wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB1047 2003-05-12 17:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

CROATIA/ICC: STILL TAKING A TOUGH LINE ON ARTICLE

Tags:   PREL PGOV HR UNSC NATO 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 001047 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/12/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PGOV HR UNSC HRPREL UNSC NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIA/ICC: STILL TAKING A TOUGH LINE ON ARTICLE
98 NEGOTIATIONS

REF: A. STATE 92865

B. 02 STATE 253531

CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF ROB SILBERSTEIN, REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

SUMMARY



1. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ON MAY 12 PRESSED DEPUTY FOREIGN
MINISTER IVAN SIMONOVIC TO CONCLUDE AN ARTICLE 98 OR OTHER
NON-SURRENDER AGREEMENT. SHOULD CROATIA FAIL TO DO SO BY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 01047 01 OF 02 121715Z
JULY 1 WHEN THE AMERICAN SERVICEMEMBERS PROTECTION ACT COMES
INTO EFFECT, IT STANDS TO PUT AT RISK OVER USD 19 MILLION IN
FMF AND IMET ASSISTANCE (FY00 TO FY03) KEY TO ITS NATO
INTEGRATION ASPIRATIONS. DFM SIMONOVIC SAID THAT ICTY
LINKAGES DURING AN ELECTION YEAR -- PARTICULARLY WHEN NEW
INDICTMENTS ARE EXPECTED -- AND THE GOC'S DESIRE NOT TO GET
OUT IN FRONT OF THE EU MADE NEGOTIATING AN AGREEMENT ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE GOC.



2. (C) SIMONOVIC ASKED IF WASHINGTON MIGHT GRANT CROATIA AN
ASPA WAIVER -- EVEN FOR SIX MONTHS -- PARTICULARLY, HE
CLAIMED, SINCE THE GOC WAS SET TO UNDERTAKE A NUMBER OF
PROMISING, BUT POLITICALLY DIFFICULT, REFUGEE RETURN
INITIATIVES. WHILE THE AMBASSADOR URGED SIMONOVIC TO
IMPLEMENT THE GOC'S REFUGEE RETURN AGENDA (DESCRIBED SEPTEL),
THERE COULD BE NO LINKAGE BETWEEN THOSE EFFORTS AND AN ASPA
WAIVER. THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT THE GOC HAD TO FIND A
WAY TO BALANCE ITS INTERESTS AND TO MANAGE LINKAGES TO ICTY.
RESPONDING TO SIMONOVIC, THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT HE HAD NO
INDICATION THAT THE EU WAS WORKING ON AN ARTICLE 98
INITIATIVE FOR THESSALONIKI. END SUMMARY.

PRESSING THE GOC ON ARTICLE 98


--------------------------





3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR, ACCOMPANIED BY DCM AND POLOFF, CALLED
ON DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IVAN SIMONOVIC ON MAY 12 TO PRESS
THE GOC TO CONCLUDE AN ARTICLE 98 OR NON-SURRENDER AGREEMENT.
THE AMBASSADOR BRIEFED THE DFM ON PROGRESS TO DATE -- 34
AGREEMENTS SIGNED AND SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY WITH SOME
OF CROATIA'S NEIGHBORS. TALKS WITH THE EU HAVE BEEN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 01047 01 OF 02 121715Z
FRUITFUL, BUT SCOPE OF COVERAGE ISSUES HAVE PREVENTED THE
U.S. FROM REACHING AN EU-MODEL AGREEMENT.



