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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ZAGREB631
2003-03-19 17:00:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

TFIZ01: CROATIA: POLITICIANS BACK GOC OPPOSITION

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  KPAO  KMDR  HR  IZ 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000631 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (NARDI) AND EUR/PA/PD (HORNBUCKLE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR HR PGOV KPAO KMDR HR IZ IZPREL
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: CROATIA: POLITICIANS BACK GOC OPPOSITION
TO MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT NEW UNSCR


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00631 01 OF 02 191658Z
REF: ZAGREB 615

CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF A.F.GODFREY FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D)

SUMMARY
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000631

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (NARDI) AND EUR/PA/PD (HORNBUCKLE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR HR PGOV KPAO KMDR HR IZ IZPREL
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: CROATIA: POLITICIANS BACK GOC OPPOSITION
TO MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT NEW UNSCR


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00631 01 OF 02 191658Z
REF: ZAGREB 615

CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF A.F.GODFREY FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D)

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


1. (C) ALMOST ALL OF CROATIA'S POLITICIANS HAVE PUBLICLY
BACKED THE GOC DECISION NOT TO SUPPORT MILITARY ACTION IN
IRAQ ABSENT A NEW UNSC RESOLUTION (REFTEL). POLITICAL UNITY
IN CROATIA IS A GENUINE RARITY. SOME LEADING GOVERNMENT
FIGURES WANT TO TRY TO CATCH WHAT THEY THINK IS A WAVE OF
LOCAL SUPPORT FOR THE GOC'S DECISION TO SAY "NO" TO THE USG
AND ARE CROWING ABOUT THEIR "BRAVE" DECISION. OTHER
POLITICAL OBSERVERS ARE DUMBFOUNDED BY THE GOC DECISION AND
BY ITS MANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS. THEY ARE WONDERING WHY
CROATIA'S POLITICIANS ARE MISSING ANOTHER EXCELLENT
OPPORTUNITY TO SHUT UP. END SUMMARY.

MESIC: US ACTION WOULD HAVE QUESTIONABLE LEGITIMACY
-------------- --------------


2. (U) PRESIDENT MESIC, IN AN INTERVIEW PUBLISHED IN
"SLOBODNA DALMACIJA" ON MARCH 19, TOOK A HARD
INTERNATIONALIST LINE. HE SAID THAT THE U.S. "DEPARTURE FROM
THE UN CHARTER FRAMEWORK CALLS THE LEGITIMACY OF THE ACTION
INTO QUESTION." HE SAID THAT U.S. ACTION WOULD CREATE A
PRECEDENT WHEREBY A COUNTRY THAT IS "NOT AMERICA, SOMEONE WHO
IS STRONGER THAN THEIR NEIGHBOR, CAN IMPOSE THEIR SOLUTIONS"
AND CITED CROATIA'S EXPERIENCE WITH MILOSEVIC. MESIC
QUESTIONED WHETHER CROATIA NEEDS "THIS KIND OF NATO."
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00631 01 OF 02 191658Z

DPM GRANIC: "NO" TO FUTURE USG REQUESTS FOR SUPPORT
-------------- --------------


3. (U) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER GORAN GRANIC SAID THAT THE GOC
IS "CONCERNED ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND, OF COURSE

DOES NOT SUPPORT ANY ACTION OUTSIDE OF THE UN." GRANIC SAID
THAT THE GOC WOULD REJECT FUTURE U.S. REQUESTS FOR SUPPORT OF
MILITARY ACTION "ACCORDING TO THE DECISION TAKEN BY THE
COUNTRY'S LEADERS, WHICH IMPLICITLY STATES THAT IT MAY NOT BE
AMENDED. I REPEAT THAT CROATIA WILL OPPOSE ANY ACTION WHICH
IS TAKEN OUTSIDE THE UN."

SMALLER PARTIES GET ON THE BANDWAGON
--------------


4. (U) LEADERS OF CROATIA'S SMALLER POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE
JUMPED ON BOARD AS WELL; THEIR COMMENTS WERE PUBLISHED IN THE
MASS-MARKET DAILY "VJESNIK." FORMER FM MATE GRANIC
(PRESIDENT OF THE OPPOSITION DEMOCRATIC CENTER - DC) DECLARED
THAT HIS PARTY DOES NOT SUPPORT MILITARY INTERVENTION WITHOUT
A NEW UNSCR BECAUSE IT WOULD DIVIDE THE COUNCIL AND
"COMPLETELY DESTABILIZE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND THE UN
WITH UNFORESEEABLE CONSEQUENCES." DAMIR KAJIN OF THE
REGIONAL PARTY ISTRIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION (IDS) SAID THAT THE
U.S. DECISION TO GO AHEAD WITHOUT A NEW UNSCR "DELEGITIMIZES
THE ACTION AGAINST IRAQ, WHICH, LET'S BE TRUTHFUL, AT THIS
MOMENT IS NOT THREATENING ANYONE." HE DERIDED THE STRONG
PRO-U.S. POSITION OF THE OPPOSITION HDZ BY SAYING THAT HDZ
PRESIDENT SANADER "LOOKS LIKE HE IS RUNNING HIS ELECTION
CAMPAIGN IN MASSACHUSETTS, NOT IN CROATIA." HE SAID THAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00631 01 OF 02 191658Z
CROATIA'S POLITICIANS ARE SHOWING AN "ENVIABLE LEVEL OF
UNITY."


