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03ZAGREB1937 2003-09-05 13:47:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L  ZAGREB 001937 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/04/2013


Classified By: DCM Patrick Moon for Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D)


1. (C) The DCM met September 3 with President Mesic,s new
Foreign Policy Advisor, Ambassador Ivica Mastruko. Mastruko
said there had been no discussion of military-related
projects during President Mesic,s recent trip to Libya.
President Mesic has washed his hands of any personal efforts
to facilitate the surrender of Croatian ICTY indictee
Gotovina to The Hague. Although Mesic,s upcoming first
official visit to Belgrade would be heavy on protocol events,
Mesic would likely meet with Croatian-Serb refugees and urge
them to return home. Mastruko said work was underway on an
Article 98 proposal that Picula would present in the U.S.
this month. Finally, Mesic would neither promote nor
criticize the GOC,s proposal to send a military contingent
to Iraq. End summary.

2. (C) In our first ever meeting on September 2 with
Ambassador Mastruko (see paras 10-11 for bio information)
since he took over as President Mesic,s foreign policy
advisor late last month, Mastruko emphasized the importance
of the Croatian relationship with the U.S. and his strong
desire to consult closely, frequently and candidly with the
U.S. Embassy. The DCM explained that newly arrived
Ambassador Frank had established informal relationships with
senior GOC officials to promote good communication and a
better understanding of each country,s points of view.



3. (C) Mastruko understood U.S. sensitivities regarding
Croatia,s warming relations with Libya and explained that
President Mesic,s only objective was to gain commercial
projects for Croatian firms. He made clear that there were
no representatives of military-related firms on Mesic,s trip
to Libya last month and there were no discussions of any
military projects with the Libyans ) nothing on military
ships, nothing on aircraft (contradicting reftel allegations
from Yugoimport). He did say that the Libyans expressed
interest in using Croatian shipyards to overhaul old
commercial vessels.

4. (C) Mastruko said that Mesic had even acted on behalf of
other countries in the region in promoting specific
commercial projects such as the sale of Macedonian steel and
Bosnian road building capabilities.

5. (C) However, Mastruko ended this discussion by noting
that although Croatia would never do so, he was aware that
Serbia and Montenegro may be considering a Libyan proposal to
train pilots.

Trip to Belgrade


6. (C) Mastruko said that Mesic,s upcoming first official
trip to Belgrade would be heavy on protocol and light on
substance. However, Mesic was seriously considering a
meeting with Croatian Serb refugees to urge them to return

Troops to Iraq


7. (C) When the DCM expressed appreciation for the GOC,s
decision to send a small military contingent to Iraq,
Mastruko carefully observed that Mesic had agreed with PM
Racan not to comment publicly on this proposal before the
Sabor endorses it, which the GOC expects by the end of
September. Mastruko noted that there had been some criticism
of this deployment in the press and the public did not seem
strongly supportive. (Comment: We believe that President
Mesic has reservations about deploying Croatian troops
without a specific endorsement by the UNSC. End comment.)

Article 98


8. (C) Mastruko confirmed that the MFA was working on two
possible alternative approaches to an Article 98 agreement.
One would be an extradition treaty and the other an MLAT-type
agreement. He said FM Picula would take the proposal to the
U.S. this month for discussion with senior U.S. officials.
(Comment: It was not clear whether Mastruko was suggesting
the proposal would include both agreements or whether the MFA
was studying whether to propose one or the other. End



9. (C) In light of UNSCR 1503 and Gotovina,s failure to
act, Mastruko said that President Mesic had dropped all his
efforts to facilitate Gotovina,s surrender and transfer to
the ICTY. He was now encouraging the Ministry of Interior
and other GOC organizations to do everything possible to
capture Gotovina who was now &on his own.8

Biographic Information


10. (C) Ambassador Mastruko was born on an island near Zadar
in 1940. His work experience is as follows:

1963-1966 Journalist for Narodni List weekly
1966-1972 Professional politician in district
committee of Communist Party
1972-1974 Manager and editor-in-chief of Zadar Radio
and Television Center
1974-1978 President of Executive Council of the
Zadar Municipal Assembly
1978-1982 President of Zadar Municipal Assembly
1979-1989 Professor at Zadar Faculty of Philosphy
1989-1991 SFRY Ambassador to Vatican
1992-1993 Croatian Ambassador to Italy
1993-1996 Croatian Ambassador to Greece and Armenia
1996-2000 Croatian Ambassador to Slovenia
2000-2001 Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
2002-2003 Advisor to President Mesic on Domestic
Affairs (Relations with Religious Communities)
2003- Advisor to President Mesic for Foreign Policy

11. (C) Mastruko speaks excellent English, is fluent in
Italian and is &proficient8 in German and Slovenian.
Mastruko clearly enjoyed his diplomatic postings. He is
married and has two grown sons who work in Zagreb.