Viewing cable 06PRISTINA640
Title: WISNER TO KOSOVARS: SIX WEEKS TO COME TO CLOSURE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06PRISTINA6402006-08-02 16:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pristina
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OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHPS #0640/01 2141629
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021629Z AUG 06
FM USOFFICE PRISTINA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6352
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0785
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
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUFOANA/USNIC PRISTINA SR
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 PRISTINA 000640 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR DRL, INL, EUR/SCE, NSC FOR BRAUN, USUN FOR DREW 
SCHUFLETOWSKI, USOSCE FOR STEVE STEGER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/02/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM UNMIK YI
SUBJECT: WISNER TO KOSOVARS: SIX WEEKS TO COME TO CLOSURE 
WITH AHTISAARI 
 
 
Classified By: COM TINA S. KAIDANOW FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY:  In separate meetings on July 27 with 
President Fatmir Sejdiu and the entire Kosovo negotiating 
team, U.S. Special Representative for the Kosovo Status Talks 
Ambassador Frank Wisner stressed the need to stay unified and 
to use the next six weeks to bring Kosovar Albanian 
negotiating positions on decentralization and cultural 
heritage closer to those of UN Special Envoy for Kosovo 
Martti Ahtisaari.  He also asked the negotiating team 
members, as leaders of their respective political parties, to 
make sure they and their constituencies do not react to 
provocations in the north.  He advised Prime Minister Agim 
Ceku to start thinking strategically -- specifically, he 
asked Ceku to contemplate Kosovo's democratic development 
over the next several years and be proactive in addressing 
those issues that would pose problems.  Wisner reiterated to 
Kosovo Serbs, including the mayor of the northern 
municipality of Zvecan, that now is the time to engage with 
the Kosovo government institutions and that the international 
community is looking for realistic solutions for Serbs to 
stay on here after final status.  Wisner's call to COMKFOR 
Valotto for a greater permanent KFOR presence north of the 
Ibar met with assertions that KFOR has enough soldiers at a 
recently reactivated base in Leposavic, as well as in bases 
just over the horizon south of the Ibar, to deal with any 
prospect of violence post-status.  Non-Serb minority leaders 
complained that the Kosovo government does not take their 
concerns over minority protections sufficiently into account. 
 END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (SBU) During his July 26-28 visit to Kosovo, Special 
Representative Ambassador Frank Wisner met with COMKFOR 
Valotto, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu, the Kosovo Albanian 
negotiating team, leaders from the "Six Plus" non-Serb 
minority coalition, representatives from the Serbian List for 
Kosovo and Metohija (SLKM), and Zvecan (northern Kosovo) 
mayor Dragisa Milovic.  Wisner had a private dinner with 
Prime Minister Agim Ceku, and visited the return site of 
Svinjare, where he saw the progress the Kosovo Protection 
Corps (KPC) is making repairing Serb homes and outbuildings 
damaged during inter-ethnic violence in March 2004.  COM 
accompanied Wisner to all of his meetings. 
 
Six Weeks to Come Around to Ahtisaari's Position 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶3. (C) Wisner praised Sejdiu and the entire Kosovo 
negotiating team for their performance during the July 24 
High Level Meeting on Future Status in Vienna with senior 
Serbian government officials.  He said he particularly 
admired Sejdiu's vision of the future of Kosovo and the 
collective views of the entire Kosovo delegation.  Wisner 
stressed that now was the time for the negotiating team to 
maintain cohesion.  He told Sejdiu privately, and the 
negotiating team collectively, that UN Special Envoy for 
Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari believes he will be able to finish 
drafting a settlement agreement after the next six weeks. 
The USG, Wisner said, hopes that during this time the Kosovo 
government positions on decentralization and the protection 
of Serbian Orthodox religious heritage will come closer to 
those of Ahtisaari and his staff.  Wisner noted his sense, 
gained during meetings July 25 in Belgrade, that both Serbian 
Prime Minister Kostunica and President Tadic wanted to finish 
discussions on decentralization so that they could show the 
Serb electorate they cared about the plight of Kosovo's Serb 
community.  Wisner assured first Sejdiu and then the entire 
Unity Team that the USG agreed that Belgrade should be able 
to assist Kosovo Serbs, but that the U.S. and the Contact 
Group would resist any attempt by Belgrade to carve the Serb 
community out of Kosovo. 
 
