"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460

WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!

Sillni këtu për diskutim artikujt ose reportazhet që trajtojnë problemet më të mprehta qe shqetësojnë, shoqërinë shqiptare, komunitetin tuaj, juve.

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WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by Phoenix » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:14 pm

[quoteem]Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06PARIS7755 2006-12-12 13:01 2010-12-01 23:11 SECRET Embassy Paris

DE RUEHFR #7755/01 3461305
O 121305Z DEC 06

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 007755



EO 12958 DECL: 01/01/2016

Classified By: Ambassador Craig Stapleton for reasons 1.4 (B & D).

¶1. (S) SUMMARY: EUR A/S Dan Fried’s December 7 meeting with presidential diplomatic advisor Maurice Gourdault-Montagne (MGM) focused largely on Russia, with France in a defensive posture. MGM raised the aborted Putin-Chirac dinner on the margins of the NATO Riga Summit, saying it had been instigated by Russia, and portrayed France as having attempted to steer in a way compatible with Latvian interests. In contrast to French Political Director Araud (septel), he showed reluctance to see the Kremlin’s hand in the Litvinenko poisoning, preferring to ascribe it to rogue elements. MGM claimed to support Georgian independence while suggesting that NATO Article 5 obligations precluded Georgian NATO membership. On Kosovo, he reviewed France’s plans to persuade the EU to agree to offer Serbia an SAA agreement not linked to fulfillment of its ICTY obligations but worried above all about Putin’s explicit threat to veto a UN Security Resolution mandating independence; there was a risk of instability and partition if the West did not exercise sufficient care in managing the Russians. Fried countered that the West needed to be prepared to proceed in extremis without the Russians, and warned against allowing the Russians to hold up a decision through the threat of a veto.

¶2. (C) SUMMARY CONT: On other issues, MGM reviewed the Franco-German proposal for a review of Turkey’s implementation of its Ankara Protocol commitments between 2007 and 2009, assured Fried that France wanted to avoid a train wreck, but insisted it was incumbent on the Turks to make a gesture. Fried reminded MGM of the strategic importance of keeping Turkey tied to EU; MGM agreed in principle but insisted Turkey had to play by the EU’s rules and noted the difficulties of managing domestically public sentiment against Turkey. Fried and MGM agreed that France and the U.S. had worked well together at the NATO Riga Summit. END SUMMARY.

¶3. (C) EUR A/S Daniel Fried, accompanied by the Ambassador and POL Deputy (notetaker), met December 7 with President Chirac’s diplomatic advisor (NSA-equivalent) Maurice Gourdault-Montagne (MGM) to discuss a number of European issues that revolved largely around Russia. MGM was joined by Presidency Middle East advisor Dominique Boche and strategic affairs advisor Laurent Bili.

Putin-Chirac at Riga

¶4. (C) Noting at the outset that he had been directly involved in the aborted Putin-Chirac dinner on the margins of the NATO summit, MGM assured Fried that French actions had been above board. Kremlin advisor Pridhodko had originally proposed that Putin meet Chirac privately at a Paris airport November 29 in order to express his birthday wishes (MGM cited Putin’s meeting in Hannover with former Chancellor Schroeder as a precedent). France had agreed, while noting that the dates coincided with the Riga Summit. Pridhodko suggested Riga, which France dutifully vetted with the Latvians with the understanding that they would have to host such a dinner, and assuring the Latvians that France was prepared to say “no” to the Russians if a meeting would in any way cause them embarrassment. The Latvians were prepared to proceed, so long as the Russians also agreed to a bilateral meeting, which MGM conveyed to Pridhodko. Pridhodko had suggested that this could be “difficult” given negative Russian public opinion toward Latvia. The Latvians told MGM that the Russians had refused to meet at the official palace or residence, but were considering the Latvian cultural center. MGM said he had encouraged the Russians to accept the last offering, and they had proceeded as if it might be acceptable. Late Tuesday, however, they balked, apparently because the center was located about 200m from the Latvian museum of occupation.

