wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB798 2003-04-10 16:22:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

CROATIA/ICC/ARTICLE 98: NO EU PRESSURE BUT GOC NOT

Tags:   MARR PREL PHUM HR EUN 
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 ZAGREB 000798 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/10/2013
TAGS: MARR PREL PHUM HR EUN
SUBJECT: CROATIA/ICC/ARTICLE 98: NO EU PRESSURE BUT GOC NOT
READY TO NEGOTIATE

REF: A. STATE 92117


B. TBILISI 778

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



1. (C) WE HAVE NOT DETECTED ANY BLATANT EU PRESSURE ON THE
GOC NOT TO NEGOTIATE AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT WITH US.
HOWEVER, FOR THE MOMENT, THE EU DOES NOT NEED TO STRONG-ARM
THE CROATIANS. THE GOC IS NOWHERE NEAR TAKING A DECISION ON
OPENING FORMAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH US ON ARTICLE 98, LET ALONE
READY TO CONCLUDE AN AGREEMENT.



2. (C) PRIME MINSTER RACAN TOLD THE AMBASSADOR ON A NUMBER OF
OCCASIONS THAT HE UNDERSTANDS OUR REQUIREMENTS AND IS WILLING
TO REACH AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT. THAT BEING SAID, RACAN AND
OTHER GOC OFFICIALS HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE GOC, WITH ITS
EU AMBITIONS, DOES NOT WANT TO BE OUT IN FRONT OF THE EU AND
IS WAITING TO SEE THE RESULTS OF OUR NEGOTIATIONS WITH KEY EU
STATES. THE GOC'S IDEA WOULD BE TO CONCLUDE AN AGREEMENT
MODELED ON WHATEVER THE USG AND EU STATES WORK OUT.



3. (C) SOME LOCAL OBSERVERS HAVE QUESTIONED WHY THE GOC
SHOULD TRANSFER CROATIAN CITIZENS TO THE ICTY WHILE GRANTING
U.S. CITIZENS PROTECTION FROM THE ICC. NEVERTHELESS, RACAN
INDICATED TO THE AMBASSADOR THAT ICTY LINKAGES WOULD NOT/NOT
BE AN OBSTACLE TO CONCLUDING AN AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, THE ICTY
ISSUE COULD COMPLICATE PARLIAMENT RATIFICATION OF AN ARTICLE
98 AGREEMENT -- PARTICULARLY IN AN ELECTION YEAR.



4. (C) ON APRIL 5, ASSISTANT MINISTER OF DEFENSE JELENA
GRCIC-POLIC TOLD US THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN THE
GOC'S WAIT-FOR-THE-EU APPROACH ON ARTICLE 98. GRCIC-POLIC
SAID MINISTER OF DEFENSE ZELJKA ANTUNOVIC WAS AWARE OF THE
MILITARY ASSISTANCE CUTOFF IMPLICATIONS OF AMERICAN
SERVICEMEBERS PROTECTION ACT (ASPA). WHILE ANTUNOVIC WOULD
SUPPORT EFFORTS TO REACH A DEAL, SHE WAS NOT A PLAYER ON THE
ISSUE. THE ASSISTANT MINISTER TOLD US THAT THERE WAS STRONG
OPPOSITION TO AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF
PRESIDENT MESIC. MOREOVER, GRCIC-POLIC SAID THAT, WITHOUT
FIRM INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PRIME MINISTER TO PROCEED IN THE
ABSENCE OF AN EU MODEL AGREEMENT, THE MFA WOULD NOT BEGIN
NEGOTIATIONS, DESPITE THE JULY 1 ASPA DEADLINE.



5. (C) GRCIC-POLIC SPECULATED THAT PRE-ELECTION MANEUVERING
AND FEAR OF DAMAGING CROATIA'S EU ASPIRATIONS -- BY JULY 1,
CROATIA'S APPLICATION WILL HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE
COMMISSION FOR THE AVIS PROCESS -- WOULD LEAD RACAN TO FORGO
IMET AND FMF FUNDING RATHER THAN CONCLUDE AN AGREEMENT NOT
SHIELDED BY PRIOR EU AGREEMENTS. SHE FEARED THAT, IF A
CUTOFF OCCURRED, RACAN AND MESIC WOULD SEEK TO MAKE POLITICAL
HAY BY TRUMPETING GOC "MORAL DECISIVENESS" IN THE FACE OF
U.S. PRESSURE.

COMMENT


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





6. (C) WE WARNED GRCIC-POLIC THAT, WITH TIME HAVING PASSED,
THE GOC STRATEGY OF WAITING FOR EU STATES TO TAKE THE LEAD IS
FLAWED AND THE GOC SHOULD BEGIN NEGOTIATING WITH US IN
EARNEST: BECAUSE THE ASPA EXEMPTS NATO MEMBERS FROM THE
MILITARY ASSISTANCE CUTOFF, KEY EU STATES DO NOT FEEL A SENSE
OF URGENCY. WE ALSO CAUTIONED THAT A PRESIDENTIAL WAIVER
SHOULD NOT BE PRESUMED. WE WILL CONTINUE TO REMIND THE GOC
OF THE IMPENDING JULY 1 DEADLINE AND URGE THEM TO BEGIN TO
WORK QUIETLY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY TOWARDS AN AGREEMENT THAT
SECURES US BILATERAL PROTECTION FROM THE ICC.
ROSSIN

NNNN