4. (C) THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT PRIME MINISTER RACAN AND
OTHER GOC OFFICIALS TOLD HIM IN 2002 THAT THEY WISHED TO
REACH AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT, BUT THAT CROATIA DID NOT WANT
TO GET OUT IN FRONT OF THE EU AND, THEREFORE, PREFERRED TO
WAIT FOR AN EU-MODEL AGREEMENT. THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT
WHAT WAS AN UNDERSTANDABLE POSITION LAST YEAR NOW MUST BE
RECONSIDERED: BECAUSE OF THE AMERICAN SERVICEMEMBERS
PROTECTION ACT (ASPA), CROATIA PUTS AT RISK OVER USD 19
MILLION IN FMF AND IMET ASSISTANCE FROM FY 00 THROUGH FY 03.
CONSIDERING THE LIMITED SCOPE IN THE CROATIAN DEFENSE BUDGET
FOR NEW ACQUISITIONS, THIS ASSISTANCE IS CRITICAL FOR KEEPING
CROATIA'S NATO INTEGRATION ASPIRATIONS ON TRACK. NOBODY ELSE
WAS GIVING THAT NEEDED SUPPORT.



5. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ADDED THAT THE GOC NEEDED TO REALIZE
THAT THE COUNTRIES THAT CROATIA IS LOOKING TO PAVE THE WAY
FOR IT WITHIN THE EU ARE UNAFFECTED BY ASPA. MANY ARE EXEMPT
OF THE EFFECTS OF ASPA BECAUSE OF THEIR NATO MEMBERSHIP OR,
LIKE AUSTRIA, DO NOT RECEIVE FMF OR IMET ASSISTANCE. THE DFM
AGREED THAT CROATIA WAS IN A DIFFICULT AND ISOLATED POSITION.
IT WAS AN "UNPLEASANT FEELING" TO BE A PRIMARY "TARGET,"
ALBEIT INADVERTENTLY, OF THE ASPA. UNFORTUNATELY, THE DFM
SAID, THE GOC WAS HAMSTRUNG. IN AN ELECTION YEAR, THE
SPECTER OF NEW ICTY INDICTMENTS AND DOMESTIC LINKAGES BETWEEN
THE ICC AND ICTY MAKE AN AGREEMENT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. THE
TYPE OF AGREEMENT, BE IT THE STANDARD OR UNILATERAL ARTICLE
98 AGREEMENT OR THE "GENERIC" NON-SURRENDER AGREEMENT, DID
NOT MATTER.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 01047 01 OF 02 121715Z

A SIX-MONTH WAIVER PLEASE


--------------------------





6. (C) SIMONOVIC LAUNCHED INTO A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A
NUMBER OF NEW INITIATIVES -- LARGELY FOCUSED ON REFUGEE
RETURN -- THAT HE SAID THE GOC PLANNED TO UNDERTAKE IN COMING
MONTHS (SEPTEL). THESE INITIATIVES, HE ARGUED, WERE
IMPORTANT FOR CROATIA'S EU AND NATO MEMBERSHIP ASPIRATIONS
AND FOR REGIONAL STABILITY, BUT HAD THEIR OWN POLITICAL COST
FOR THE GOC. IN LIGHT OF THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS, WHICH ARE
LIKELY TO BE SCHEDULED IN NOVEMBER, AND THE DIFFICULTY FOR
THE GOC OF IMPLEMENTING THOSE NEW INITIATIVES, WOULD IT BE
POSSIBLE FOR WASHINGTON TO CONSIDER ISSUING A SIX-MONTH
WAIVER ASPA FOR CROATIA, SIMONOVIC ASKED. ADDITIONALLY,
SIMONOVIC ASKED IF WE HAD RECEIVED ANY INDICATION THAT THE EU
LAUNCH AN INITIATIVE ON ARTICLE 98 AT THE UPCOMING EU SUMMIT
IN THESSALONIKI. (HE DID NOT ELABORATE.)



7. (C) THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT THERE COULD BE NO LINKAGE
BETWEEN OTHER CROATIA FOREIGN POLICY INITIATIVES AND OUR NEED
TO CONCLUDE A BILATERAL NON-SURRENDER AGREEMENT. THERE WAS

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ0745

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 01047 02 OF 02 121715Z
ACTION IO-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
PERC-00 DS-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PM-00 SP-00 IRM-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /004W


--------------------------

63C145 121716Z /38
P 121702Z MAY 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0167
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 001047

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/12/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV PGOV HR UNSC HRPREL UNSC NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIA/ICC: STILL TAKING A TOUGH LINE ON ARTICLE
98 NEGOTIATIONS

