Two hours after the top National Liberal Party leadership closed its session, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu send his choice for the new holder of the Foreign Affairs portfolio, without having consulted his fellow party membersTwo hours after the top National Liberal Party leadership closed its session, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu send his choice for the new holder of the Foreign Affairs portfolio, without having consulted his fellow party members.
Lazar Comanescu, Romania's former ambassador to the European Union, was Tariceanu's choice which got immediate approval from President Traian Basescu, who also had Comanescu on the top of his list of potential foreign affairs ministers.
Comanescu was offered the job before, after the resignation of Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, but his did not accept the offer at the time.
Not only did Tariceanu keep his choice for a replacement to Adrian Cioroianu at the helm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from his fellow party members, but he also scolded them during the top leadership meeting for sharing with the media names “which have no bearing with the actual choices,” and passing them as probable portfolio holders.
Tariceanu avoided thus making Comanescu's nomination a topic, since he knew the liberals did not like him, as they deem Comanescu to be “Basescu's man.”
That his fellow leading liberals were kept in the dark was obvious from the conflicting statements they gave right at the end of the top leadership meeting: Adrian Iorgulescu stated Tariceanu would act as ad-interim foreign affairs minster, while Teodor Melescanu said the party considered professional diplomats as well as party members for the job.
Comanescu was born in 1949 in Valcea County, is married and has one daughter. He graduated in 1972 from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, the Foreign Trade Faculty, and later on he studied the Contemporary French Language and Civilization course at Sorbonne, France.
He started to work as a career diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs right after his graduation in 1972. From 1982 to 1998 he took on academic positions in his alma mater, and after the demise of communism in 1989, he became a councilor with Romania's representative office at the European Union. In 1993 he advanced in his diplomatic title, while working with the same office in Brussels. Between 1994 and 1995 he was director of the EU Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and between 1998 and 2001 he held the top position as Romania's representative along the EU and NATO. He became Romania's permanent representative to the EU in 2007.