¶5. (C) MGM concluded his presentation with the argument that such a meeting would have been positive for Russian-Latvian relations and would have helped to blur dividing lines between NATO and Russia. He complained over Latvia’s going “public” with the cancellation by querying NATO SYG Hoop de Scheffer as to whether “we are allowed to receive” the Russian president. He commented that, had they remained silent, the cancellation would have been a non-event. Fried countered that the Latvians had been right to inform NATO and thus avoid a surprise. He contrasted the Russians’ clumsiness in managing the dinner with the Latvians’ transparency, suggesting that it was time for the Russians to accept the independence of the Baltic states. He added pointedly that the U.S. would no longer accept putative Russian concerns about Latvian treatment of their citizens at a time when they were still rounding up Georgians on the
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basis of ethnicity. MGM commented meekly that the timing had not been right for the visit and agreed that the Latvian government no longer had a problem of non-citizen ethnic Russians.

Litvinenko Case

¶6. (S) Fried commented that the short-term trend inside Russia was negative, noting increasing indications that the UK investigation into the murder of Litvinenko could well point to some sort of Russian involvement. MGM called attention to Chirac’s statement encouraging the Russians to cooperate in the investigation. He wondered aloud who might have given the order, but speculated the murder probably involved a settling of accounts between services rather than occurring under direct order from the Kremlin. Fried, noting Putin’s attention to detail, questioned whether rogue security elements could operate, in the UK no less, without Putin’s knowledge. Describing the current atmosphere as strange, he described the Russians as increasingly self-confident, to the point of arrogance.


¶7. (C) Fried, noting he had discussed Georgia the previous evening with MFA Political Director Gerard Araud (septel), said it was important to support Georgian sovereignty against Russian pressure for three reasons: the situation overall in Georgia was improving under Saakashvili’s leadership; violation of Georgian territorial integrity would set a dangerous precedent; and Germany and Central and Eastern Europe had a strong interest in ensuring that gas and oil pumped from Azerbaijan and Central Asia did not travel exclusively through pipelines owned or controlled by Russia. MGM responded that France supported Georgia’s independence but wondered how to accomplish this within existing structures. The heart of NATO was Article 5, and it was doubtful that NATO would declare war on Russia over Georgia; it was therefore important to bypass Article 5 and find a “specific way” that did not involve NATO membership. If Georgia joins, Armenia may follow. Even in the case of Turkey, was its Kurdish problem one for Europeans, MGM asked.

¶8. (C) Fried assured MGM that the U.S. was not seeking membership for Georgia soon, but it was important not to close the door in order to continue to promote Georgian reform and development. It was incumbent on the West to support Georgian sovereignty and maintain a united front against Russia, he argued. He related that he had urged Saakashvili not to seek crises with Russia, since crisis worked only for Russia, and time was on Georgia’s side so long as it moved quietly. In five years, a burgeoning Georgian economy had the potential to dramatically change the politics of the region. MGM agreed in principle, but suggested one could differ on ways and means.

Serbia and Kosovo

¶9. (C) Fried explained that the U.S. had decided to offer PFP to Serbia as a means of supporting democratic forces in the upcoming elections; President Tadic had made a strong case for Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic future. Similar considerations had prompted the U.S. to support Ahtisaari’s recommendation to postpone tabling his proposals on Kosovo status. But it was critical to move quickly after January 21. Additional delay would encourage the Serbs and others into thinking the West felt intimidated; it was time to push onward to supervised independence. Fried said that while Russia could be expected to cause difficulties, in the end he believed it would abstain on a UNSCR, although he could not be certain. What was certain was that the Russians must not be allowed to believe that the threat of a veto will work, because they would exploit any opening. The West therefore had to send the signal that it was prepared to move without them if necessary, because no signal would be interpreted as tacit acquiescence in Russia’s raising the bar. This was a terrible option, but paralysis was worse.

