wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09USNATO287 2009-07-02 15:07:00 CONFIDENTIAL Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL ASSESSES MACEDONIA'S MAP

Tags:   NATO PREL MARR 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO5222
PP RUEHSL
DE RUEHNO #0287/01 1831507
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021507Z JUL 09
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3143
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0002
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 3454
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE
RUEHBS/USNMR BRUSSELS BE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USNATO 000287 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019
TAGS: NATO PREL MARR
SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL ASSESSES MACEDONIA'S MAP
PROGRESS

Classified By: A/POLAD A. "Hoot" Baez
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: On July 1 Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio
Milososki and Defense Minister Zoran Konjanovski
told the North Atlantic Council (NAC) that Macedonia was
committed to finding a mutually-acceptable solution to the
name dispute and taking its place as as a NATO Ally. They
also announced a potential 46 percent increase in troop
deployments to the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF). END SUMMARY.



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


What's in a name?


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





2. (C) Foreign Minister Milososki remarked that "the
crossroads of history and geography have not always been
generous" to Macedonia, and told the NAC that the decision
taken at the 2008 Bucharest Summit to extend an invitation
for membership to Macedonia as soon as a mutually-acceptable
solution to the name issue had been reached was sobering."
He confirmed that the government would continue to actively
and productively participate in un-sponsored talks to
resolve the name issue. He noted that more than 90 percent
of the population still supports NATO membership for
Macedonia. Drawing analogies between the inaugural address
of President Obama and the name dispute, Milososki remarked
that it was time to set aside childish things and carry
forward the promise that all are equal, all are free, and all
deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.



3. (C) The Greek Permanent Representative (PermRep) noted
that the smooth integration of the western Balkans required
nations to assume the full obligations of good neighborly
relations. He also encouraged all efforts to speed up and
successfully conclude the name dispute so that a "win-win"
situation could be achieved. Allies, including Greece,
roundly endorsed the Bucharest decision to welcome Macedonia
to the table as soon as the name dispute was resolved.



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


Not "perfect," but reforming


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





4. (C) At the conclusion of Macedonia's tenth MAP cycle,
Foreign Minister Milososki acknowledged that his country had
not been a "perfect" candidate for membership. At the same
time, he stressed that there was no other destination for
Skopje than NATO. He said that the April 2009 elections
proved that electoral reforms such as shifting the
maintenance of voting lists from the purview of the justice
ministry to the electoral commission have improved the
process, but further improvements were needed. On judicial
reform, Milososki said that Macedonia had moved to a system
of elected judges and increased the judicial budget 11
percent. In the last two years the disposition of cases had
increased 25 percent. He noted the latest Transparency
International index, which showed that Macedonia improved
from 105th place in 2006 to 72th in 2008. Referring to the
global economic crisis, Milososki said that Macedonia's
policy was to maintain its macroeconomic stability, as well
as its monetary rate. He briefed that Macedonia recognized
Kosovo's independence in 2008 and would work to support the
development of a multi-ethnic society in that country. At
the same time, he said that relations with Serbia -- which
suffered after Macedonia recognized Kosovo's independence --
were
beginning to warm again.



5. (C) Foreign Minister Milososki and Defense Minister
Konjanovski announced that Macedonia was considering a 46
percent increase in troops deployments to the NATO led ISAF
operation in Afghanistan; He also said Macedonia might deploy
the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) to a UN
peacekeeping operation in the future. Konjanovski reported
that Macedonia was developing a small, strong, and mobile
army, and announced the reopening of the Macedonian military
academy later this year. He also announced the
implementation of the Ohrid Agreement on ethnic power-sharing

USNATO 00000287 002 OF 002


had resulted in ethnic minorities comprising 29 percent of
the soldiers and non-commissioned officers corps, and 19
percent of the officers corps. Macedonia hoped to provide
training to the Kosovo military as soon as diplomatic
relations between the two countries were established. He
stated that the global economic crisis, which will result in
an 18 percent defense budget decrease, will result in the
postponement -- but not cancellation -- of the purchase of a
helicopter to replace one lost in Operation ALTHEA. Foreign
Minister Milososki even credited Greece with donating two
helicopters to its fleet.



6. (SBU) Milososki also invited the NAC to visit Skopje in
autumn 2009.




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


Comment


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





7. (C) With the exception of a short exchange describing the
alleged inflexibility of Greece in the run up to Bucharest,
this meeting with Macedonia was much more cordial than
similar recent meetings. Since Bucharest, Macedonia's
frustration at being left at the altar by the Alliance has
often resulted in less-than-constructive interventions by
Macedonian officials during meetings at NATO, losing Skopje
valuable good will. However, on this occasion the
Macedonians arrived at NATO well-prepared, well-rehearsed,
and had a polite answer to every question -- perhaps
signaling the beginning of a more constructive post-Bucharest
NATO-Macedonian relationship.
DAALDER