¶4. (C) Wisner asked Sejdiu to lead a unified negotiating team 
to the conclusion of negotiations and to maintain political 
discipline in the face of provocations by Kosovo Serbs north 
of the Ibar.  Wisner advised Sejdiu to give the USG and the 
Contact Group the opportunity to act on behalf of the Kosovo 
 
PRISTINA 00000640  002 OF 004 
 
 
government in the face of provocative actions north of the 
Ibar River.  (NOTE: The unity of the negotiating team was 
tested not more than one hour after these morning meetings, 
when opposition members of the Kosovo Assembly from Hashim 
Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo and Veton Surroi's Reform 
Party Ora refused to take their seats in the assembly to hear 
a report from Sejdiu on the results of the Vienna meeting. 
Opposition members told us they boycotted the session because 
Sejdiu had failed to obtain "clearance" from other 
negotiating team members for the presentation.  END NOTE.). 
 
¶5. (C) In his subsequent meeting with the entire negotiating 
team, Wisner built on many of the points he made with Sejdiu. 
 He asked the negotiating team to find common ground with 
Ahtisaari on the size of municipalities and the competencies 
(particularly the selection of police chiefs, Serbian 
language curriculum in primary and secondary schools, medical 
care and infrastructure) to be transferred to the new 
municipalities.  He added that as political leaders in their 
own right, it is important for negotiating team members to 
keep their discipline despite provocations from Kosovo Serbs 
and Belgrade.  He again stressed that the Kosovo Albanians 
should let the international community take the lead in 
responding to these provocations. 
 
Wisner to PM Ceku:  Take the Long-Term View 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶6. (C) Over dinner at the COM's residence with PM Ceku and 
his two primary political advisors, Wisner asked Ceku to 
begin thinking strategically about Kosovo's long-term 
democratic and economic development, and to consider what 
could go wrong after Kosovo's status is determined.  Ceku 
noted that his greatest concern is that huge expectations 
after status for jobs and economic development will not be 
fulfilled, leaving people bitter and disenchanted with the 
government.  Wisner also asked Ceku to think about what type 
of provocation Belgrade and Kosovo Serbs might try in the 
north to effect some sort of soft partition.  Ceku drew on 
his military experience in Croatia to observe that Serbs 
might start their partition drive with small-scale action -- 
closing roads or making political declarations -- and later 
build to more significant activity, depending on the degree 
of support from Serbia.  At Ceku's suggestion, Wisner agreed 
that it might be wise if Ahtisaari or his team visited 
Pristina in August "to meet with the deciders" -- i.e., to 
try and wrap up a deal on decentralization and cultural 
heritage away from the glare of the spotlight in Vienna. 
 
Non-Serb Minorities Anxious Prior to Settlement 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
¶7. (SBU) Meeting with representatives of the Bosniak, Roma 
and Turkish communities, Wisner told them that Kosovo had 
crossed an important threshold at the July 24 meeting in 
Vienna, because it was the first time that elected leaders of 
Kosovo and Serbia met and talked to each other, frankly and 
respectfully.  Minister of Health Sadik Idrizi, an ethnic 
Bosniak who attended the meeting in Vienna as well as the 
previous meetings on decentralization also held there, noted 
that he did not feel that the positions of non-Serb 
minorities are given enough support and added that these 
communities feel as though their interests will be left aside 
as part of the final settlement.  (NOTE: The negotiating team 
has always had at least one member of the non-Serb minorities 
on its team to talks in Vienna. END NOTE.)  Specifically, 
their concerns were focused beyond the settlement and on the 
construct of an eventual constitutional framework for Kosovo 
-- minorities, Idrizi and the others said, would seek 
specific mention in the new constitution in order to 
safeguard their rights. 
 
