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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07SKOPJE120
2007-02-09 15:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Skopje
Cable title:  

MACEDONIA: DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON ICTY RETURN OF

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PHUM  ICTY  MK 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO3449
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSQ #0120/01 0401513
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 091513Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY SKOPJE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5719
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUESEN/SKOPJE BETA
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
RUEHSQ/USDAO SKOPJE MK
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SKOPJE 000120 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/SCE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ICTY MK
SUBJECT: MACEDONIA: DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON ICTY RETURN OF
CASES & NATO PRIORITIES

REF: A. SKOPJE 39


B. SKOPJE 102

Classified By: P/E Chief SHubler, reasons 1.4(b) & (d).

SUMMARY



1. (C) Deputy PM Konevska agreed with the Ambassador during a
February 7 meeting that the Macedonian judicial and political
system is not yet ready to accept the return of four
unindicted ICTY cases involving eAlbanians linked to the two
main eAlbanian political parties here. Reminded that time is
running out for Macedonia to complete numerous priority tasks
before it can be considered a strong contender for NATO
membership, Konevska said the GOM is committed to
implementing the Ohrid Framework Agreement and is working to
address the curjQjQQvdifficult to go
after "big fish" involved in past corruption scandals because
of mutual protection "deals" the previous two governments had
concluded. Our message to the GOM continues to be that, at
the end of the day, what will count for NATO membership will
be deeds, not words, and results rather than excuses. End
Summary.

ICTY RETURN OF CASES: DELAY AND SEQUENCE



2. (C) In a February 7 meeting, the Ambassador told Deputy PM
for Euro-Integration Gabriela Konevska-Trajkovska that the
USG believes it would be prudent to delay the return to
Macedonian jurisdiction of four unindicted ICTY cases from
The Hague (ref A). In addition, we thought the return should
be phased, with cases coming back one-by-one. She suggested
to Konevska that the GOM consider appointing an ad hoc
government focal point to oversee the various elements of the
politically-contentious return of cases, all of which involve
allegations against ethnic Albanians linked to either the
main eAlbanian opposition party (DUI) or the eAlbanian junior
governing coalition partner (DPA).



3. (C) Konevska agreed on the need to delay the return of
cases and to ensure the cases return sequentially. She said,
however, that ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte recently
had told her the cases should be returned by July and in one
batch, taking into account del Ponte's impending departure
from The Hague. Konevska said a further delay would be
justified by the fact that the judiciary still required
extensive training to deal with such cases. In addition,
neither the draft law on cooperation with the ICTY nor the
draft law on the public prosecutor had been passed by the
Macedonian Parliament, and the recently-approved law on
courts was only in the early implementation phase.
Politically, eAlbanian reactions to the return of cases could
be potentially damaging to Macedonia's NATO and EU
candidacies, Konevska believed.



4. (C) Konevska said she was aware of the need to manage
public expectations regarding the four cases, especially
given the fact that an ICTY case against former Macedonian
Minister of Interior Boskovski and an accomplice was

scheduled to begin before the summer. She had underscored to
both Boskovski and his accomplice, during a recent visit to
The Hague, that the GOM would not try to link their cases and
the return of the four cases against eAlbanians. Konevska
confided that she was serving as a de facto government focal
point on these issues, although the GOM believed it was
better not to formalize that appointment.
Q#Q?z#
NATO MEMBERSHIP -- WE SUPPORT YOU, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO EARN IT



5. (SBU) The Ambassador told Konevska that the USG still
supported Macedonia's NATO candidacy and wanted the country
to succeed in achieving that goal. But there had been an
unmistakable slowdown in some key reform areas since the new
government took power in August of 2006. The current
political gridlock (ref B) and lackluster progress in
implementing the Ohrid Framework Agreement suggested
Macedonia might not be ready for membership by the end of


2007. Time was short, and it would be important to
positively change the country's political image by September
or October of this year. The country needed to demonstrate
more progress on combating corruption -- with a specific
focus on cases involving "big fish" -- and on effectively
fighting trafficking in persons (TIP).

SKOPJE 00000120 002 OF 002





6. (SBU) Konevska said she and a fellow Deputy PM had met
recently with parliamentary whips to stress to them the
importance of 2007 as a year for completing NATO and EU
membership-related reforms. The government would press for
active FWA implementation, and agreed on the need to work for
political consensus on reform priorities, she said. Konevska
had told government MPs not to respond to provocation from
the opposition, but to concentrate instead on practical
approaches to political dialogue.



7. (C) Praising USAID's recent work with the GOM on a
comprehensive anti-corruption strategy, Konevska said she
believed it would produce measurable results and bolster the
country's progress toward EU membership. The government did
not want to be seen as engaging in revenge prosecutions of
corruption cases, but the leaders of the previous two
governments had cut private deals among themselves to prevent
"big fish" cases from being effectively prosecuted. Konevska
added that the government had been discussing at the highest
levels the need to intensify efforts to combat TIP.

EU AGENDA -- COMPLETING NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR ADOPTION OF EU
ACQUIS



8. (U) Noting that Macedonia's National Program for the
Adoption of the EU acquis (NPA) was in its final stages
before being adopted by the government, Konevska said all
government ministries and relevant working groups had been
consulted in putting the NPA together. She added that the
European Commission already had commented positively on the
document, which she hoped to present to the Macedonian
Parliament in March.



9. (U) Konevska said she wanted to promote greater
involvement of civil society -- including academics, NGOs,
and business leaders -- in the adoption of laws related to
the EU accession process. The Prime Minister would invite
the opposition SDSM to chair a National Council for European
Affairs in the Parliament, which would give opposition
parties greater buy-in to the EU integration process.

COMMENT -- DEEDS, NOT WORDS; RESULTS, NOT EXCUSES



10. (C) Konevska's assertion that the previous two
governments cut deals with each other to protect against
future prosecution in major corruption scandals may be
correct. That does not, however, mean that the current
government should avoid going after "big fish" corruption
cases, especially those for which a good deal of evidence
already has been collected. We have made it clear to the
government that, as far as NATO membership is concerned, what
counts are deeds, not words, and results rather than excuses.
We will continue to hammer home that message until the
government takes notice and begins acting on it.
MILOVANOVIC