CROATIA AT THE SIGNING OF THE ADRIATIC CHARTER

Posted on November 15, 2011


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000954

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PGOV HR HRPREL NATO NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIA AT THE SIGNING OF THE ADRIATIC CHARTER

CLASSIFIED BY: CDA PATRICK S. MOON FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D)

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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 01 OF 02 301022Z
¶1. (C) CROATIA TOOK SOME TIME TO WARM TO THE IDEA OF THE
ADRIATIC CHARTER. BECAUSE OF ITS FEAR OF BEING TRAPPED IN A
NEW BALKAN ALLIANCE AND ALSO BECAUSE OF AN ARROGANT
ASSUMPTION THAT ITS MORE ADVANCED LEVEL OF ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT MADE IT A BETTER NATO CANDIDATE, CROATIA RESISTED
TYING ITS FORTUNES TO ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA. BUT CROATIA HAS
SINCE BECOME AN ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORTER OF THE CHARTER. THE
GOVERNMENT AND ESPECIALLY FM PICULA HAVE TAKEN US AT OUR WORD
THAT EACH CANDIDATE WILL BE EVALUATED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS.
THEY ALSO REALIZE THAT BY SIGNING, CROATIA CAN DEMONSTRATE
ITS COMMITMENT TO WORKING COOPERATIVELY WITH OTHER
PROSPECTIVE ALLIES. FINALLY, PICULA HOPES THAT THE CHARTER
WILL ENSURE THAT THE U.S. REMAINS COMMITTED TO FUTURE
EXPANSION.

¶2. (C) WE EXPECT THAT THE SECRETARY’S SCHEDULE WILL ALLOW
VERY LITTLE TIME FOR SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION WITH FM PICULA.
THERE ARE, HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF ISSUES WHICH MAY COME UP IN
WHICH THE SECRETARY’S ENGAGEMENT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL.

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UN-FROZEN ASSETS FROM YUGOSLAVIA
——————————–

¶3. (C) CROATIA CONTINUES TO OBJECT TO OUR FORMULA TO
UN-BLOCK FUNDS FROZEN IN THE U.S. BY MILOSEVIC-ERA SANCTIONS.

POINT TO MAKE:

– CROATIA NEEDS TO PUT THIS ISSUE IN THE PAST, AS OTHER
SUCCESSOR STATES HAVE, AND ACCEPT THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS.
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 01 OF 02 301022Z

——————–
ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT
——————–

¶4. (C) CROATIA HAS NOT BEGUN TO NEGOTIATE AN ARTICLE 98
AGREEMENT, AND MILITARY ASSISTANCE ESSENTIAL TO CROATIA’S
MODERNIZATION AND INTEROPERABILITY GOALS IS IN JEOPARDY.

POINT TO MAKE:

– URGE YOU TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS FOR AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THE JULY 1 DEADLINE IS LOOMING AND
CROATIA MUST NOT COUNT ON A WAIVER.

—————-
ICTY COOPERATION
—————-

¶5. (C) CROATIA MET THE TRIBUNAL’S RECENT DEADLINES FOR
COOPERATION, BUT ONLY AT THE LAST MINUTE AND ONLY UNDER HEAVY
PRESSURE. THE INDICTMENT WAS SERVED ON GENERAL BOBETKO,
REQUESTS FOR DOCUMENTS ARE ON THE WAY TO BEING FULFILLED, AND
FUGITIVE ICTY INDICTEE IVICA RAJIC HAS BEEN APPREHENDED.

POINTS TO MAKE:

– PROMPT AND FULL COOPERATION WITH ICTY IS ESSENTIAL AND
NON-NEGOTIABLE AND IS A LITMUS TEST FOR CROATIA’S READINESS
TO ADVANCE IN THE PROCESS OF INTEGRATION INTO NATO AND THE
EU.
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– URGE YOU TO REDOUBLE YOUR EFFORTS TO APPREHEND ICTY
FUGITIVE ANTE GOTOVINA.

