Viewing cable 06SARAJEVO1776
Title: RS PREMIER DODIK MUSES ON SERBIAN AND BIH

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06SARAJEVO17762006-08-07 08:38:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Sarajevo
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SARAJEVO 001776 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR (DICARLO), EUR/SCE (FOOKS, MITCHELL), L/EUR 
(K. JOHNSON), D (SMITH), P (BAME), S/WCI (WILLIAMSON, 
BERG), INR (BRAUM), USUN (WILLSON), THE HAGUE (SCHLIDGE, C. 
JOHNSON), ZAGREB (SELINGER), BELGRADE (CAMPBELL), NSC FOR 
BRAUN, USNIC FOR BOALS, OSD FOR FLORY 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2011 
TAGS: UNMIK ICTY KAWC PGOV PREL AL YI BK
SUBJECT: RS PREMIER DODIK MUSES ON SERBIAN AND BIH 
POLITICS, CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM 
 
REF: SARAJEVO 1773 
 
Classified By: DCM Judith B. Cefkin.  Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary: On the margins of July 28 discussions with RS 
Prime Minister Milorad Dodik on ICTY cooperation (REFTEL), 
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Clint Williamson 
and CDA Cefkin also raised Kosovo and asked about the 
upcoming Bosnian elections.  According to Dodik, the Serbian 
public had been relieved to see Montenegro gain its 
independence, and Serbs already regarded Kosovo as a separate 
state.  Dodik said polling for the October elections showed 
his SNSD party ahead in the RS, but Bosniak parties in the 
Federation were running in a dead heat. His priority was to 
form a stable coalition government with the SDP quickly and 
move on substantive issues like constitutional reform.  End 
summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Dodik said his contacts in Serbia believe the Serbian 
public already feels as if Kosovo was a separate state. 
Furthermore, when the Serbian President can be elected with 
as few as 1.5 million votes, the average Serb does not want 
two million Albanians living in Kosovo determining who that 
is.  Nevertheless, no Serbian politician believed he could 
afford to accept Kosovo's secession.  Kostunica thinks the 
transfer of PIFWCs, particularly Mladic, to the ICTY will 
improve Serbia's standing among the international community, 
and consequently strengthen its bargaining position on the 
final status of Kosovo.  Dodik cautioned Ambassador 
Williamson that it would be a mistake for the international 
community to offer Serbia EU and NATO membership as the 
trade-off for ceding Kosovo.  He said it should not appear as 
if Serbia had received compensation for 'selling' Kosovo. 
 
¶3. (C) Dodik said his contacts in Serbia are also concerned 
about the strength of the Serbian Radical Party.  He asserted 
that only the blindest Radical Party supporters would give a 
second thought to Radical Party VP Toma Nikolic's recent 
calls for Serbs to take up arms and defend Kosovo.  Rather 
than feeling vulnerable because of the Montenegrin 
independence referendum, the public is actually relieved to 
finally have the question settled.  He suggested the same 
mood could be detected with regard to Kosovo. 
 
¶4. (C) Dodik said the election campaign in BiH had already 
started.  He noted that reliable USG-funded polling data 
showed his SNSD was the frontrunner in the RS.  Dodik said 
that the same data showed a convoluted situation in the 
Federation.  Dodik said it looked as if BiH Tri-Presidency 
Chairman Sulijman Tihic's Party for Democratic Action (SDA), 
Zlatko Lagumdzija's Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Haris 
Silajdzic's Party for BiH (SBiH) had even chances of winning. 
 He feared that the SDP was losing votes because of its 
leader's ego. 
 
¶5. (C) Dodik said his party would still like to form a 
coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), if it has 
the numbers in Parliament to do so.  He stressed that the 
priority was to have a stable government as soon as possible 
after the election, so the government could move on to 
important substantive issues, such as constitutional change. 
Dodik said that all parties had "compromised" themselves a 
bit to reach agreement on constitutional reforms, and all 
faced some flak from supporters because of that.  Dodik 
feared pressure from Silajdzic, candidate for the Bosniak 
seat in the Tri-Presidency, could lead Tihic to be the first 
to step away from the agreement.  Dodik said that while there 
were some painful portions for the RS, all in all it was a 
good agreement and he would stand by it. 
 
¶6. (C) Comment: Dodik's comments on Serbian reaction to 
Montenegro and his predictions on Kosovo may be accurate, or 
he may simply saying what he things his American 
interlocutors what to hear.  It is notable that Dodik did not 
 
SARAJEVO 00001776  002 OF 002 
 
 
mention a possible RS independence referendum.  Dodik's 
assessment of Tihic's propensity to cave to pressure from 
Silajzdic on constitutional reform is accurate, and we will 
need to work hard to keep Tihic and the SDA on board with 
continuing reforms after the elections, especially if he 
loses his Tri-Presidency seat. 
MCELHANEY