>>8125989 (PB) re: Gitenstein hosting dinner for the Romanians after retirement

It looks like PM Ponta was in DC in October 2013. (So it's probably no big surprise that retired Ambassador Gitenstein might host a dinner party.) What was PM Ponta doing in DC? Busy Guy.

"Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta starts today an official visit to the United States, with the agenda of the visit featuring meetings with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, the state secretaries for energy and commerce as well as executives of U.S. companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, Motorola, IBM and HP.

“I think it is very important and strategic for Romania to keep, to consolidate and to offer a future prospect to our special relation, to our strategic partnership with the United States of America”, Ponta said at Victoria Palace (the Govt’s offices) on Friday , underscoring it is for the first time in 10 years that a Romanian prime minister goes on such a visit.

“Our objectives are to reaffirm the political and military strategic partnership and the prospects for cooperation in the period ahead, but also the economic partnership, since the visit also has an important economic side, namely meetings with the representatives of the major companies having already invested in Romania or possibly have investment plans; I am speaking of three important fields: energy, IT and the modern equipment and engineering industry. We will also have meetings at the Congress with those representatives directly tasked with modifying the legislation that will, in the future, allow Romania to be included in the Visa Waiver programme”, he added. The prime minister will be accompanied by the Romanian ministers of energy, foreign affairs, environment and education, Ponta adding that there will be no businessmen in the Romanian official delegation. “On returning from this visit, we can consider that the relations between the United States of America and Romania keep the positive direction of the last years and that this strategic partnership produces its beneficial effects for both parties”, Ponta stressed.