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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BELGRADE1029 2008-10-02 12:03:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Belgrade
Cable title:  

SERBIA: TADIC CLARIFIES COMMENTS ON PARTITION

Tags:   PGOV PREL SR KV 
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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBW #1029 2761203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021203Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0486
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNS/NSC WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
					  UNCLAS BELGRADE 001029 

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E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SR KV
SUBJECT: SERBIA: TADIC CLARIFIES COMMENTS ON PARTITION

Ref: A) BELGRADE 1020, B) 07 BELGRADE 1328

Summary
-------



1. (SBU) In response to the media flurry over his recent comments
on Kosovo partition, Serbian President Boris Tadic held a press
conference on September 30 to clarify Serbia's stance on Kosovo. He
did not rule out the idea of partition completely, but stressed that
he was not proposing it and would only consider it if all other
options failed. On September 30 and October 1 the Ambassador
publicly stated that the United States was opposed to partition.
Embassy has been reinforcing that message at all levels of the
Serbian government. Meanwhile, despite the apparent desire of many
of Tadic's advisors to put the cat back in the bag, politicians and
political analysts are actively and openly debating the merits of
partition. End Summary.

Tadic Says He is Not Proposing Partition


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2. (U) Following the controversy triggered by his September 29
statement to RTS that he was prepared to consider partition of
Kosovo as a last resort (Ref A), Serbian President Boris Tadic held
a press conference on September 30 to clarify state policy on
Kosovo. Tadic stated that the future status of Kosovo should be
settled within the framework of essential autonomy, that he was not
proposing partition as a solution, and that Serbia would never
recognize Kosovo's independence. He added that "intellectuals in
Serbia and abroad discuss the question of partition and this is one
of the options that has been emphasized all these years in searching
for a solution to Kosovo's future status. I can only think about
this when all other possibilities have been exhausted, while the
question if I would support this solution is today an altogether
hypothetical matter."

Embassy Pushes Back


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





3. (SBU) The Ambassador gave a statement to Fox Serbia on September
30 emphasizing that the United States does not accept the concept of
partition of Kosovo. He reinforced that message during an October 1
press conference in the western Serbian town of Uzice. He also
conveyed the same message privately to Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic
and presidential advisor Srdjan Saper, both of whom insisted
vehemently that the press had taken Tadic's September 29 statements
to RTS out of context. They said that partition was not an option
unless all else failed. The Ambassador underscored that it should
not be an option even then.

Public Debate Raging


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





4. (U) Numerous Serbian politicians and analysts have commented on
the question of partition. Serbian Radical Party whip Dragan
Todorovic told the press that Tadic's statement on the possibility
of Kosovo partition of Kosovo demonstrated his [Tadic's] "true
intentions." Cedomir Jovanovic, leader of the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP), said that "the matter of dividing Kosovo means bringing
back into political life topics that were present in Milosevic's
Serbia and in Kostunica's Serbia, and topics that as a rule ended in
debacles for the Serbian state," adding that his party had always
been against the division of Kosovo. Former Foreign Minister Goran
Svilanovic told the press that the idea of partition was "the only
realistic solution and the only new idea, albeit somewhat
premature;" he added that partition would require recognition of the
Albanian part of Kosovo and the dropping of all claims. Dusan
Janjic of the Forum of Ethnic Relations characterized the idea as a
return to "the myths" of Dobrica Cosic (Yugoslav president
1992-1993, Ref B) and claimed Tadic's statement was evidence that he
had no Kosovo strategy.

Comment


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





5. (SBU) Despite his advisors' attempts to downplay the
significance of Tadic's comments to RTS, the fact is that Tadic did
not rule out partition as an option in his September 30
"clarification." It therefore appears to be no accident that the
Serbian president has chosen to add this new element to the domestic
and international debate over Kosovo. Whether he has fully examined
the potential negative impact on Serbia's ICJ resolution in the UNGA
is another question; we imagine that the prospect of Serbia using an
ICJ advisory opinion as grounds to challenge Kosovo's borders may
deter some countries from supporting the ICJ referral resolution.
End Comment.

MUNTER