Viewing cable 03ZAGREB716
Title: NATO SYG IN ZAGREB: TURNING DOWN THE PRESSURE ON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB7162003-04-01 15:23:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ZAGREB 000716 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (NARDI) AND EUR/RPM (BAME) 
USNATO FOR DEHART AND MOELLER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/01/2013 
TAGS: PARM PREL PREF HR NATO NATO
SUBJECT: NATO SYG IN ZAGREB: TURNING DOWN THE PRESSURE ON 
    REFORMS? 
 
REF: ZAGREB 617 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF A.F.GODFREY FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D) 
 
¶1.  (C) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ROBERTSON VISITED CROATIA FOR 
A BRIEF STOPOVER ON MARCH 31.  IN MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT 
MESIC, PM RACAN AND KEY CABINET MEMBERS AND WITH PARLIAMENT 
LEADERS, ROBERTSON DELIVERED A GENTLE MESSAGE, ENCOURAGING 
CROATIA TO STAY ON TRACK WITH REFORMS IDENTIFIED UNDER THE 
MAP PROGRAM.  RACAN WAS ACCOMPANIED BY DEFMIN ANTUNOVIC, CHOD 
LUSIC AS WELL AS DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER SIMONOVIC.  STJEPAN 
BARTULICA, HEAD OF THE MFA'S NATO OFFICE, MET WITH US ON 
APRIL 1 TO DESCRIBE THE MEETING WITH RACAN. 
 
¶2.  (C) IN A LENGTHY OPENING, RACAN EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT 
THE LACK OF UNITY ON IRAQ AT NATO.  BARTULICA SAID THAT 
ROBERTSON WOULD NOT BE DRAWN INTO A DISCUSSION ON THE 
SUBSTANCE OF IRAQ, BUT SHARED RACAN'S CONCERN AND HOPED 
THINGS WOULD BE SET RIGHT AT THE NAC QUICKLY.  BARTULICA TOLD 
US RACAN WAS ADVISED IN THE PRE-BRIEF TO PREEMPT DISCUSSION 
OF FUGITIVE ICTY INDICTEE GOTOVINA BY DECLARING THAT IN THE 
WAKE OF THE DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION, CROATIA BELIEVES THE TIME 
IS RIGHT TO MOVE AGAINST PIFWCS IN THE FRY AND RS.  BARTULICA 
SAID ROBERTSON'S ONLY MESSAGE ON COOPERATION WITH THE HAGUE 
WAS AN EXPRESSION OF "UNDERSTANDING" FOR THE DIFFICULTY OF 
THE ISSUE; GOTOVINA WAS NOT RAISED. 
 
¶3.  (C) SYG ROBERTSON TOLD RACAN THAT CROATIA IS MAKING GOOD, 
STEADY PROGRESS IN MAP, AND IS A "BEACON" IN A DARK REGION OF 
    EUROPE.  CROATIA SHOULD USE THE MAP REVIEW PROCESS AS A 
ROADMAP FOR REFORMS.  HE HAILED THE UPCOMING SIGNING OF THE 
ADRIATIC CHARTER, AND HOPED THAT IT WOULD SPEED PROGRESS 
TOWARD MEMBERSHIP.  HE PRESSED THE CROATIANS TO DO BETTER ON 
BUILDING AND MAINTAINING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THEIR BID FOR 
MEMBERSHIP.  HE RAISED REFUGEE RETURNS, BUT GENTLY: NATO 
ISN'T PRESSING THE GOC TO ENSURE ALL ACTUALLY RETURN, IT MUST 
MERELY CREATE THE CONDITIONS WHEREBY REFUGEES CAN RETURN IF 
THEY WISH TO. 
 
¶4.  (C) BARTULICA SAID THAT THEY EXPECTED A MUCH TOUGHER 
MESSAGE FROM SYG ROBERTSON.  THE TEXT OF A DECEMBER 2002 
LETTER FROM THE SYG (LEAKED TO THE LOCAL PRESS) TO PM RACAN 
LAMBASTED THE GOC ON FAILING TO MAKE PROGRESS ON DEFENSE 
REFORM AND DOWNSIZING.  BARTULICA SPECULATED THAT THE 
DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION HAS PROMPTED INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPALS 
TO BACK OFF OF THEIR TOUGH LINE ON CROATIA. 
 
COMMENT 
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¶5.  (C) WE ARE DISAPPOINTED THAT SYG ROBERTSON MAY HAVE LEFT 
SOME IN THE GOC WITH THE IMPRESSION THAT ASSASSINATION OF PM 
DJINDJIC MAY BE ENCOURAGING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO 
EASE UP THE PRESSURE ON REFORMS.  WHEN EC COMMISSIONER PATTEN 
WAS IN ZAGREB FOR A TRUNCATED VISIT (SO HE COULD VISIT 
BELGRADE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION), HE 
TOLD THE LOCAL EC HOM THAT INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON SERBIA 
MAY HAVE BEEN TOO HARSH AND COULD HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO 
DJINDJIC'S ASSASSINATION (REFTEL). 
 
    ¶6.  (C) WE DISAGREE STRONGLY WITH THE PREMISE THAT STRONG IC 
PRESSURE ADDS TO INSTABILITY.  THE DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION DID 
NOT CHANGE THE ISSUES HERE OR THE REASONS WE ARE PUSHING THE 
RACAN GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS THEM.  REAL PROGRESS ON 
OUTSTANDING WAR LEGACY ISSUES LIKE ICTY COOPERATION AND 
REFUGEE RETURNS WOULD BE PROGRESS TOWARD BUILDING LONG-TERM 
STABILITY IN THE REGION. 
ROSSIN 
 
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