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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB972 2003-05-02 08:18:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

CROATIAN GRUMBLING ABOUT TIRANA VENUE FOR ADRIATIC

Tags:   PREL 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 000972 

SIPDIS


STATE OPS - PLEASE PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/02/2008
TAGS: PREL HR NATO NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIAN GRUMBLING ABOUT TIRANA VENUE FOR ADRIATIC
CHARTER SIGNING

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR LAWRENCE ROSSIN FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D)



1. (C) THE DECISION TO SIGN THE ADRIATIC CHARTER IN TIRANA,
AND NOT IN WASHINGTON, LED TO GRUMBLING IN THE CROATIAN
FOREIGN MINISTRY AND SPECULATION IN THE PRESS HERE THAT
CROATIA WAS BEING PUNISHED FOR ITS REFUSAL TO SUPPORT OUR
APPROACH ON IRAQ. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SOUGHT -- WITH NO
SUCCESS -- TO CONVINCE OTHER A3 COUNTRIES TO PUSH FOR A
CHANGE IN VENUE BACK TO WASHINGTON, EVEN IF IT WOULD HAVE
MEANT A DELAY. PICULA WOULD HAVE PREFERRED A HIGH-PROFILE
SIGNING IN WASHINGTON, WITH BILATERAL MEETINGS BEFORE AND
AFTER, TO VALIDATE THE GOC'S PROGRESS TOWARD MEMBERSHIP IN
NATO AS THE COALITION ENTERS AN ELECTION SEASON. THE CHOICE
OF TIRANA AS A VENUE WILL ALSO HIGHLIGHT THE THINGS ALBANIA
IS DOING AND CROATIA IS NOT, LIKE SIGNING AN ARTICLE 98
AGREEMENT AND MAKING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO EFFORTS IN
IRAQ.



2. (C) THE CROATIAN PRESS, SPURRED ON BY MALICIOUS LEAKS
FROM THE DEFENSE MINISTRY, IS SPECULATING THAT THE U.S. CHOSE
TIRANA FOR THE SIGNING IN ORDER TO PUNISH THE RACAN
GOVERNMENT. POLITICAL COMMENTATORS CLAIM THAT THE U.S.
DECISION WAS PREDICATED BY CROATIA'S REFUSAL TO BE NAMED AS A
MEMBER OF THE COALITION OF THE WILLING, BY CROATIA'S REFUSAL
TO GRANT OVERFLIGHT CLEARANCE FOR MILITARY AIRCRAFT BOUND FOR
IRAQ, AND ALSO IN RESPONSE TO DEROGATORY REMARKS ABOUT
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES (INCLUDING THE U.S.
AMBASSADOR) MADE RECENTLY BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER GORAN
GRANIC.



3. (C) THE GOC IS DOING ITS BEST TO TURN OFF SPECULATION
THAT THE TIRANA VENUE WAS CHOSEN AS "PUNISHMENT" FOR CROATIA.
CROATIA'S MAP COORDINATOR EXPLAINED TO THE PRESS THE
SIGNIFICANCE OF SECRETARY POWELL'S PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO THE
CHARTER AND POINTED OUT HOW DIFFICULT IT HAS BEEN FOR THE
SECRETARY TO FIND A TIME -- IN THE MIDDLE OF A KEY TRIP TO

SIPDIS
THE MIDEAST -- TO SIGN THE DOCUMENT. ANALYSTS BOTH IN AND
OUT OF GOVERNMENT WILL PROBABLY NOT BE CONVINCED. FOR MANY
OF THEM, CROATIA IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERY
WORLD EVENT WHICH AFFECTS CROATIA MUST HAVE SOMEHOW BEEN
BROUGHT ABOUT BY CROATIA'S OWN ACTION.
ROSSIN


NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

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