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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ZAGREB1545
2003-07-07 07:43:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR'S INTRODUCTORY MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  HR  NATO 
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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 ZAGREB 001545 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR NATO
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S INTRODUCTORY MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT
MESIC AND FM PICULA


CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR FRANK FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

SUMMARY
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 001545

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR NATO
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S INTRODUCTORY MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT
MESIC AND FM PICULA


CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR FRANK FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

SUMMARY
--------------


1. (C) ON JULY 2 AMBASSADOR FRANK TOLD PRESIDENT MESIC AND FM
PICULA THAT THE U.S. WOULD WORK WITH THE GOC TO PROMOTE
DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, REFORMS OF THE ECONOMY, AND CROATIAN
MEMBERSHIP IN NATO AND THE EU. HE CAUTIONED THAT THE GOC
MUST COOPERATE WITH THE ICTY AND WORK TO RESOLVE RETURNS
ISSUES. AMBASSADOR FRANK SUGGESTED THAT THE GOC COULD DO
MORE TO IMPROVE COORDINATION ON ISSUES RELATED TO THE GWOT.
END SUMMARY.

MEETING WITH FM PICULA
--------------


2. (C) DURING AN INTRODUCTORY CALL ON JULY 2, AMBASSADOR
FRANK AND FM PICULA EXCHANGED VIEWS ON THE STATE OF
U.S.-CROATIA RELATIONS. PICULA REVIEWED THE FOREIGN POLICY
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE COALITION GOVERNMENT, WHICH HAD
REMAINED REMARKABLY STABLE OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS. THE
COALITION'S AGENDA WAS AMBITIOUS AND BEGINNING TO BEAR FRUIT,
ESPECIALLY IN THE ECONOMIC SECTOR. PICULA EMPHASIZED THE
IMPORTANCE TO CROATIA OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU AND NATO. HE
WAS OPTIMISTIC THAT THE U.S. AND CROATIA WOULD CONTINUE THEIR
CLOSE COOPERATION, BUILDING ON PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS. U.S.
AND EU SUPPORT TO ACHIEVING CROATIA'S FOREIGN POLICY GOALS
WAS ESSENTIAL. PICULA SAID THAT RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF CLOSE
COOPERATION BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BRUSSELS WAS CRUCIAL.


3. (C) AMBASSADOR FRANK NOTED CROATIA'S MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
AND AGREED THAT THERE WAS MORE YET TO BE DONE. IN THIS
REGARD, THE U.S. FULLY SUPPORTED THE GOC'S ASPIRATIONS FOR EU
AND NATO MEMBERSHIP. THE U.S. CERTAINLY WAS NOT ASKING
CROATIA TO CHOOSE BETWEEN NATO AND THE EU. HE NOTED THAT THE
GOC MUST COMPLY WITH THE ICTY, ACCOMMODATE ALL RETURNEES,
NORMALIZE RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, REFORM THE
JUDICIAL SECTOR AND CONTINUE BUILDING A MARKET ECONOMY.
WHILE CROATIA HAD BEEN HELPFUL IN THE GWOT, IT COULD DO MORE.
AS AN INDICATION OF OUR COMMITMENT, THE U.S. HAD TO DATE
PROVIDED $285 MILLION IN ASSISTANCE TO CROATIA. AMBASSADOR
FRANK EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF USING PRIVATE
COMMUNICATIONS TO DISCUSS POTENTIALLY DIVISIVE ISSUES.


4. (C) PICULA SAID HE WOULD RAISE THE AMBASSADOR'S POINTS
WITHIN THE CABINET, ESPECIALLY ON CLOSER COOPERATION IN THE
GWOT. HE ALSO PLEDGED THAT HE WOULD NOT RAISE DIVISIVE
BILATERAL ISSUES IN THE PRESS.

MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MESIC
--------------


5. (C) FOLLOWING HIS PRESENTATION OF CREDENTIALS ON JULY 2,
AMBASSADOR FRANK MET PRIVATELY WITH PRESIDENT MESIC AND TWO
SENIOR ADVISORS. THE AMBASSADOR RAISED THE SAME ISSUES WITH
MESIC WHO SAID HE WOULD "FIX" THE SHORTCOMINGS IN GWOT
COOPERATION. HE ALSO PLEDGED TO WORK PRIVATELY WITH THE U.S.
TO RESOLVE CONTENTIOUS ISSUES IN OUR BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP.

COMMENT
--------------


6. (C) WE ARE ENCOURAGED THAT BOTH PICULA AND MESIC TOOK A
VERY POSITIVE TONE IN THESE MEETINGS AND HAVE CLEARLY
RECOGNIZED THE SHORTCOMINGS OF DEALING WITH THE USG IN THE
PRESS RATHER THAN USING PRIVATE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE U.S. WE
PLAN TO TEST THESE COMMITMENTS IN COMING WEEKS WITH BOTH THE
PRESIDENT AND FOREIGN MINISTER.
FRANK




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