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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08LISBON2634 2008-10-08 14:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lisbon
Cable title:  

PORTUGAL RECOGNIZES KOSOVO

Tags:   PREL KV PO 
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VZCZCXRO1366
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #2634 2821452
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081452Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7071
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L LISBON 002634 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2018
TAGS: PREL KV PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL RECOGNIZES KOSOVO

REF: A. LISBON 2628

B. LISBON 2630

Classified By: DEPUTY POL/ECON COUNSELOR TROY FITRELL FOR REASONS 1.4 (
b, d)



1. (C) After several months of indecision, the Government of
Portugal (GOP) recognized Kosovo October 7. Foreign Minister
Luis Amado also told Ambassador Stephenson privately October
8 that Montenegro and Macedonia would likely recognize Kosovo
in the next few days. In addition to the recognition
statement, the GOP made a surprising simultaneous
announcement it would support Serbia's request in the UN to
refer the Kosovo matter to the International Court of Justice
(ICJ). FM Amado's Diplomatic Adviser Paulo Lourenco
confirmed October 8, however, that Portugal would abstain on
the ICJ issue.



2. (U) FM Amado appeared in parliament on October 7 to issue
a statement of recognition following recent consultation with
all state structures. Amado gave four reasons why the GOP
was taking this step:

-- Kosovo's independence had become irreversible;
-- International law had not been able to resolve the
political issue;
-- Recognition was important to support NATO and the EU; and
-- Notice of the geo-political changes following Russia's
intervention in Georgia.



3. (U) While President Cavaco Silva has continued to express
misgivings about recognition, his opposition Social
Democratic Party (PSD) supported the explanation in
parliament, and FM Amado stressed that agreement had been
reached between the President and Prime Minister. The
center-right Popular Party (CDS-PP) and the extreme left
Communist Party (PCP) and Left Bloc (BE) opposed recognition
but represent only 31 seats combined of 230 total. (Note:
the decision was not up for a vote, but serious parliamentary
opposition could have caused the government to refrain from
action. End note.) Portugal was the final EU member state
without a domestic separatist movement to recognize Kosovo.



4. (C) Comment: After months of different explanations as to
why recognition took so long, we are just pleased it finally
happened. On ICJ, things were very much in the air until
late on October 8. FM Amado and several of his senior
advisors had told us they intended to join an EU consensus to
abstain on the ICJ referral (reftels). Once the effort to
forge an EU consensus failed, it appeared the GOP considered
using that as an excuse to change its position. It would not
have been atypical, however, given the GOP's usual desire for
"balance." In this case, however, it would have resulted in
a "balance" of disappointed allies.
STEPHENSON