Viewing cable 08MONTEVIDEO18
Title: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: RESOLVING KOSOVO'S STATUS IN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08MONTEVIDEO182008-01-16 13:24:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Montevideo
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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMN #0018 0161324
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161324Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7881
INFO RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0001
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0004
RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0015
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0108
C O N F I D E N T I A L MONTEVIDEO 000018 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT ALSO FOR WHA/BSC, EUR/SCE AND KOSOVO DESKOFF JBLACK 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/15/2018 
TAGS: PREL UN UNMIK PGOV YI EU UY
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: RESOLVING KOSOVO'S STATUS IN 
EARLY 2008 
 
REF: STATE 01087 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Frank E. Baxter 
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1. (C) A/DCM urged Uruguay to recognize Kosovo's independence 
once it is declared, per reftel instructions.  The demarche 
was delivered on January 15 to the MFA's Director for 
Multilateral Affairs, Carlos Barros and his Chief of the 
International Organizations Department, Daniel Pareja. 
 
¶2. (C)  Barros was quite familiar with the countries of 
former Yugoslavia.  He commented that on his last trip to the 
region he had witnessed first-hand the persistent animosity 
between countries such as Croatia and Montenegro. He made the 
following observations regarding Kosovo's status in early 
2008: 
 
-- Uruguay is not a member of the UN Security Council and it 
does not have any substantial interests in the Balkans. 
Because of its small diplomatic corps, the GOU tends to 
concentrate primarily on issues that directly impact Uruguay 
and "not long-running or complex issues at the UN that have 
minimal relevance to us."  He cited Argentina, Brazil, the 
United States, Venezuela, Spain, Italy, Congo and Haiti as 
the nations which hold direct national/international 
interests for Uruguay. 
 
-- Nonetheless, Barros said, the MFA is concerned about the 
countries of the former Yugoslavia that have no access to the 
sea because their "isolated condition" poses potential risk 
for future conflict.  He cited Bolivia and Ethiopia as prime 
examples of countries where a lack of access to the sea 
remained a perennial source of contention with their 
neighbors who had sea coasts. He commented that an 
independent Kosovo was likely to result "in just another 
landlocked micro-state -- unless Kosovo decided to join up 
with Albania." 
 
-- Barros said that the prospect of Kosovo eventually joining 
Albania might not please Russia, who viewed "all Muslim 
states in Europe" with grave suspicion."  He added that 
"neutral countries like Uruguay" were naturally concerned 
when major changes were proposed in a region "where World War 
I began". 
 
-- On the other hand, Barros said that Uruguay's MFA well 
understood that any attempt to reintegrate Kosovo into Serbia 
was a non-starter that would likely spark renewed violence. 
He characterized UN Special Envoy Ahtissari's plan as "the 
lesser of two evils" and volunteered that the ethnic Serb 
minority in Kosovo would not favor independence. 
 
-- In the final analysis, Barros said, Uruguay had no 
official position to offer at this time, but that it would 
eventually, probably follow Europe's and Latin America's lead 
on the Kosovo issue once it was clearly established. In any 
case, he doubted that Uruguay would take a high profile on 
the issue. 
 
¶3. (C) Comment: A senior career diplomat with close ties to 
the opposition Colorado party, Barros was previously 
Ambassador to Italy and the Czech Republic, where he was also 
accredited to a number of countries, including Albania. He 
was candid in his remarks about which demarches the MFA took 
seriously.  He did not discount the possibility that either 
Russia or Venezuela could alter his assessment of how Uruguay 
would react to Kosovo's independence "if the right people at 
the top of the MFA were persuaded to do otherwise".  In 
previous meetings, Barros has been openly critical of Foreign 
Minister Reinaldo Gargano, particularly regarding the 
Minister's opposition to a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. 
 End Comment. 
Baxter