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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06PRAGUE1387
2006-11-08 13:52:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Prague
Cable title:  

CZECHS AGREE KOSOVO IS NOT A PRECEDENT FOR OTHER

Tags:   PREL  AL  BH  GG  MK  PBTS  RO  SR  UP  EZ 
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VZCZCXYZ0034
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #1387 3121352
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081352Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8199
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0195
						C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 001387 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

EUR/NCE FOR ERIC FICHTE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2016
TAGS: PREL AL BH GG MK PBTS RO SR UP EZ
SUBJECT: CZECHS AGREE KOSOVO IS NOT A PRECEDENT FOR OTHER
CONFLICTS

REF: STATE 179829

Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Dodman
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary. The Czechs strongly agree Kosovo is not a
precedent for frozen conflicts, but are concerned that Russia
and some EU member states already view Kosovo (and even
Montenegro) that way. For this reason, drafting an UNSC
resolution on Kosovo's final status may be tricky: the
language could create unwanted legal precedent if too
precise, or fail to achieve consensus among UNSC and/or EU
member states if too vague. The Czechs also fear Russia may
abstain from voting in favor of the UNSCR, which could cause
other countries to withhold recognition of an independent
Kosovo. On the recent referendum in Serbia, the Czechs are
pleased the Serbs approved a new, albeit flawed,
constitution, and consider the document's claim over Kosovo
"irrelevant." End summary.



2. (C/NF) Poloffs met with Czech MFA Director of Eastern
Europe Department Tomas Szunyog on November 3 to discuss
Kosovo and deliver reftel talking points. Szunyog agreed
Kosovo is a unique case that should not be viewed as either a
legal or political precedent for the frozen conflicts in the
region. He thought, however, that Russia and several EU
member states (Cyprus, Greece, and Spain) already view both
Kosovo and Montenegro as a political precedent. Szunyog
agreed that the international community will need to
carefully manage the public relations aspect of Kosovo's
final status.



3. (C) Szunyog expressed concern about the language of the
UNSC resolution on final status: if it is too vague, the
debate within the EU on recognizing Kosovo's independence
"could be difficult." He predicted some center- and far-left
Czech MPs (CSSD, Communist) could oppose recognition of an
independent Kosovo if the EU fails to reach consensus on the
language of the resolution. On the other hand, if the
language is too specific, Szunyog believed that international
lawyers could be correct in their fears that Kosovo might
establish an unwanted legal precedent. The Czechs hope the
UNSC will unanimously support the resolution, but fear Russia
may abstain.



4. (C) Regarding delay of the status process, Szunyog said
delay makes little sense. However, if a very short delay
becomes necessary because of the December Serbian elections,
he suggested delaying until February, when Slovakia is
presiding over the UNSC, rather than January, when Russia is
presiding.



5. (C) Turning to the recent Serbian constitutional
referendum, Szunyog said the Czechs are pleased that the
Serbs approved the new constitution because it was an
improvement over the previous constitution. Therefore, the
Czechs welcome the constitution despite its flaws (e.g., weak
language on minority rights, failure to conform to the
requirements of the acquis). Szunyog called the text on
Kosovo "irrelevant" because Kosovo's status is defined by
UNSCR 1244. However, he thought it "worrisome" that over 90%
of voters approved the constitution, which suggests to him
that the vote was more about Kosovo's final status than the
constitution itself.
GRABER