Viewing cable 06PRISTINA242
Title: NEW KOSOVO PRIME MINISTER ROARS OUT OF THE GATE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06PRISTINA2422006-03-17 13:41:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pristina
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O 171341Z MAR 06
FM USOFFICE PRISTINA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5923
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0618
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHFMISS/AFSOUTH NAPLES IT
RHMFISS/CDR TF FALCON
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEPGEA/CDR650THMIGP SHAPE BE
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RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUFOANA/USNIC PRISTINA SR
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRISTINA 000242 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL KCRM PGOV PINR KDEM UNMIK YI
SUBJECT: NEW KOSOVO PRIME MINISTER ROARS OUT OF THE GATE 
 
REF: PRISTINA 229 
 
Classified By: COM PHILIP S. GOLDBERG FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY.  In two meetings this week, COM found new 
Kosovo Prime Minister Ceku already deeply immersed in policy 
and quickly getting up to speed on economic issues that 
demand rapid resolution.  He has gained the attention of his 
cabinet by announcing that the tenures of all ministers will 
be subject to his personal review every 90 days.  COM advised 
the PM to focus particular attention on a finite number of 
portfolios -- property rights, interethnic crime, 
decentralization, outreach to Kosovo Serbs -- with potential 
to move the final status process forward.  SRSG 
Jessen-Petersen called COM after his first substantive 
meeting with Ceku to rave about the new PM's cooperative 
approach on difficult issues such as the staging of a tender 
to name a second mobile phone operator for Kosovo.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (C) In March 13 and March 16 meetings, COM and E/P chief 
found new Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku appreciative of the 
task before him but already tackling it with discipline. 
After his swearing in on March 10 (reftel), the primary 
members of the governing coalition (the Democratic League of 
Kosovo and Ceku's Alliance for the Future of Kosovo) 
announced that Ceku would have the political authority -- 
complementing the Constitutional Framework's grant of legal 
authority -- to replace at will any minister in the 
government regardless of party affiliation.  Ceku thereupon 
announced that he would personally review the performance of 
each minister at 90-day intervals and would not hesitate to 
replace underperforming cabinet members.  COM told Ceku that, 
judging from the number of urgent requests for assistance 
USAID has received in recent days from ministries, the 
message that ministers are on probation seems to have 
registered. 
 
¶3. (C) To Ceku's concern that he and his small staff have 
much to learn quickly, COM said the USG is ready to provide 
technical staff as we have for his predecessors but also 
advised Ceku to not try to do everything but rather to focus 
attention on an achievable number of goals.  COM urged Ceku 
in this regard to consult with his Kosovo Albanian final 
status negotiating team colleagues regarding the 
recommendations of U.S. final status Special Representative 
Frank Wisner.  Ambassador Wisner, COM said, had recommended 
that Kosovo Albanian leaders focus on making progress on 
property rights cases (especially those involving the Serbian 
Orthodox Church), prosecution of interethnic crimes, outreach 
to the Kosovo Serb community, and decentralization.  Ceku was 
in complete agreement with COM's proposal and said he 
expected that final status-related issues would come to 
increasingly occupy his time in the immediate aftermath of 
the March 17 Vienna meeting on decentralization. 
 
¶4. (C) Ceku wanted to discuss two economic issues in 
particular -- telecommunications and energy.  He said that he 
had already been approached by representatives of the Mobikos 
consortium, ostensible winners of a 2004 mobile phone license 
tender that has been voided by UNMIK, and that "the pressure 
is building."  He said SRSG Soren Jessen-Petersen had 
informed him that the former tender had been annulled and 
that he had been therefore surprised to receive a letter from 
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority chief Anton Berisha 
recommending that he agree to resurrect the Mobikos license. 
COM replied that UNMIK and the PISG needed to agree on a way 
forward given the strongly different views held by those 
involved and advised Ceku to discuss the matter with the 
SRSG.  (NOTE. Jessen-Petersen and Ceku announced at a joint 
press conference on March 17 that a new tender would be 
launched.  END NOTE.) 
 
¶5. (C) Ceku admitted to a particular problem in managing 
Energy Minister (and the PM's distant cousin) Ethem Ceku, who 
was already urging the PM to dismiss the Irish company, ESBI, 
that manages electricity utility KEK and turn responsibility 
 
PRISTINA 00000242  002 OF 002 
 
 
for the energy sector fully over to the ministry.  PM Ceku 
realized that Energy Minister Ceku's proposal calls for 
action well beyond the government's authority under the 
Constitutional Framework.  He said he plans to take his 
cousin to task in from of his entire staff for attempting to 
undermine a KEK management structure that the PM believes has 
produced, on balance, a vast improvement in KEK operations. 
The PM expects that the energy minister will quickly bounce 
back from this dressing down. (NOTE. Any decision PM Ceku may 
have been facing on energy was largely overtaken by a March 
14 letter from AAK President Ramush Haradinaj to ESBI chief 
John Ashley that strongly endorsed ESBI's management strategy 
at KEK. END NOTE.) 
 
¶6. (C) SRSG Jessen-Petersen called COM on March 17 to rave 
about Ceku's focus and cooperative spirit in their 
just-concluded first substantive meeting, saying that Ceku 
had achieved more in a week than his predecessor had in a 
year. 
 
¶7. (U) USOP clears this message in its entirety for release 
to UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari. 
GOLDBERG