5. (C) LUKA TRCONIC, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE HSS (THE
COALITION'S SECOND-LARGEST PARTY) SAID "WE SUPPORT THE
GOVERNMENT POSITION" BUT EXPLAINED THAT HIS PARTY "HAS
UNDERSTANDING FOR THE FRUSTRATION OF THE AMERICANS AND THEIR
DESIRE TO PUNISH SADDAM HUSSEIN." EVEN THE FRINGE PARTIES
ARE ECHOING THE RULING COALITION. ANTO DJAPIC, PRESIDENT OF
THE CROATIAN PARTY OF RIGHT (HSP) SAID THAT "THE HSP DOES NOT
ENDORSE THE USA AND ALLIES' ACTION IN IRAQ WHICH IS NOT
BACKED BY A RESOLUTION OF THE UNSC. THE MOTIVES FOR THE USA
AND ALLIES TO ATTACK IRAQ ARE NOT IDEALS, BUT RAW INTERESTS
OF A GREAT POWER. (COMMENT: PM RACAN SHOULD BE WORRIED, NOT
COMFORTED BY THE SUPPORT OF THIS PARTY OF RIGHT-WING
EXTREMISTS.)

COMMENTATOR: WHY COULDN'T WE JUST BE QUIET?
--------------


6. (U) WHILE MOST POLITICAL COMMENTATORS HERE HAVE --
TYPICALLY -- FOCUSED ONLY ON THE EFFECT OF THE GOC DECISION
AS IF IT HAD NO EFFECT OUTSIDE OF CROATIA, BRUNO LOPANDIC,

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1622

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00631 02 OF 02 191658Z
ACTION SS-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00
DODE-00 DS-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 MFLO-03 NEA-00
NSAE-00 DHS-00 PA-00 PM-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 USIE-00
R-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /006W
-------------- 471418 191658Z /38
O 191700Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9772
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SKOPJE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY
USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY
USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000631

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (NARDI) AND EUR/PA/PD (HORNBUCKLE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR HR PGOV KPAO KMDR HR IZ IZPREL
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: CROATIA: POLITICIANS BACK GOC OPPOSITION
TO MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT NEW UNSCR

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00631 02 OF 02 191658Z
"VJESNIK'S" LEADING FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, LAMENTS THE
GOC'S "PERILOUS SYNDROME OF REACTING OFFICIALLY TO UNOFFICIAL
RUMORS." "FOR THE MOST PART, EUROPE IS SILENT, EXCEPT FOR
CROATIA." CROATIA WILL NOT PLAY ANY ROLE IN THE DECISION TO
ATTACK IRAQ AND ITS "EUROPEAN CLAMORING" IN THE PRESS AND
PUBLIC WILL NOT DO ANY GOOD EITHER, HE WROTE IN HIS MARCH 18
COLUMN. HE ADDED THAT IF CROATIA'S "NEW" POSITION TO OPPOSE
MILITARY ACTION OUTSIDE THE UN FRAMEWORK WOULD HAVE RULED OUT
NATO ATTACKS ON THE FRY. WHILE HE AGREED WITH RACAN'S
DECISION TO POSTPONE HIS TRIP TO LONDON, HE LAMBASTED RACAN'S
"ILLOGICAL" DECISION TO TALK TO THE PRESS ABOUT WHY. IN
SPEAKING ABOUT CANCELLING THE VISIT, RACAN SAID THAT
'OBVIOUSLY WE ARE NOT ON THE SAME SIDE' ... THIS STATEMENT IS
ONE OF A SERIES OF DIPLOMATIC GAFFES WHICH ARE UNFORTUNATELY
TYPICAL FOR A CROATIAN FOREIGN POLICY BURDENED WITH
SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS AND IGNORANCE." BOTH LOPANDIC AND AN
INTERVIEWER FROM ANOTHER NEWSPAPER EXPRESSED THE BELIEF AS
OUTLINED IN REFTEL THAT THE GOC WAS SIDING WITH FRANCE IN
ORDER TO CURRY FAVOR FOR ITS EU APPLICATION.
ROSSIN

CONFIDENTIAL

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