¶10. (C) MGM reviewed the history of French-Serbian relations (back to the Salonika Front of WWI, on which MGM’s grandfather had served), judged PFP as a positive offer, and said Chirac had proposed to Merkel that the EU move to a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia, even in the event of insufficient ICTY cooperation. Merkel had initially responded negatively, citing Tadic’s failure to request it, but France continued to believe that offering SAA could make a difference in the January elections. If the Germans were not on board by early January, France would move on its own to propose SAA. As for the Ahtisaari proposals, MGM said Putin had told the French “Russia will not hesitate
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to veto any solution that does not enjoy the agreement of all the stakeholders.” MGM urged great caution in moving forward, citing Putin’s purported concerns about the risks of a partition and a merging of the north with Serbia and the south with Albania, leading potentially to a radicalized Muslim state in the heart of Europe.

¶11. (C) Fried responded that the Serbs and Albanians had been told that Kosovo would be independent, and that it would be a mistake to turn back. Perhaps the Russians were bluffing, but even if they were not, wavering would lead to disaster, beginning with riots by Kosovars that risked turning KFOR into an occupying force and could led to the very radicalization we had successfully avoided so far. MGM said France was not advocating further delay, but was nonetheless concerned that independence could have unintended consequences. Public opinion could change, and Russia might become yet more irrational in the run-up to legislative and presidential elections. Fried agreed on the desirability of negotiating a UN Security Council Resolution that would be acceptable to the Russians -- perhaps even leaving out the word “independence” -- but the West needed to be prepared in extremis to move forward without Russian support. Russia would seize on any paralysis to try to raise the bar. MGM agreed in principle, but urged again finding ways to “coddle” Russia.


¶12. (C) During a discussion cut short by a summons from President Chirac, Fried asked MGM how France planned to avoid a Turkey-EU train wreck. MGM said France supported Turkey, but Turkey needed to play by EU rules and fulfill its commitments. It was not the EU’s fault that the UN Cyprus plan had not been approved by referendum, but this could not be used as an excuse for not implementing the Ankara Protocol. It was critical that Turkey “start to implement” the protocol through a gesture. MGM said that Chirac and Merkel had agreed (on the basis of the Commission proposal) not to open eight chapters and not to close any other chapters; but they had also agreed to insist on a review of Turkish implementation -- to serve as the basis for a further EU decision -- in the time frame between a 2007 Commission report and 2009 European parliamentary elections. Although Erdogan had told Merkel not to expect any further Turkish gestures, MGM nonetheless hoped the Turks would find a way, as they had so often in the past, to do something at the last minute.

¶13. (C) Fried described the U.S. approach of encouraging Turkey to respond constructively, expressed the hope that the EU would not be too one-sided in its judgment of the Ankara Protocol implementation, but reminded MGM that the EU also had not followed through on its promises (which MGM hotly denied). Fried continued that the U.S. wanted to be helpful but was avoiding taking a public stance. He reiterated that the stakes were high, given Turkey’s strategic value.

¶14. (C) This message was cleared by A/S Fried.
Please visit Paris’ Classified Website at: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm STAPLETON


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Re: WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by Phoenix » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:32 pm

[quoteem]Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ROME1386 2008-11-13 19:07 2010-12-02 14:02 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome

DE RUEHRO #1386/01 3181916
O 131916Z NOV 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 001386


EO 12958 DECL: 11/15/2018

ROME 00001386 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Barbara A. Leaf, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, for rea sons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) During a press conference on the margins of the Italy-Turkey summit in Izmir on November 12, Italian PM Berlusconi said that the U.S. had “provoked” Russia by unilaterally recognizing Kosovo’s independence, pressing forward on Missile Defense, and inviting Ukraine and Georgia to have a closer relationship with NATO. While Berlusconi’s latest comments are a culmination of a string of inflammatory and unhelpful comments in support of Putin that began shortly after Berlusconi took office this year, these latest statements went considerably further in attempting to place the blame for Russia’s paranoia on the U.S. Additionally, Berlusconi appears to be encouraging his own government and Russia to disregard the current administration and lobby the incoming U.S. President to take a softer line on Russia. At the same time, he has attempted to portray himself as the primary interlocutor between Putin and the West, and particularly with the U.S. As a result of Berlusconi’s latest comments, post reached out to interlocutors at all levels to register our dismay at the latest barrage of Berlusconisms. Our contacts universally responded with a combination of dismay, dismissal or shoulder-shrugging. In an effort at damage-control, FM Frattini dispatched a senior MFA official the following morning to see the A/DCM and ‘clarify’ the GOI,s stance. Instead, he took back a terse message to the FM that such comments risk substantial and lasting damage to Italy,s credibility in Washington. End summary.

