Viewing cable 06USUNNEWYORK1010
Title: UNMIK/KOSOVO: AHTISAARI BRIEFS CONTACT GROUP

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK10102006-05-18 14:53:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
VZCZCXYZ0019
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #1010/01 1381453
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181453Z MAY 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9066
INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0097
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE IMMEDIATE 0555
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE 0960
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 1643
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA IMMEDIATE 0552
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 0961
C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 001010 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR EUR DAS ROSEMARY DICARLO, EUR/SCE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL UNSC PGOV UNMIK YI
SUBJECT: UNMIK/KOSOVO: AHTISAARI BRIEFS CONTACT GROUP 
 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor William J. Brencick, Reason 
s: 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (C) Summary.  The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for 
the Future Status Process for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari 
briefed the Coordinating and Drafting Group (Contact Group 
plus Greece, Slovakia and Denmark) May 12 on his upcoming 
consultations in June and his plans for the parties to meet 
in July or August.  Most Contact Group members addressed the 
need to maintain pressure on Belgrade and hopefully to 
conclude final status talks in 2006.  Russian PR Churkin took 
a tough line, questioning the rush forKosovo's independence 
and whether independence would better protect Serb human 
rights or encourage refugee return.  Asked by Ambassador 
Wolff how the Contact Group or UNSC could help him, Ahtisaari 
said the more unified the Contact Group was and the more its 
members reinforce that point with the parties, the more 
helpful it would be.  End Summary. 
 
¶2.  (C) In a May 12 briefing for the Cooordinating and 
Drafting Group, Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General's 
Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, said 
he envisions intense consultations in the coming months.  His 
busy travel schedule in early June will include key European 
capitals, Moscow, Beijing and the region.  He hopes the 
consultations will conclude with some clarity on the process 
and a Contact Group meeting in Moscow late in the month.  He 
intends to consult with the UNSC in early July and to explain 
next steps at that time.  Ahtisaari plans on a July meeting 
of the parties on final status and hopes to make profitable 
use of the UNSC's August slowdown, but cautioned that any 
breakthrough would be unlikely in the first round of talks. 
He wants to conduct final status talks in a venue that allows 
for candid discussion and limited press.  He noted that SRSG 
Jessen-Petersen's negotiations on continued international 
presence are separate from the final status negotiations. 
Finally, he said public speculation on final status 
arrangements would not be helpful. 
 
¶3.  (C) Most Contact Group members addressed the need to 
maintain pressure on the parties, particularly Belgrade.  UK 
PR Jones Parry urged 2006 as the target for conclusion of 
final status talks and stressed the need to signal some 
toughness, for example by making clear to Belgrade that the 
process cannot be held hostage.  German PR Pleuger queried 
Ahtisaari on how to bring Belgrade - both the government and 
public opinion - to support the negotiations and on the 
impact on Serbian views of a successful or failed Montenegro 
referendum. 
 
¶4.  (C) Ahtisaari answered that the Serbs are in denial.  He 
criticized Serbian political leaders who have done nothing to 
influence public views and said that when those such as 
Draskovic say, "we should not be punished for Milosevic's 
actions," he answers "nor should you be rewarded."  However, 
if the Serbs meet the criteria, the international community 
should be forthcoming.  Ahtisaari said he recognizes that the 
Contact Group wants a solution in 2006, and agrees that is 
the timeframe, but cautioned it should also be acceptable if 
it takes a bit longer.  Belgrade knows 2006 is the desired 
timeframe, but expects the Serbs will attempt delays. 
Montenegro's referendum has its own life and will be held 
independent of final status talks and the talks would then 
take into account the referendum results. 
 
¶5. (C) In contrast, Russian PR Churkin questioned the rush 
for Kosovo's independence.  He asked whether independence 
would better protect Serb human rights and encourage refugees 
to return.  He objected to Pleuger's question about the 
Montenegro referendum and the reference to the "failure of 
the referendum" since the referendum would be an expression 
of the people's will.  2006 is an artificial target and only 
a hope.  The process should create an agreement acceptable to 
both sides, not simply pressure on the Serbs. 
 
¶6. (C) Ahtisaari answered Churkin that significant refugee 
returns are unlikely, and many refugees will instead go to 
Austria, Germany or elsewhere.  But returns are desirable, 
and the goal is a multi-ethnic society.  Therefore, property 
claims must be addressed and conditions for return created. 
There is an expectation of independence and that is the only 
way to guarantee the best life for all.  After seven years of 
UN involvement, Kosovo is sui generis and must be treated as 
such.   Furthermore, Kosovo's administration is weak, and an 
international presence - EU, OSCE, and NATO - is still 
 
required.  The 2006 decision timeframe derives from the 
Contact Group, and the process can be flexible; however, it 
should not be artificially prolonged. 
 
¶7. (C) Asked by U.S. Ambassador Wolff how the Contact Group 
or the UNSC could help, Atishaari said the more unified the 
Contact Group is, the more helpful it would be.  He noted in 
particular the importance that Kostunica receive the same 
message from all capitals. 
BOLTON