer.
The changes mean that Romania will have new envoys to Russia and Turkey, which are key posts amid growing tensions in the Black Sea region.
The Netherlands, which will have a new ambassador, is also considered a difficult portfolio due to opposition from the government to Romania’s desire to join the passport-free Schengen Area.
Relations with Hungary, where a new envoy will be named, are tricky due to travel complications during the coronavirus pandemic. Hungary recently imposed restrictions on foreigners entering the country due to rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. Hungary is a corridor for thousands of Romanians who drive through the country on their way to Western Europe.
Mr. Iohannis hasn’t yet named his replacements. The envoys are expected to return by the end of the year.
Among the other diplomats summoned back were Romania’s ambassador to Britain, Dan Mihalache, and Bucharest’s envoy to UNESCO, Adrian Cioroianu, a former foreign minister who have both served out their terms.
The ambassadors to Bangladesh, Nepal, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Morocco, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Iran and the head of Romania’s permanent mission to international organizations in Vienna, Austria were also recalled.
On Friday, Mr. Iohannis signed presidential decrees recalling the ambassadors to Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Netherlands, Iraq and seven other countries.