¶2. (C) During a press conference with Turkish PM Erdogan on November 12 in Izmir, PM Berlusconi said the U.S. had “provoked” Russia by unilaterally recognizing Kosovo’s independence, pressing forward with Missile Defense and encouraging Ukraine and Georgia to have a closer relationship with NATO. Berlusconi’s latest comments represent a continuation of a long campaign of support for Putin since the Italian PM returned to power this year. In addition to his latest comments, Berlusconi has supported Russian initiatives to create a new security architecture in Europe to supersede NATO and OSCE, has insisted that Putin acted appropriately during the Georgia-Russia conflict, and has opposed NATO expansion on the basis that it presents a threat to Russia. He has even called for Russia to be a full member of the EU - a comment he made at a time when the EU was considering whether to continue business as usual with Russia in the aftermath of the Georgia-Russia conflict.

¶3. (C) Most disturbingly, Berlusconi has attempted to portray himself to Russia and the EU as the principal interlocutor between the transatlantic community, and in particular the U.S., and Russia. He has repeatedly called on the U.S. to take a softer line with Russia on virtually all democratic and security issues and has even called on his government and Russia to look beyond the current administration to the incoming U.S. President in order to achieve these goals.

¶4. (C) Following this latest set of remarks, we reached out to virtually every senior interlocutor on Russia within the GOI and in Berlusconi,s own center-right coalition. The Ambassador called DPM Letta. A/DCM called FM Frattini’s chief of staff, the MFA Director General for Europe, the National Security Advisor, and a member of parliament from Berlusconi’s party. Poloff reached out to the Acting Director of the MFA Russia Office, the Director of the Security Planning Department, the diplomatic advisors to Berlusconi, and members of Berlusconi’s party. We expressed our concern that Berlusconi’s attempts at ‘creating dialogue’ with Russia were, in fact, creating greater tension and undermining common efforts to bring stability to the Balkans, and portraying the successful and peaceful expansion of the Euro-Atlantic space as a threat to Russia. In an apparent effort at damage-control, FM Frattini sent a senior member of his staff, Policy Planning Director Maurizio Massari, the day after Berlusconi,s remarks to call on A/DCM to ‘clarify’ GOI policy.

¶5. (C) Massari (as did virtually all of our interlocutors) told A/DCM that the PM was accustomed to making off-the-cuff remarks that should not be interpreted as policy statements per se. Massari said that Frattini was urging the U.S. to
ROME 00001386 002.2 OF 002
look to Italy’s strong bilateral cooperation rather than Berlusconi’s comments as an indication of the strength of the relationship and the direction of Italian policy. Italy’s foreign policy remained strongly Atlanticist; Berlusconi, according to Massari, had meant to be constructive and wanted to take a positive role in creating understanding between its key strategic partners, the U.S. and Russia. The comments had not been meant to criticize the U.S.

¶6. (C) A/DCM countered that the PM’s statements risked damaging to our efforts to bring stability to the Balkans by calling into question the basis for Kosovo’s independence - a process that Italy had been a part of from the beginning. Additionally, Berlusconi,s comments ran headlong into sensitive negotiations with Russia on confidence building measures, as well as Czech and Polish internal deliberations on ratification of Missile Defense. By characterizing Ukrainian and Georgian NATO aspirations as inherently threatening to Russia, Berlusconi was casting doubt on a process which had produced significant reforms in aspirant countries that are looking to join the community of democratic nations.

