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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08ZAGREB841
2008-12-09 14:51:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

FRENCH FRUSTRATION WITH SLOVENIAN POSITION ON

Tags:   PREL  NATO  EUC  SI  HR 
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VZCZCXRO1971
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVB #0841 3441451
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091451Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8834
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 000841 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2018
TAGS: PREL NATO EUC SI HR
SUBJECT: FRENCH FRUSTRATION WITH SLOVENIAN POSITION ON
BORDER ISSUE WITH CROATIA

REF: A. ZAGREB 934

B. LJUBLJANA 537

Classified By: Ambassador Robert A. Bradtke, Reasons 1.4 (B/D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 000841

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2018
TAGS: PREL NATO EUC SI HR
SUBJECT: FRENCH FRUSTRATION WITH SLOVENIAN POSITION ON
BORDER ISSUE WITH CROATIA

REF: A. ZAGREB 934

B. LJUBLJANA 537

Classified By: Ambassador Robert A. Bradtke, Reasons 1.4 (B/D)


1. (C) In a December 10 conversation with the Ambassador,
French Ambassador St. Paul bluntly criticized the Slovenian
response to the French proposal on a way forward to lift the
Slovenian block on Croatia's EU accession negotiations
(reftels), calling it "incredible" and "unreasonable." St.
Paul said that the French proposal would have allowed the
accession process to proceed without prejudice to either
side's position on the bilateral border issue between Croatia
and Slovenia. However, the Slovenes were insisting that the
issue be "prejudiced in their favor." This, St. Paul said,
was completely unacceptable to the French and other EU
members. St. Paul was scathing in his criticism of the new
Slovene government. He described Slovene Prime Minister Pahor
as "completely inexperienced" and "not understanding what he
is doing." Foreign Minister Zbogar, he said, is "even
worse."


2. (C) St. Paul said that France would continue its efforts
to find a solution prior to the EU-Croatia Intergovernmental
Council meeting on December 19 where up to ten chapters in
Croatia's accession negotiations could be opened if the
Slovenian hold is lifted. However, he was not optimistic
France would succeed. St. Paul went on to express concern
that the Slovene government performance's raised serious
doubts about whether it would be able to manage ratification
of Croatia's NATO membership.


3. (C) COMMENT: The French Ambassador's sharp criticism of
the Slovenes is a departure from his usually more cautious
remarks about intra-EU matters. In part, it undoubtedly
reflects French frustration that a small country refuses to
follow the French lead on this issue. However, we take it as
serious sign that Slovenia could well block the opening and
closing of key chapters in the EU accession process, thereby
throwing into even further doubt the timeline for Croatia's
completion of EU accession negotiations by the end of the

2009.
BRADTKE