Tough Love for Kosovo's Serbs 
----------------------------- 
 
¶8. (C) Wisner,s message to the Kosovo Serbs was clear:  get 
yourselves involved in the game in the very near future or 
 
PRISTINA 00000640  003 OF 004 
 
 
you will not have any cards to play.  He noted pointedly to 
SLKM (Serb List for Kosovo and Metohija) reps Oliver Ivanovic 
and Randjel Nojkic that "there is a very limited amount of 
time -- six weeks -- in which Martti Ahtisaari will come to a 
conclusion.  If anyone has an opinion that would help him 
come to that conclusion, this is your last opportunity.8 
Oliver Ivanovic was equally frank with Wisner, quizzing him 
on Wisner's meetings in Belgrade and admitting that &your 
impressions are often better understood to us than messages 
coming from Belgrade.8 
 
¶9. (C) Ivanovic,s primary interest centered on the 
solidarity of the Contact Group (CG) to resist partition. 
Wisner responded that the CG statement after the July 24 
Vienna status meeting had been supported by all members, 
including Russia, and said he did not see that changing. 
Discussing possible scenarios in northern Kosovo after the 
status settlement was announced, Ivanovic was clear that 
&partition would be bad for the north.8  Wisner concurred, 
saying that any Serbian support, tacit or otherwise, for 
either a declaration of partition or a locally-based 
insurgency would have the effect of creating long-term damage 
to U.S. (and Western) relations with Serbia. 
 
Northern Mayor Guarded on Serbs Remaining in Kosovo 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶10. (C) Wisner later met with Dragisa Milovic, the mayor of 
the northern majority Serb municipality of Zvecan.  (NOTE: 
Though Milovic himself is not the most difficult of the three 
northern mayors, the Zvecan municipal assembly was the first 
to declare in early June that it would cease cooperation with 
Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self Government.  END 
NOTE.)  Speaking frankly, Wisner told Milovic that the USG 
believes deeply that the Kosovo of the future, regardless of 
the outcome of final status talks, must be a home for Serbs, 
Albanians and other ethnic groups.  He added that it was the 
desire of the international community to have Kosovo's status 
determined by the end of this year, and as with his other 
interlocutors, told Milovic that in the next six weeks, 
critical work would be undertaken to come to an agreement on 
decentralization and church properties and that the 
international community is looking for realistic solutions 
for Serbs to stay on here after final status. 
 
¶11. (SBU) Milovic responded that an independent Kosovo would 
be unacceptable to Kosovo's Serbs and that an independent 
Kosovo would be inescapably monoethnic.  He added firmly that 
no Kosovo Serb would send his/her children to a school at 
which the curriculum was developed by Pristina, and no Serb 
family would use an Albanian hospital.  That said, Milovic 
was careful not to assert that Serbs would inevitably leave 
Kosovo post-status, concluding that -- in his personal 
opinion -- if Serbs were allowed to manage their own local 
affairs, a final status agreement along the lines envisioned 
by Wisner (giving Serbs dual citizenship, protecting Church 
properties and giving individual municipalities broader 
powers over education, law enforcement and medical care) 
might be acceptable as a basis for co-existence. 
 
Wisner Wants Larger KFOR Footprint in the North 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
¶12. (C) Wisner met early in the day with COMKFOR Giuseppe 
Valotto and KFOR Chief of Staff (COS) Brigadier General 
Albert Bryant (U.S.) and stressed the need for a visible and 
permanent presence of KFOR troops in the north.  Valotto 
assured Wisner that since May 1 there are more KFOR troops 
both stationed at Camp Nothing Hill in the northernmost 
municipality of Leposavic (with one company currently 
present, another scheduled to arrive mid-August, and capacity 
for a third by September, thus a full battalion strength), as 
well as increased patrols and heightened activity in the 
north by French and Danish KFOR troops based south of the 
Ibar River.  Bryant noted that before May 1, KFOR troops in 
the north performed highway traffic patrols and random 
vehicle searches, but that they have now increased patrols 
 
PRISTINA 00000640  004 OF 004 
 
 
and heightened interaction with villagers.  Wisner again 
urged that the KFOR troops have as visible a profile as 
possible, and emphasized the importance of building up 
presence before the settlement, in order to serve as a 
deterrent for provocative Serb and Albanian behavior in the 
immediate aftermath of the status announcement. 
 
¶13. (U) U.S. Office Pristina clears this cable for release in 
its entirety to U.N. Special Envoy for Kosovo Martti 
Ahtisaari. 
KAIDANOW