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07ZAGREB149 2007-02-09 14:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
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1. (C) Drawing on reftel points, DCM February 2 briefed MFA
Assistant Minister for Europe Neven Pelicaric about US views
on the Ahtisaari proposal on Kosovo's final status.

2. (C) Pelicaric said the GOC would fully support the Contact
Group position on the issue. He felt this was an excellent
time for Serbia to deal with the Kosovo issue, in the
interregnum between two parliaments. He noted concern that
the Kosovar Albanians would begin to lose patience with the
international community if the status process drags on much
longer; they could destabilize the situation, which would
cause negative effects beyond Kosovo and Serbia throughout
the region.

3. (C) The GOC will continue to take a low profile on the
issue, Pelicaric said, encouraging Serbian counterparts
privately while refraining from conspicuous public comments.
The GOC theme with Serbia has been that everything will be
easier for the country in a variety of fields once it accepts
the reality of Kosovo's final status. Pelicaric noted that
the Croatian relationship with Serbia was one of its most
important and delicate issues; maintaining good relations
with Belgrade and continuing to improve the level and quality
of their bilateral interactions was one of the country's
highest priorities. Therefore, when the time comes to
recognize Kosovo's independence, Croatia would do so without
fanfare and only after EU member states had done so.

4. (C) Pelicaric noted that the Russian ambassador had called
on him the previous day to make the point that the Kosovo
process was moving too fast. He told Pelicaric that
President Putin had recently made the same point to German
Chancellor Merkel, who had agreed with him.

5. (C) Ambassador Bradtke followed up February 3 with FM
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was also fully supportive of
the Ahtisaari plan and the Contact Group's work.