Viewing cable 07PRISTINA557
Title: KOSOVO FINAL STATUS: A/S FRIED DISCUSSES NEXT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07PRISTINA5572007-07-16 12:26:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pristina
VZCZCXRO3567
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHPS #0557/01 1971226
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161226Z JUL 07
FM USOFFICE PRISTINA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7543
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1228
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY
RHFMISS/AFSOUTH NAPLES IT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR TF FALCON PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEPGEA/CDR650THMIGP SHAPE BE PRIORITY
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PRISTINA 000557 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR, EUR/SCE, DRL, INL, AND S/WCI, NSC FOR BRAUN, 
USUN FOR DREW SCHUFLETOWSKI, USOSCE FOR STEVE STEGER, OPDAT 
FOR ACKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/16/2017 
TAGS: PGOV KJUS KCRM EAID KDEM UNMIK YI
SUBJECT: KOSOVO FINAL STATUS: A/S FRIED DISCUSSES NEXT 
STEPS AT UNSC, ASKS FOR PATIENCE/RESTRAINT 
 
Classified By: COM TINA KAIDANOW FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY:  In Pristina July 9-10, EUR A/S Fried 
reassured Kosovo's restive Unity Team, made up of the main 
governing and opposition leaders, that the U.S. would neither 
abandon Kosovo nor weaken in support for Kosovo's 
independence, and briefed them on the details of a new 
"minimalist" UNSC resolution.  Asking for patience and 
restraint, Fried noted that the provisions of the draft 
resolution would likely involve a 4-6 month period of further 
negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina and would not 
explicitly address status, but he also made clear the 
eventual outcome would be what President Bush said it would 
be -- supervised independence for Kosovo.  If Russia blocked 
such a resolution, Fried indicated, the U.S. and its EU 
partners would move ahead with this initiative by common 
consent.  While accepting the need for the widest degree of 
international support for independence possible, Kosovo 
leaders were nervous about new negotiations and feared status 
would remain unresolved beyond the end of the negotiation 
period.  PM Ceku asked what was left to discuss with Serbia, 
while opposition leader Veton Surroi claimed Pristina would 
be squeezed to make further concessions.  Opposition PDK 
leader Hashim Thaci complained that only for the sake of 
status had his party "not acted like an opposition."  He 
pressed for holding parliamentary elections on time (mandates 
expire in October), regardless of progress on status, as a 
means of maintaining the legitimacy of Kosovo's institutions. 
 Despite these concerns, Unity Team members expressed strong 
confidence in the U.S. and appeared relieved when Fried 
announced they were all invited to a July 23 meeting in 
Washington with the Secretary. 
 
¶2.  (C)  SUMMARY (cont'd):  UNMIK, ICO and KFOR reps told 
Fried the security situation remained for now in fairly good 
shape, but pointed to the growing potential for unilateral 
Kosovar political action and radicalization of moderate 
forces in response to the continued lack of clarity.  Serb 
Orthodox Church leaders Bishop Teodosije and Father Sava, 
realistic about independence, nevertheless worried about 
implementing protective measures for Kosovo Serbs and 
proceeding with Ahtisaari-mandated provisions protecting 
cultural and religious heritage sites.  In a televised 
interview, A/S Fried reiterated that the outcome for Kosovo 
would be supervised independence, but appealed to Kosovars to 
be patient, to work with the U.S. and international 
community, and to take no action that would put this outcome 
at risk.  A/S Fried's visit helped provide context for 
Kosovars on the steps ahead, but we will need continuously to 
hold the Kosovars' hands in the weeks and months that follow. 
 END SUMMARY. 
 
Message of Patience, Restraint, Assurance 
 
¶3.  (C) EUR A/S Fried, in Pristina July 9-10, met separately 
with President Sejdiu, PM Ceku, Assembly caucus leaders, and 
Kosovo's Unity Team to deliver a message of patience and 
restraint as the U.S. and its European partners work to craft 
a new "minimalist" resolution at the UNSC to authorize the 
international presences envisioned in the Ahtisaari proposal. 
 He reaffirmed President Bush's resolve that Kosovo will be 
independent, but noted that this effort would require a 
limited period of new negotiations between Belgrade and 
Pristina lasting perhaps four months, to demonstrate -- 
particularly to European publics -- that supervised 
independence was the only possible and sustainable outcome 
for Kosovo.  Should Russia block this resolution, Fried said, 
the U.S. and its EU partners would move ahead with this 
initiative by common consent.  He appealed to Kosovo leaders 
to work with the U.S. and international community and not 
fall prey to provocations or the impulse to take unilateral 
action, either by imposing artificial deadlines or declaring 
independence.  A/S Fried assured all that Kosovo would in the 
end be independent and that the U.S. wanted as many countries 
as possible to recognize and accept this fact.  To 
demonstrate continued U.S. engagement, Fried invited all 
 
PRISTINA 00000557  002 OF 003 
 
 
Unity Team members to a July 23 meeting in Washington with 
Secretary Rice, an invitation accepted with alacrity and 
 
SIPDIS 
enthusiasm. 
 
