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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BELGRADE1149
2006-07-18 17:42:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Belgrade
Cable title:  

SERBIA TOUTS ICTY ACTION PLAN AS MAJOR SUCCESS

Tags:   ICTY  PGOV  PREL  SR 
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VZCZCXRO2374
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHBW #1149/01 1991742
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181742Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9023
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BELGRADE 001149 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/WCI AND EUR/SCE
DOJ FOR ALEXANDRE

E.O. 12958: DECL: CLOSURE OF ICTY
TAGS: ICTY PGOV PREL SR
SUBJECT: SERBIA TOUTS ICTY ACTION PLAN AS MAJOR SUCCESS

REF: BRUSSELS 2508

Classified By: Ambassador Michael Polt, reasons 1.4 (b,c,d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BELGRADE 001149

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/WCI AND EUR/SCE
DOJ FOR ALEXANDRE

E.O. 12958: DECL: CLOSURE OF ICTY
TAGS: ICTY PGOV PREL SR
SUBJECT: SERBIA TOUTS ICTY ACTION PLAN AS MAJOR SUCCESS

REF: BRUSSELS 2508

Classified By: Ambassador Michael Polt, reasons 1.4 (b,c,d)


1. (c) SUMMARY: The Serbian government is portraying as a
major success its presentation to the EU of its &Action
Plan8 for completing cooperation with the Hague Tribunal
(ICTY). Local media have fawnishly echoed this sentiment.
Privately, EU and ICTY representatives in Belgrade have
downplayed the initial EU statements, and expressed
disappointment over the lack of real commitments in the plan.
We agree that the GoS plan breaks very little new ground and
lacks most of the key elements included in the USG
recommendations. Because the GoS has so far largely ignored
the USG recommendations, we will need to work closely with
the ICTY, EU, and GoS to ensure that a yet-to-be-crafted
&operational plan8 contains meaningful action items if we
are ever to reliably conclude that the GoS is pulling out all
the stops to find Mladic. END SUMMARY.


2. (u) Local press extensively covered initial reactions
from Ollie Rehn and Javier Solana to Kostunica's &Action
Plan8 for completing ICTY cooperation. Press reports
highlighted EU statements noting that the document showed
Belgrade's commitment to fulfilling its ICTY cooperation
commitments. Government-influenced daily &Politika8
headlines characterized the EU troika as &extremely
satisfied8 with the plan, and reported Kostunica's comments
after his meetings that the plan would lead to the restarting
of stalled SAA negotiations.


3. (c) Reactions from International Community reps in
Belgrade were far more measured. EU mission contact David
Hudson emphasized that neither Rehn's nor Solana's statements
made any mention of linking the Action Plan in its current
form to restarting SAA talks, and noted the EU is still
awaiting a pronouncement from ICTY and a presentation of the
operational plan that Belgrade has promised will follow this
&framework8 document. They noted that Rehn's most recent

letter to the GoS made it clear that the EU could not back
away from Mladic's transfer to The Hague as a condition for
restarting talks. Hudson said no formal EU pronouncement
would be made on the plan until September, and that the EU
would review GoS progress in implementing the plan via
monthly troika meetings in the meantime. Hudson stressed
that Carla del Ponte's voice would continue to be an
important one in the assessment, and highlighted the
presidency's statement that only effective implementation
would lead to the resumption of SAA talks.


4. (c) Local ICTY office chief Deyan Mihov told us Carla
del Ponte,s reaction was similarly muted, merely
&acknowledging8 the Action Plan and noting that the
authorities named in the plan as responsible for coordinating
action, Rasim Ljajic and Special Court prosecutor Vladimir
Vukcevic, still had to be given appropriate authorities to
fulfill their mandates (implicitly to include the authority
to direct the activities of Serbia's intelligence and law
enforcement bodies). Kostunica also alluded to this in his
statements, telling press that crafting an operational plan
and getting it up and running would take some time, as it
would require making legislative changes.