LITTLE POINT IN DISCUSSING WHAT SHORT-TERM WAIVERS FOR
ONGOING NEGOTIATIONS MIGHT BE POSSIBLE BECAUSE CROATIA HASN'T
EVEN BEGUN TO NEGOTIATE. IN ANY CASE, ALL INDICATIONS WERE
THAT ASPA WAIVERS WOULD BE FEW, AND, IF ANY WERE TO BE
ISSUED, NATO INVITEES WOULD HAVE PRIORITY BEFORE CROATIA.
THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT NO DECISION HAD BEEN TAKEN ON
WHO, IF ANYONE WOULD GET A WAIVER.



8. (C) THE AMBASSADOR TOLD SIMONOVIC THAT WHILE WE BELIEVED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 01047 02 OF 02 121715Z
CROATIA'S EU AND ICTY CONCERNS WERE UNDERSTANDABLE, THEY ALSO
HAD TO BE PUT PERSPECTIVE. OUR SENSE WAS THAT WE WOULD
SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE EU ON ARTICLE 98
WELL BEFORE BRUSSELS WOULD CONSIDER CROATIA'S EU MEMBERSHIP.
GOOD ARGUMENTS DIFFERENTIATED THE ICTY AND THE ICC; IT WOULD
BE UP TO THE GOC TO CRAFT A MESSAGE THAT WOULD RESONATE WITH
THE CROATIAN PUBLIC. THE AMBASSADOR ADDED THAT HE HAD
RECEIVED NO INFORMATION THAT THE EU WOULD ALTER ITS POSITION
ON ARTICLE 98 IN THESSALONIKI.



9. (C) THE AMBASSADOR AGAIN URGED DFM SIMONOVIC TO REVIEW THE
VARIOUS AGREEMENT TEXTS WE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE GOC TO BEGIN
NEGOTIATIONS WITH US ON AN AGREEMENT. SIMONOVIC WAS NOT
OPTIMISTIC, SAYING THAT, UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS, HE COULD
NOT SEE THE GOC AGREEING TO A NON-EXTRADITION AGREEMENT,
IRRESPECTIVE OF THE COST.

COMMENT


--------------------------





10. (C) SIMONOVIC'S GAMBIT OF LINKING AN ASPA WAIVER TO GOC
PROGRESS ON CORE REGIONAL STABILITY ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO
US WAS A GOOD TRY FROM THE CROATIAN PERSPECTIVE. THE GOC
DOES NOT WANT TO EXPEND WHAT IT IMAGINES WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT
POLITICAL CAPITAL -- BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND IN TERMS OF ITS
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EU -- TO SIGN A NON-SURRENDER
AGREEMENT.



11. (C) NOW THAT WE DISPENSED WITH THE GOC'S MANEUVER,
HOWEVER, IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER OR NOT THE GOC STICKS
TO THE NO-NEGOTIATIONS POLICY THAT SIMONOVIC DESCRIBED. THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 01047 02 OF 02 121715Z
GOC KNOWS WHAT THE STAKES ARE AND HOW LITTLE CHANCE CROATIA
HAS FOR A WAIVER. WE WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS THE GOC TO FIND
A WAY TO BALANCE ITS INTERESTS AND BEGIN TO NEGOTIATE A
NON-SURRENDER AGREEMENT WITH US. PROSPECTS CANNOT BE
CONSIDERED GOOD. PM RACAN IS NEVER EAGER TO RISK DOMESTIC
PROBLEMS OVER ICTY, AND SIMONOVIC INADVERTENTLY REITERATED
THAT THE GOC'S EU BID COUNTS FOR MORE THAN NATO -- IN SPITE
OF REPEATING LEADING REFERENCES BY THE AMBASSADOR, SIMONOVIC
NEVER ONCE REFERRED TO CROATIA'S MAP PROCESS AS AN IMPORTANT
GOC PRIORITY.
ROSSIN

CONFIDENTIAL

>