Viewing cable 08BRUSSELS1230
Title: EU POINTS FINGERS IN LIFTING KARADZIC TRAVEL BAN,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08BRUSSELS12302008-08-08 13:20:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN USEU Brussels
P 081320Z AUG 08
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 001230 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2018 
TAGS: PREL ETTC KAWC ICTY EUN BK
SUBJECT: EU POINTS FINGERS IN LIFTING KARADZIC TRAVEL BAN, 
PRESIDENCY RAISES OHR EFFORTS ON CLOSURE 
 
REF: STATE 82492 
 
Classified By: Political-Minister Counselor Chris Davis for reasons 1.4 
 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (C/NF) Summary:  EU Council Bosnia official Sabina Stadler 
blamed the French Presidency for moving quickly to start the 
process to lift the travel restrictions on the Karadzic 
family (reftel), while French Presidency Balkans working 
group chair Alix Everard speculated that the effort 
originated with High Representative and EU Special 
Representative for Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak, possibly as a 
result of pressure from the Republika Srpska.  Everard 
emphasized that the practice of relaxing the travel bans on 
families of captured war criminals was not unusual, but added 
that the speed with which the Presidency was forced to 
address the issue was a result of Lajcak's quick return of 
the family's travel documents.  She also shared expectations 
that Lajack would use upcoming Bosnia-related meetings to 
make the case for a common EU position for closure of the 
Office of the High Representative (OHR), despite the 
Presidency's reluctance to address the issue before the next 
Peace Implementation Council (PIC) meeting.  End Summary. 
 
¶2.  (C)  EU Council Secretariat Bosnia officer Sabina Stadler 
(protect) said, in response to reftel points, that the 
Council was also taken by surprise by what she described as a 
French Presidency initiative to lift EU travel restrictions 
on the Karadzic family.  Although arguing that the "Council 
was not consulted properly" and that the move came 
surprisingly quickly after the Karadzic arrest, Stadler 
admitted that it was unlikely that the decision would be 
reversed when it is taken up by the Committee on External 
Relations (RELEX) in September.  She noted that the EU has 
not started the process to lift other measures in place 
against Karadzic associates, and urged us to direct concerns 
about advance consultation to the French Presidency as they 
will continue to set the discussion agenda on these matters. 
Stadler added that the discussion on lifting the travel ban 
is taking place in the broader context of determining how 
best to engage Serbia and move forward with the accession 
process. 
 
¶3.  (C/NF)  In a separate conversation, the French chair of 
the EU's Western Balkans Working Group (COWEB), Alix Everard 
(protect), said that lifting the restrictions on the Karadzic 
family was not out of the ordinary; EU past practice has been 
to lift the travel bans on the families of war criminals 
after they arrive in the Hague.  Moreover, none of the 27 
member states objected to the move when it was discussed in 
COWEB in July.  She emphasized that the Presidency had no 
plans to relax restrictions on any additional PIFWIC 
associates that remained on the list.  Everard added that the 
Council Secretariat had been pushing for the lift to be done 
by silence procedure in August, but the Presidency pushed 
back to have RELEX take up the matter in September.  She 
agreed with Stadler's assessment that the decision was 
unlikely to be reversed as it moved through the committee 
process, but did say that the Presidency may be able 
procedurally to lengthen the process, but this would only 
create a delay of a few weeks. 
 
¶4.  (C/NF) Everard shared her impression that the effort to 
lift the restrictions came from High Representative Lajcak 
who felt under pressure from the Republika Srpska.  As soon 
as Lajcak returned the travel documents to the family, the 
EU's room for maneuver was limited, said Everard. 
Maintaining the ban while the OHR had already provided the 
passports would be an empty gesture.  Everard was surprised 
that the U.S. had not been consulted by OHR, given Lajcak's 
emphasis to EU interlocutors on the need for quick action. 
 
¶5.  (C/NF)  Noting that High Rep Lajcak's campaign to close 
OHR was intensifying, Everard inquired about U.S. views on 
the timing of the closure.  She explained that the Presidency 
was under pressure from Lajcak to raise the issue in the EU 
and get a common position in favor of closure.  Everard 
expects that the High Rep will take advantage of a Political 
and Security Committee (PSC) visit to Sarajevo in September 
and his briefing to member states during the EU's discussion 
of the future of the Althea military mission in October to 
make his case to the 27.  Because the EU is leaning toward 
not renewing the mandate for Althea, Lajcak may try to use 
that decision to justify OHR closure, with or without 
conditions being met. 
 
¶6.  (C/NF)  Everard argued that while the EU should discuss 
the issue, her view was that OHR closure was not a decision 
for the EU to take collectively, and any formal debate would 
only be damaging and highlight divisions among the member 
states.  She emphasized that, if pushed, the Presidency would 
prefer that the discussion happen after the PIC meeting in 
November in order to take account of conclusions reached 
there, but she was pessimistic, saying Lajcak would only 
force the issue. 
 
SILVERBERG