ZAGREB DAILY ACTIVITY REPORT: FEBRUARY 26, 2010

Posted on December 11, 2011


UNCLAS ZAGREB 000122 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON HR SUBJECT: ZAGREB DAILY ACTIVITY REPORT: FEBRUARY 26, 2010 POLITICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CROATIA AND SERBIA STAGNATING, FM JANDROKOVIC SAYS 1. (U)  Political relations between Croatia and Serbia are stagnating, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said in a February 25 television interview; although he stressed that the countries had good cooperation on economic, police, judicial and cultural issues.  Jandrokovic was responding to questions about Serbian President Boris Tadic’s comments earlier in the week that relations between the two countries would be damaged if The Hague war crimes tribunal acquits Croatian General Ante Gotovina.  Both Jandrokovic, and in a separate statement Prime Minister Kosor, described Tadic’s comments as inappropriate pressure on the ICTY.  Jandrokovic added that Tadic “should be a bit more careful about what he says” considering that Serbia has not extradited either Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic or Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic to The Hague.  Despite political tensions, Jandrokovic raised the possibility of a meeting between President Ivo Josipovic and President Tadic at a summit of Southeastern European countries in March in Slovenia. EVEN AS CROATIA SEEKS SERBIAN TOURISTS AS BELGRADE TOURISM FAIR 2. (U) Despite the on-going political exchanges (see previous item), Croatia was officially represented at Belgrade’s International Tourism Fair for the first time since the break-up of Yugoslavia.  Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs personally attended to promote Croatia as a summer holiday destination for Serbians.  According to Bajs, Croatia wants to increase the number of Serbian tourists in Croatia to above the 2009 figure of nearly 90,000.  Bajs also discussed the possibility of increasing the number of flights from Belgrade to Croatian destinations with Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic.  Currently, there is only one weekly flight from Belgrade to JAT Airways to Pula.  Bajs claimed there were no legal obstacles to more flights, but that increased routes will depend not so much on flight permits but on demand levels and the profitability of the routes.  Local media reported that Croatia’s presentation was well received, but that Serbian tour operators want reductions in Croatian hotel prices to make the offers more attractive for their clients. U.S. EURASIAN ENERGY ENVOY BEGINS VISIT TO CROATIA 3. (U) U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Ambassador Richard Morningstar began a two-day visit to Croatia on February 25 with a trip to the island of Krk, site of Croatia’s largest oil terminal and proposed site of a LNG terminal.  He met with Ante Markov, director of state-owned oil-pipeline operator JANAF, and discussed JANAF expansion, Croatia’s role in regional energy issues, and Prime Minister Kosor’s March 1-2 visit to Moscow.  On February 26, Ambassador Morningstar is meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Zagreb, PM Kosor, and member of Parliament Kresimir Cosic, who has been heading the Sabor’s consideration of national energy policy.  Amb. Morningstar will have dinner with leading energy specialists and officials involved in the LNG terminal at the Residence. AMBASSADOR FOLEY ATTENDS AMCHAM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONFERENCE 4. (U) U.S. Ambassador to Croatia James Foley opened an IPR conference on February 25 organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia.  In his remarks, the Ambassador stressed the importance of innovation and intellectual property protection for economic growth and noted U.S. support of reforms aimed at liberalizing Croatia’s economy. Ljiljana Kuterovac from the State Intellectual Property Office commented that intellectual property is still insufficiently protected in Croatia.  Most IPR protection cases in Croatia are brought by foreigners and individuals, in contrast to global trends, where patent protection is mainly used by companies.  She added that Croatia is second to last among European countries according to the number of patents registered with the European Patent Office.  The State Intellectual Property Office is proposing changes to the government’s intellectual property development strategy, and pushing for wider application of intellectual property protection in the industry in accordance with international and European standards. FOLEY