5. (c) Meanwhile, we presented the USG recommended items
for the Action Plan to senior GoS officials (BIA Chief Rade
Bulatovic and Kostunica advisor Vladeta Jankovic) on July 14.
Neither official had complaints about the list ) with a few
notable exceptions. Bulatovic told DCM that shifting
operational authority away from BIA and into the hands of
Vukcevic was a guaranteed loser. Stressing that BIA had
secured the transfer of 18 PIFWC's last year, he repeatedly
pointed out that Special Court prosecutor Vukcevic had played
no role in any PIFWC handovers until now. He characterized
Vukcevic as a rank amateur with a history of &bad-mouthing8
BIA to ICTY, and thus as someone who would not be able to get
respect ) let alone results - from the intelligence and law
enforcement communities. Summing up, he concluded that, if
the goal was to find Mladic, it would not be serious to put
Vukcevic in charge. Jankovic, on the other hand, took issue
with our recommendation that the GoS target former senior GoS
officials Aca Tomic and Branko Krga, arguing that our
insistence on this would bring down the government.


6. (c) Unfortunately, the USG checklist does not appear to
have been factored into either the GoS's or ICTY's
considerations in the drawing up of the framework Action
Plan. On July 14, the Ambassador presented the USG
recommendations to Quint ambassadors in Belgrade, all of whom
welcomed the USG points. The Ambassador reiterated to

BELGRADE 00001149 002 OF 002


Rehn,s office on July 17, and again to Quint ambassadors the
same day, the need for there to be specific responsibilities
placed on Kostunica himself to take public and substantively
significant action to make the Action Plan credible. Quint
ambassadors assured the Ambassador that the USG points would
be fully taken into account when the EU and ICTY considered
the &operational plan8 that Belgrade would be developing to
implement the &framework8 agreement.


7. (c) As it stands, the framework Action Plan differs
significantly from the USG recommendations in many key areas.
While the Action Plan does (in some cases only fuzzily)
encapsulate the spirit of some of the USG recommendations )
public statements that Mladic be arrested, greater scrutiny
of Mladic supporters, and the establishment of an
inter-agency team headed by Vukcevic to coordinate activities
) it falls far short on specifics. It does not, for
example, put any responsibility on Kostunica himself to make
public statements calling for Mladic,s arrest; it does not
commit the GoS to work with the Serbian Orthodox Church to
publicly support Mladic,s arrest; it does not envision any
sort of manhunt operation; it does not call for public
instructions to be issued to law enforcement to apprehend
Mladic; and it does not commit the GoS to question high-level
Mladic supporters from the pre-2003 timeframe.


8. (c) ICTY Coordination Council Chairman Rasim Ljajic has
told us informally that the GoS will adopt a decree accepting
the Action Plan on July 20, and that that decree will create
enough legal &wiggle room8 for the government to use
additional decrees to give himself and Vukcevic whatever
authorities they need to fulfill their responsibilities. The
&team8 that will enact the Plan, according to Ljajic, will
be headed by Kostunica, and will include DPM Dulic-Markovic,
VBA chief Kovac, BIA chief Bulatovic, and MININT Jocic, with
Vukcevic as operational coordinator and Ljajic as
&Political/Diplomatic coordinator.8 Ljajic said this role
might initially consist of weekly briefings/info sharing with
the USG, EU, and ICTY (separately) on operational issues.


9. (c) COMMENT: Kostunica seems to have gotten as much as
he could have hoped for ) a positive assessment of his
&framework8 plan, which frankly puts few new commitments on
the GoS and none on Kostunica personally to make ICTY
cooperation a priority. The PM has already signaled that
operationalizing this plan will take some time, citing legal
changes needed to make it happen. With parliament in recess
throughout the summer, it is unlikely we will see any
movement on the &operational plan8 in the near future.
Bottom line, if Kostunica wants this plan to work, it will;
if he wants to drag out implementation, he can. In the
meantime, Kostunica will increase his calls for a restart of
SAA talks in response to his well-received &Action Plan,8
and will blame the EU for moving the goalposts if it holds
out for real action.


10. (c) COMMENT, CONTINUED: It will take sustained and
coordinated efforts by the USG and EU, together with ICTY, to
ensure that the USG recommendations make their way into the
operational plan to be developed by Belgrade. If the EU is
still serious about Mladic remaining as a condition for SAA
talks, as Rehn,s letter notes, the operational plan will
have to do much more than the framework agreement has done to
get the GoS, and Kostunica in particular, to lead an
aggressive public effort to ratchet up the pressure on
Mladic.
MOORE