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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07LISBON2200 2007-08-29 06:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lisbon
Cable title:  

PORTUGAL: SPECIAL ENVOY ON KOSOVO DISCUSSES GOP

Tags:   PREL PGOV PBTS EUN NATO PO KV SR 
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VZCZCXRO2740
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #2200/01 2410628
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 290628Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6180
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 002200 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO EUR/WE KEVIN OPSTRUP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/28/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PBTS EUN NATO PO KV SR
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL: SPECIAL ENVOY ON KOSOVO DISCUSSES GOP
EFFORTS TO BUILD EU CONSENSUS

REF: BRUSSELS 02687

Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Tiffany McGriff for Reasons 1.4 (B and
D)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) Antonio Tanger Correa, Portugal's Special Envoy to the
Western Balkans, discussed the GOP's efforts to build EU
consensus on Kosovo and the impact that the situation could
have on internal EU and transatlantic relations. He stressed
that the GOP is doing everything within its powers to find a
realistic solution by the December 10 deadline, but
acknowledged that there is a slim chance the Slovenian
Presidency may inherit the issue. The GOP MFA, which offered
to have Tanger Correa brief the Charge, obviously intended
the meeting to demonstrate its energetic commitment to
achieving EU consensus on moving forward in Kosovo. END
SUMMARY

PORTUGAL'S INSIDE MAN


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





2. (C) On August 27, Charge met with Portugal's Special Envoy
to the Western Balkans Ambassador Antonio Tanger Correa who
had just returned to Lisbon for consultations from a
fact-finding mission in the Balkans. The two discussed the
GOP's consensus-building efforts and the future of Kosovo.
While not an official member of the Contact Group, Tanger
Correa acts as the GOP's inside man on Kosovo, meeting with
officials in the region and reporting to Lisbon. His role is
vital to helping the GOP craft its approach to the Kosovo
issue.



3. (C) Tanger Correa, a seasoned diplomat familiar with the
key issues and players in the Balkans (he is a former
ambassador to Belgrade) and a confidant of Foreign Minister
Luis Amado, painted a picture of tireless GOP engagement in
building EU consensus, in finding a solution to Kosovo by
December 10, and in developing a common game plan for what to
do if and when Kosovo decides, against advice, to declare
unilateral independence. He said that part of Portugal's
message to its fellow member states is that "We need to solve
this problem now, because Kosovo is not worth damaging the
EU, and Kosovo is not worth damaging transatlantic relations."



4. (C) The meeting was arranged by the MFA's Director of
European Affairs Liliana Araujo, who during an August 23
debrief on FM Amado's recent trip to Serbia and Kosovo,
suggested that the Charge meet Tanger Correa to gain deeper
insight into the GOP's consensus-building efforts in the
region.

CONSENSUS BUILDING IS A DIFFICULT ROAD TO NAVIGATE


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



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





5. (C) While acknowledging that some states will need more
convincing than others, Tanger Correa stated that the
Portuguese believe the process is moving forward but cannot
guarantee that a consensus will be reached by December 10.



6. (C) Tanger Correa described consensus building as "a
difficult road to navigate" complicated by "political
influences" and the varying positions of 27 EU member states.
He also affirmed that "Portugal is doing everything that it
can within this time period, but that there's a slim chance
that we will not achieve consensus."

SOLVING THE PROBLEM VS MANAGING THE PROBLEM


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





7. (C) Tanger Correa said that there were two main obstacles
to achieving EU consensus on Kosovo and beginning to "solve
the problem rather than manage the problem." The first is
the "legal issue." The EU needs to agree on steps to take in
the event of a unilateral declaration of independence -- and
more specifically, whether UNSCR 1244 in fact permits
independence for Kosovo and continued EU involvement on the
ground after such a declaration. He said that a team of
experts would meet beginning August 30 to begin to hash that
out. More important, however, was to resolve the "political
issues." Portugal's constant refrain to its partners was
that the EU had to get serious about finding the political
will to develop a consensus approach and stick to it.

SERBIA'S BRIGHT IDEA...VIRTUAL INDEPENDENCE


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




LISBON 00002200 002 OF 002




8. (C) Tanger Correa noted that Belgrade shared with the GOP
a solution that it planned to present. This idea, known as
the 10-Year Plan, envisions a confederation-like agreement --
somewhat similar to the Montenegro example -- that would
grant Kosovo certain privileges like a separate army and
virtual independence over a ten-year time frame. Tanger
Correa said he did not know if Serbia planned to make public
its plan, but stated that the GOS wanted to present it
face-to-face to the Kosovars. Tanger Correa, though not
surprised by Belgrade's plan, was dismissive of the proposal
because he thought the Kosovars would never accept it.

COMMENT


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





10. (C) Tanger Correa, an affable, confident soul, presented
himself as Portugal's energetic problem-solver and inside man
on Kosovo. It was obvious that he was aware of our concerns
over his role. His comments were peppered with name-dropping
about American diplomats he had worked with over the years,
perhaps in an effort to clarify his bona fides. It is clear
that he is highly committed to solving the Kosovo issue, yet
less clear if his commitment and motivation will make a
difference. His message, however, was a simple
straightforward one, and one that he knew we wanted to hear:
The GOP, under FM Amado's strong leadership, is sparing no
effort to push the EU for consensus and is not stalling in
the hope of passing the Kosovo hot potato to Slovenia.
Ballard