Message Accepted, But Not Happily 
 
¶4.  (C)  Kosovar leaders expressed their deep appreciation 
for U.S. efforts and generally accepted Fried's message, but 
evinced real concerns about the process as described.  PM 
Ceku asked what could possibly be further negotiated with 
Belgrade and complained that Pristina had not been consulted 
on this new resolution.  Opposition ORA leader Veton Surroi 
maintained that Pristina would be squeezed to make further 
concessions: "You will ask us for more...and we have already 
given away the family jewels."  Noting that his party had not 
acted like a real opposition since the Unity Team's founding, 
PDK leader Hashim Thaci argued that it was time for the 
international community to fulfill its obligations to Kosovo. 
 Thaci also pressed on the thorny issue of elections, saying 
they should be held on time to maintain the legitimacy of 
Kosovo's institutions, regardless of status resolution.  He 
made his intentions clear:  "There will be no political 
address," he insisted, for the Unity Team after September if 
there are no plans to hold elections on time.  (Note: In June 
2006, the SRSG postponed municipal elections, due in November 
2006, in anticipation of a decision on status.  Mandates for 
Kosovo Assembly MPs expire in October 2007.  End Note.) 
Fried indicated understanding for the legitimacy issue, 
though he warned that elections could delay the period of 
negotiations and thus the status process generally, and he 
observed that it would be exceptionally difficult to maintain 
unity while an election campaign was underway. 
 
¶5.  (SBU)  Fried heard much the same fears from Assembly 
caucus leaders, particularly that Pristina would be asked to 
make more concessions or that status would remain unresolved 
even after this new negotiating period.  The idea of holding 
elections before status brought a divided response, with 
governing coalition delegates generally opposed and 
opposition delegates strongly in favor.  Assembly members 
were uniformly critical of the Unity Team's performance, but 
Fried reminded them that the Team had worked constructively 
with the international community and under its overall 
guidance, and asked that the Assembly not take steps to 
either limit the Team's mandate or revoke its competency. 
Despite their evident reservations, caucus leaders expressed 
their full confidence in the U.S. and pledged not to do 
anything without the consent and agreement of the United 
States. 
 
Internationals See Potential for Unilateral Steps 
 
¶6. (C)  At July 9 dinner hosted by COM, OSCE Amb. Wnendt 
(Ger), USKFOR BG Earhart, COSKFOR BG Wolf (U.S.), and ICO 
Prep Team Deputy Ben Crampton (UK) told Fried that the 
security situation was generally calm and stable, but 
emphasized that the political situation was extremely 
fragile.  They worried that in the absence of real clarity on 
status, moderate Kosovo leaders might be pressured by extreme 
voices -- even within their own parties -- to take dangerous 
unilateral steps.  Discussion also centered on elections and 
the need both to maintain the legitimacy of Kosovo 
institutions and to deal with the inherent dangers of holding 
an election before final status had been resolved; all 
acknowledged the problems involved in holding elections in a 
pre-status environment and the potential threat to Kosovo 
unity, but all were equally convinced that without surety on 
a date for status, holding back opposition demands for 
democratic elections would be extraordinarily difficult, and 
might cost the Unity Team its opposition membership at any 
rate. 
 
Moderate Kosovo Serb leaders 
 
¶7.  (C) A/S Fried laid out the way ahead to moderate Serb 
Orthodox Church leaders Bishop Teodosije and Father Sava. 
 
PRISTINA 00000557  003 OF 003 
 
 
Both leaders agreed strongly that Belgrade used Kosovo mostly 
as a political lever, but noted the difficulty for moderate 
Belgrade politicians to speak freely and productively about 
Kosovo.  They were realistic about Kosovo independence, but 
worried about the fate of individual Serb communities in 
Kosovo in an atmosphere of prolonged Albanian frustration and 
delay in the status process.  Asked about the building of a 
security wall around the Pec Patriarchate (a measure that 
USOP, UNMIK and ICO have supported), Teodosije said that at 
the USOP July 4 reception he was confronted by PISG Energy 
Minister Ethem Ceku (a KLA war veteran from the Peja/Pec 
region, though a nominal moderate), who asserted that if "you 
build walls you don't make friends," to which Teodosije 
responded, "we will build the wall and then make friends." 
 
¶8.  (C)  Father Sava also noted his concerns about continuing 
proposals for partition of Kosovo emanating out of Belgrade, 
calling such ideas "disastrous," and speculating that there 
might be those in Belgrade who -- despite their public stance 
against partition -- wanted to provoke Albanian unilateral 
action that would engender a Serb response in Kosovo's north 
essentially creating a partition outcome.  Both he and 
Teodosije noted that there were some Albanian leaders "they 
could talk to," though others were more problematic, and 
underscored the critical nature of USOP and international 
support for implementation of those Ahtisaari provisions 
dealing with religious heritage.  They also acknowledged that 
Belgrade-appointed municipal representatives in Kosovo's Serb 
enclaves were often acting against local Serb interest by 
erecting barriers to interaction with the international 
community.  Asked what Fried's message to Serbian President 
Tadic should be, Teodosije said, "do not sacrifice the 
(Kosovo Serb) people."  In closing, Father Sava expressed 
hope that US troops would be available to help Decani 
monastery should there be trouble in future, noting that 
Italian KFOR was well-meaning but the US flag "calms people 
down." 
 
Media Outreach 
 
¶9.  (U)  In a wide-ranging, one-on-one interview on KTV's 
"Rubikon" news program, which aired Kosovo-wide the evening 
of July 10, Fried underscored that President Bush's recent 
remarks in Albania in favor of Kosovo's independence were the 
product of careful deliberation and decision.  Fried 
emphasized that Presidents Bush and Sarkozy had publicly 
supported the Ahtisaari plan of supervised independence for 
Kosovo.  He walked viewers through the concept behind the 
promulgation of a new draft resolution, but said the outcome 
of the process would remain supervised independence. 
 
¶10.  (U)  A/S Fried redirected a question on whether the new 
negotiation period would be four or six months, saying the 
mere fact that Kosovo was counting the months to independence 
meant that Kosovo was succeeding.  He praised the Kosovo 
leadership, especially the Unity Team, for its high level of 
responsibility and partnership with the international 
community, and appealed to Kosovars to continue to work with 
the U.S. and international community and not take unilateral 
action. 
 
¶11.  (U)  A/S Fried has cleared this cable. 
KAIDANOW