DEPUTY SECRETARY LEW – U.S./SLOVENIA BILAT: AREAS FOR

Posted on September 9, 2011


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SUBJECT: DEPUTY SECRETARY LEW – U.S./SLOVENIA BILAT: AREAS FOR
COOPERATION IN THE REGION AND FURTHER AFIELD, INCLUDING AFGHANISTAN

¶1. (SBU) Summary: Deputy Secretary Lew met Slovenian President
Danilo Turk in the margins of the February 18 inauguration of new
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic. Lew was accompanied by U.S.
Ambassador to Croatia James Foley and Chief of Staff Piper Campbell.
Turk was joined by Dusan Snoj, of the Office of the President.
Croatia’s EU accession, U.S.-Slovenian relations, U.S.
disappointment with the EU parliament’s failure to support SWIFT,
and Slovenia’s contribution in Afghanistan were discussed during the
meeting, which took place in the Presidential palace in Zagreb. In
addition to seeking appointment of a U.S. Ambassador to Ljubjlana,
Turk urged the U.S. to send a senior representative to a March 20
regional stability meeting Slovenia and Croatia will co-host. End
Summary.

¶2. (SBU)The Deputy Secretary discussed Croatia’s EU accession with
Slovenian President Danilo Turk February 18 and noted the importance
of Croatia and Slovenia having agreed to arbitration to resolve
outstanding issues. Turk praised the arbitration agreement reached
in November between Prime Minister Kosor of Croatia and Prime
Minister Pahor of Slovenia, saying it was in the interests of both
parties. Turk noted the important role the EU had played in
advancing the arbitration agreement and predicted Slovenia would
approve the agreement “in a few months time.” (NOTE: Croatia’s
Parliament has already ratified the agreement. Slovenia has three
steps remaining: The Constitutional Court’s review, a parliamentary
vote, and a referendum. End Note.) Turk said that newly
inaugurated Croatian President Josipovic’s anti-corruption platform
is good for Croatia and the region, and he also extolled PM Kosor’s
words and actions countering corruption. Turk described Kosor as
“serious and capable of delivering” on her anti-corruption campaign.

¶3. (SBU) The Deputy Secretary praised Slovenia’s contribution to
ISAF in Heart and with an OMLT. Turk noted the challenge European
politicians face in managing a “changing political climate” and
public opinion in Europe with reference to Afghanistan. He said it
was important to stress that this is not a foreign military
occupation nor is it something unwelcome to the people of
Afghanistan. He said “stability” and the principle of “building an
Afghanistan for the Afghan people” were important concepts to
emphasize. He said President Obama’s December speech was very good,
but that Europeans tend to reduce the message to troop increase;
Turk urged more U.S. attention to messaging in Europe.
Deuputy Secretary Lew noted the crucial role the ANA, ANP and even
Afghan politicians are playing as the current campaign proceeds in
Marjah and expressed the hope that these facts-on-the-ground would form
part of the message that the surge is designed exactly around the
concept of building, and using, Afghan capacity.

¶4. (SBU) Turk and Lew discussed a Slovenia-Croatia high level
conference scheduled for March 20 to promote an EU perspective in
Southeastern Europe, and Turk appealed for significant U.S.
participation. Lew expressed U.S. disappointment with the European
Parliament’s recent negative vote on information exchange (SWIFT)
with the United States. While praising the current Charg, Turk
appealed for assignment of a new U.S. Ambassador in Ljubljana and
noted that the government faces criticism from an opposition which
uses the nearly year-long absence of an Ambassador to suggest there
are problems in the U.S.-Slovenian relationship.
FOLEY

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