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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04ZAGREB454 2004-03-17 14:37:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES PRESIDENT MESIC'S PLANS TO

Tags:   PGOV PREL HR SY 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 000454 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2014
TAGS: PGOV PREL HR SY
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES PRESIDENT MESIC'S PLANS TO
VISIT MIDDLE EAST

REF: A. STATE 47980


B. ZAGREB 71

C. 03 ZAGREB 2646

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR RALPH FRANK: REASON: 1.5 (B) AND (D)



1. (C) THE AMBASSADOR MET WITH PRESIDENT MESIC MARCH 12 TO
DISCUSS THE PRESIDENT'S UPCOMING MIDDLE EAST TRIP AND DELIVER
POINTS CONCERNING U.S. POLICY TOWARD SYRIA (REF A). MESIC
DESCRIBED HIS THREE-COUNTRY TRIP, BEGINNING LATER THIS MONTH,
INCLUDING STOPS IN QATAR, JORDAN, AND SYRIA. MESIC HAD TOLD
US EARLIER OF HIS PLANS TO VISIT SYRIA -- FOR ABOUT SEVEN
HOURS ON MARCH 20 -- AND REQUESTED ANY INFORMATION ON U.S.
POLICY TOWARD THE ASSAD REGIME (REF B). HE EXPRESSED
APPRECIATION THAT WE HAD COME BACK TO HIM WITH A RATHER
EXHAUSTIVE INVENTORY OF CONCERNS.



2. (C) MESIC SAID HE SHARED MANY OF THE CONCERNS AND WOULD
DISCUSS THEM DURING STOPS IN SYRIA AND JORDAN, WHERE HE
EXPECTS TO MEET JORDAN'S KING ABDULLAH. IN PARTICULAR, MESIC
SAID HE WOULD PRESS PRESIDENT ASSAD TO ACCEPT THE "REALITY OF
ISRAEL" AND TO PUSH THE SYRIANS NOT TO SUPPORT RADICAL
TERRORIST GROUPS. HE WOULD ALSO UNDERSCORE WITH THE SYRIAN
REGIME THAT IT WOULD BE WISE TO COOPERATE WITH THE U.S. ON
IRAQ, WHERE RECONSTRUCTION COULD PROVIDE SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SYRIA.



3. (C) THE PRIMARY REASON BEHIND THE VISIT TO SYRIA WILL BE
TO DISCUSS THE OPERATIONS OF CROATIA'S STATE-OWNED OIL
COMPANY, INA. THE COMPANY RECENTLY DISCOVERED OIL IN A
CONCESSION IT HAS EAST OF DAMASCUS AND HAS A LARGE-SIZE
STAFFING PRESENCE THERE. ACCORDING TO ONE CROATIAN OIL
INDUSTRY EXPERT WHO WORKS IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE, THE
SYRIA DISCOVERY IS INA'S LARGEST OVERSEAS TO DATE.



4. (C) MESIC'S ENTOURAGE, AS IS THE CASE WITH MOST OF THE
CROATIAN PRESIDENT'S OVERSEAS TRIPS, WILL BE FOCUSED
PRIMARILY ON TRADE AND ECONOMIC ISSUES. IN QATAR, HE TOLD
THE AMBASSADOR HE HOPES TO BOOST QATARI INTEREST IN FINANCING
AN LNG FACILITY ON THE CROATIAN COAST.

MINIMIZE CONSIDERED

FRANK

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