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NATO summit coldness: Traian Basescu, arrogantly snubbed by Nicolas Sarkozy

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French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrogantly snubbed Romanian president over Roma deportation issues

The French-Romanian friendship on head of state level is not what it used to be. President Nicolas Sarkozy seems to have treated his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu coldly, even impolitely, at the group photo with all NATO state leaders at the Lisbon summit. Basescu tried to stop his French counterpart for a private talk, but the Paris leader snubbed him, and the angry Romanian president was consoled by Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.

After the group photo of leaders attending the NATO Lisbon summit, cameras caught a talk between Basescu and Sarkozy that didn’t seem to friendly. The footage shows Sarkozy refusing to have a conversation with Basescu. Visibly annoyed, Basescu then heads to Berlusconi, who was just having a talk with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban.

Berlusconi, more cordial than Sarkozy, not only that shakes Basescu’s hand but also takes his finger to his head, seemingly trying to say, ‘Forget about him, he’s crazy.’ However, it is not known whether Berlusconi and Basescu were discussing Sarkozy.

This is not the first time summit images show Sarkozy’s coldness to the Romanian president. Two months ago, at the Brussels European Council, photojournalists captured a similar attitude on behalf of the French president to the Romanian one, among difference related to the repatriation of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma from France.

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