—————
REFUGEE RETURNS
—————

¶6. (C) CROATIA HAS NOT DONE ENOUGH ON THIS ISSUE. DESPITE
PROGRESS ON RECONSTRUCTION OF WAR-DAMAGED HOUSES, THE
GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO MEET DEADLINES ON EVICTIONS OF
THOUSANDS OF CROAT “SQUATTERS” IN HOMES BELONGING TO ETHNIC
SERBS WHO FLED DURING THE WAR, NOR HAS IT MET COMMITMENTS TO
COMPENSATE OWNERS. NOW THE RACAN GOVERNMENT IS RESISTING
ENGAGEMENT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON THIS ISSUE.

POINT TO MAKE:

– IT IS THE CONSENSUS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT
YOUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING ENOUGH TO SUPPORT REFUGEE
RETURNS. THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE, AND UNTIL IT IS ADDRESSED
IN A SERIOUS, SYSTEMATIC WAY, IT BLOCKS CROATIA’S INTEGRATION
INTO EURO-ATLANTIC INSTITUTIONS.

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PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 02 301022Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NRRC-00 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OIC-02 DHS-00 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 R-00 SSD-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01
G-00 SSR-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /007W
——————5D4E5E 301022Z /38
O 301011Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0063
INFO AMEMBASSY SKOPJE IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY
USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000954

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PGOV HR HRPREL NATO NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIA AT THE SIGNING OF THE ADRIATIC CHARTER

——————————————-
CONTRIBUTION TO WAR ON TERROR/IRAQI FREEDOM
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PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 02 301022Z
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¶7. (C) CROATIA HAS BEEN A SOLID ALLY IN THE WAR ON
TERRORISM, AND HAS MADE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS. CROATIA’S
ONLY MILITARY UNIT CERTIFIED AS NATO-INTEROPERABLE (AN MP
PLATOON) IS NOW DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN. CROATIA REFUSED TO
BECOME A MEMBER OF THE COALITION ON IRAQ, PREFERRING TO SCORE
POINTS WITH THE FRENCH TO SUPPORT ITS EU MEMBERSHIP BID.
CROATIA HAS OFFERED IN-KIND ASSISTANCE TO IRAQ AND IS
CONSIDERING OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS, BUT THIS IS AN ELECTION
YEAR, AND THE RACAN GOVERNMENT HAS NOT BEEN WILLING TO SWIM
THE TIDE AGAINST PUBLIC OPINION TO SUPPORT OUR APPROACH.
OFFICIALS SEEK TO KEEP CROATIA’S COOPERATION ON TERRORISM
DISTINCT FROM ITS RESISTANCE ON IRAQ.

POINT TO MAKE

– WE APPRECIATE CROATIA’S IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WAR
ON TERRORISM. WE HOPE CROATIA WILL RESPOND POSITIVELY TO
CONCRETE REQUESTS FOR SUPPORT TO ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ.

———————————-
PROGRESS TOWARD MEMBERSHIP IN NATO
———————————-

¶8. (C) IN THE THREE YEARS SINCE THE CURRENT COALITION
DEFEATED THE NATIONALIST REGIME LED BY TUDJMAN’S HDZ,
CROATIA’S STATUS CHANGED FROM BEING OUTSIDE PFP TO THAT OF
SERIOUS ASPIRANT IN NATO’S MEMBERSHIP ACTION PLAN. PROGRESS
HAS BEEN UNEVEN AND, IN SOME AREAS, DISAPPOINTING. AT
CROATIA’S FIRST FORMAL MAP REVIEW IN BRUSSELS ON MAY 8,
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00954 02 OF 02 301022Z
PICULA WILL HEAR A TOUGH MESSAGE ON REFORMS.

POINT TO MAKE:

– COMMEND YOUR GOVERNMENT’S PROGRESS AND REITERATE USG
COMMITMENT TO NATO’S OPEN DOOR. URGE YOU TO MAKE PROGRESS ON
KEY REFORM AREAS — MOST OF NATO’S BENCHMARKS WILL HELP YOU
PROGRESS TOWARD MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU AS WELL.
MOON

CONFIDENTIAL

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