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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07SARAJEVO1191
2007-05-31 16:46:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Sarajevo
Cable title:  

BOSNIA - HIGHREP SET TO BEGIN CONSTITUTIONAL

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PINR  EU  BK 
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VZCZCXRO1537
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVJ #1191/01 1511646
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311646Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6338
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUFOAOA/USNIC SARAJEVO
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SARAJEVO 001191 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR(DICARLO) AND EUR/SCE(HOH/FOOKS)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/01/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR EU BK
SUBJECT: BOSNIA - HIGHREP SET TO BEGIN CONSTITUTIONAL
REFORM CONSULTATIONS

REF: A. SARAJEVO 995

B. STATE 22980

C. SARAJEVO 41

Classified By: Ambassador Douglas McElhaney. Reason 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: On May 30, High Representative Christian
Schwarz-Schilling met with the Ambassador as well as the
German and EC Delegation Ambassadors to discuss plans for
consulting with Bosnian political leaders about the proposal
to create a Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC).
Schilling expressed his hope that political leaders could be
persuaded to support a new constitutional reform process in
general terms, and that this might be announced at the June
18-19 Peace Implementation Council (PIC). The PIC would
welcome the commitment and announce U.S. and EU support for
it in the PIC communique. Though the first consultations are
planned for June 1, the discussion underscored continued
differences between the U.S. and European positions over the
proposed structure of a CRC and the role the international
community would play in a Bosnian constitutional reform
process. END SUMMARY.

It's Time to Start


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





2. (C) The HighRep opened the discussion by arguing that it
was now time to begin formal consultations with political
party leaders on a new constitutional reform process.
Cognizant of coNQiBE+=&Rleaders on key concepts associated with the CRC,
specifically:

-- the idea of establishing a commission;
-- the appropriate role for parliament in the process;
-- the best method for keeping political leaders engaged in
the process; and,
-- the role of the international community.

The party leaders' responses to these general themes would
then be incorporated into a revised CRC proposal. No paper
would be passed to party leaders yet.

Targeting the PIC


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





3. (C) The HighRep told the ambassadors that he was not
interested in staging an elaborate signing ceremony or other
such event on constitutional reform prior to the end of his
tenure unless "there was real substance to it." He realized
that his earlier plan to secure agreement from party leaders
before June 30 on a detailed agreement endorsing the CRC and
on draft legislation that would establish it were now
unrealistic. Instead he hoped to force a general consensus
among party leaders prior to the June 18-19 PIC that a
constitutional reform process was necessary. Leaders could
make a short, joint public statement at the PIC to this
effect and the PIC communique could contain language
endorsing it. The HighRep plans to use his annual address to
the Bosnian parliament before the PIC to maintain momentum
towards a June 19 deal.

Parties Must Decide the Fate of U.S.-Brokered Amendments


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



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





4. (C) In response to a question from the German and EC
Ambassadors about how the U.S.-brokered package of amendments
meshed with the proposal to establish a CRC, the Ambassador
explained that the U.S. continues to believe that this
package represents significant step forward. Nonetheless,
the parties themselves must decide whether they want to make
a renewed effort to pass or begin a new process, he
emphasized. We believed it was worthwhile exploring the
possibility of adopting the U.S.-brokered package in
conjunction with legislation establishing a CRC, but even if
this approach proved politically unworkable, the U.S.
supported establishing a follow-on constitutional reform
process (Ref B).


SARAJEVO 00001191 002 OF 002


Europeans Repeat Earlier Concerns on CRC


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





5. (C) The EC Ambassador repeated concerns about the CRC that
he had expressed during earlier exchanges on it. Stressing
that he was speaking under instruction, he noted the European
Commission's concern about the size of the proposed CRC
secretariat and the prominent role envisioned for the U.S.

SIPDIS
and EU CRC Co-Chairs. The German Ambassador also raised
concerns about the role of the Co-Chairs, underscoring the
importance of Bosnian "ownership" of any constitutional
reform process. The Ambassador responded by noting that
without a strong international role, the constitutional
reform process would be unlikely to yield any concrete
results. Our participation in the CRC process was contingent
upon appropriate U.S. and EU roles. The German Ambassador
suggested the HighRep avoid going into too much detail on
this issue with the parties, since it would needlessly expose
U.S.-EU divisions, which could be ironed out later in the
process.

Comment


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





6. (C) The HighRep plans to schedule meetings with individual
party leaders over the next two weeks. Only after completing
these initial exchanges will he bring them together as a
group. The Ambassador as well as the German and EC
Ambassadors would participate in these exchanges. Precisely
what he plans to present to them remains vague, which may be
best given continued U.S. and European differences over the
"ownership" question. Given the current political climate,
it is unlikely the HighRep will secure agreement from party
leaders on a new constitutional reform process prior to the
PIC, but he is clearly prepared to push hard. The Europeans
are playing along even as they apparently try to undermine
the process. Most of the Europeans here are not comfortable,
or so they tell us, with the HighRep leading the charge on
constitutional reform. We suspect that several are also
uncomfortable with the notion of the U.S. continuing to play
a leading role in the process along with the Europeans.
MCELHANEY