¶7. (C) A/DCM told Massari that the GOI gave every appearance that the U.S. was experiencing a power vacuum. The current administration was still in charge, and the incoming one had made that abundantly clear. By encouraging his own government and Russia to speak past the current administration and offer ‘advice’ to the President-Elect, Berlusconi was losing credibility for Italy as a reliable partner, which he could ill afford to do, given the challenges ahead of us in Afghanistan and elsewhere. A/DCM added that the new administration would conduct its own diplomacy and would not need Berlusconi as ‘a bridge’ to engage in a dialogue with Russia on either a bilateral or multilateral basis.

¶8. (C) Massari, in obvious discomfort, said he ‘fully understood’ the U.S. perspective on Berlusconi,s recent stream of commentary, said he would take this message back to FM Frattini in detail. He also asked for our thoughts on how to avoid any further ‘misunderstandings’ of this nature. He said he would recommend that the FM make a statement clarifying Italy’s support for Kosovo and NATO expansion. He also said he would advise the FM to talk to Berlusconi about the degree to which his comments on the US/Russia relationship, Georgia, MD and other issues had irritated Washington. A/DCM ended the conversation by suggesting that PM refrain from making any further offers to guide the new U.S. administration in its relationship with Russia.

¶9. (C) Comment. All of our interlocutors were at visible pains to underscore that they understood the PM’s comments in Izmir had crossed the line. All, however, particularly party officials, reiterated that Berlusconi does not listen to the advice of his own experts in crafting his approach with other states. On Russia, Berlusconi takes this to an extreme, not only conducting his own brand of foreign policy, but on a tactical basis, as a way of gaining favor with his Russian interlocutors - with whom many (including his own party officials) suspect he has a personally and financially enriching relationship. All of our contacts stated that it might be difficult to reign him in and, somewhat fatalistically, encouraged us to ignore his comments. One senior MFA official went so far as to suggest Ambassador take up the issue directly with Berlusconi and asked us to let her know what Berlusconi offered as his justification for his remarks, since, she said, she had no insight whatsoever as to what had animated his remarks on Kosovo and MD.

¶10. (C) It will be all the more important that Berlusconi and his advisors hear a similarly blunt warning about the direction of Italy,s Russia policy during in any bilats or pull-asides on the margins of the upcoming G-20 summit. SPOGL[/quoteem]

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Re: WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by Phoenix » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:15 pm

[quoteem]WikiLeaks Document Release
February 2, 2009
Congressional Research Service
Report RS20149
Carol Migdalovitz, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Updated May 27, 1999
Abstract. Western governments have cited a danger of the Kosovo conflict spreading to NATO allies Greece and
Turkey as justification for military intervention in Kosovo. These two eastern Mediterranean neighbors have had
difficult bilateral relations, which have worsened in recent years. Their overarching goals for Kosovo are strikingly
similar, but their views of NATO’s military campaign differ sharply. Greece opposes NATO’s approach for reasons
based on history, culture, competing foreign policy goals, and public opinion. Its sympathies lie with the Serbs.
Turkey supports NATO’s policy out of alliance loyalty and because of its shared history, culture, and attendant
sympathies with the Kosovar Albanians. Turkey is participating in the military operation; Greece is not. Greece
denies the possibility that a war with Turkey might result from the Kosovo conflict, but admits that a refugee
crisis may contain politically destabilizing elements. Turkey, too, rejects the possibility that a war with Greece
might arise from the current crisis. The Greek government is concerned about the implications of its position on
Kosovo on U.S.-Greek relations. Turkey does not accept an analogy between the Kosovars and the Turkish Kurds.

CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Order Code RS20149
Updated May 27, 1999
Kosovo: Greek and Turkish Perspectives
Carol Migdalovitz
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Western governments have cited a danger of the Kosovo conflict spreading to
NATO allies Greece and Turkey as justification for military intervention in Kosovo.
These two eastern Mediterranean neighbors have difficult bilateral relations. Their
overarching goals for Kosovo are similar, but their views of NATO's military campaign
differ. Greece opposes NATO's approach for reasons based on history, culture,
competing foreign policy goals, and public opinion. Its sympathies lie with the Serbs.
Turkey supports NATO out of alliance loyalty and because of its shared history, culture,
and attendant sympathies with the Kosovar Albanians. Turkey is participating in the
military operation; Greece is not. Greece and Turkey both reject the notion that a war
between them might arise from the current conflict. Greece is concerned about the
refugee crisis destabilizing the region. It also is concerned about the implications that its
position on Kosovo might have on relations with the United States and Europe, while
Turkey does not accept that the crisis might have implications for its southeast and

See CRS Issue Brief 98041, Kosovo and U.S. Policy, and CRS Issue Brief


IB10027 Kosovo: U.S. and Allied Military Operations. This report will be updated if
developments warrant.

On March 25, 1999, President Clinton addressed the nation to explain why U.S. and
NATO action against Yugoslavia over Kosovo is critical to U.S. national interests.
Pointing to a map, he said "Let a fire burn here in this area, and the flames will spread.
Eventually, key U.S. allies could be drawn into the conflict." The U.S. allies he referred
to are NATO partners Greece and Turkey.
Greek-Turkish Relations
Greece was the first part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire to seek independence in the
early 19th century. Since then, relations between Greeks and Turks have often been
strained. The two countries were on opposite sides in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, and

in World War I. Although both joined NATO in 1952, bilateral relations did not reflect
their new alliance. Crises developed over Cyprus twice in the 1960s and in 1974.1 In
recent years, differences over sovereign rights in the Aegean Sea have provoked tensions
and, in 1996, brought the two neighbors to the brink of war.2 Athens' continuing veto of
European Union (EU) financial aid for Turkey and its contribution to the EU decision to
deny Turkey membership candidacy caused bilateral relations to deteriorate further. They
worsened in February 1999 after it was discovered that Greece had secretly sheltered
Turkey's "most wanted man," Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the separatist/terrorist Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK), at its embassy in Kenya. Turkish officials accused Greece of being
a terrorist state, while Athens referred to its assistance to Ocalan as "humanitarian," and
regretted his capture.

Views of Kosovo Crisis
The overarching Greek and Turkish views of the Kosovo situation are strikingly
similar. They both favor a peaceful resolution of the crisis, maintaining the territorial
integrity of Yugoslavia and the inviolability of regional borders, reinstating Kosovo's
autonomy, and protecting Kosovar Albanian human rights. Both condemn ethnic
cleansing. Their views on the NATO military operation, however, differ sharply.
Greece: U.S. officials overlook Greece's ambivalence when talking about the united
views of the NATO alliance.3 Greece's perspective and policy derive from its history,
culture, other foreign policy goals, and public opinion. Greece has historical ties with
fellow Orthodox Serbs, who fought with it against the Ottoman Turks in the Balkan Wars,
1912-13 and were Greece's allies in two world wars. It is especially worried that Kosovo
might lead to another wider war.

Former Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his replacement, George
Papandreou, worked for a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo crisis. Greece initially
opposed NATO's use of force without a U.N. Security Council mandate. Later, however,
Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that if NATO decided that there was no reason to get
a U.N. mandate, then Greece would not oppose NATO operations against Yugoslavia.4
Greece has gone along with NATO decisions, and Simitis has tried to convince his
countrymen that this policy is in their national interest.
The Simitis government is operating under many constraints. In particular, it fears
that lost investments, trade, and tourism resulting from a prolonged Kosovo crisis could
prevent its achieving European Monetary Union (EMU) membership in 2001. It already
has revised economic growth projections for this year downward by .5%, observed a drop
1 See CRS Issue Brief 89140, Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations, updated regularly.
2 See CRS Report 96-140, Greece and Turkey: the Rocky Islet Crisis, March 7, 1996, and CRS
Report 97-799, Greece and Turkey: Aegean Issues -- Background and Recent Developments,
August 21, 1997.
3 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, on Good Morning America, March 26, 1999.
4 Greece's Pangalos' Balkan Tour Viewed as a 'Challenge.' I Kathimerini, February 8, 1999,
translation carried by Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) on line, February 9, 1999.

in exports, and suffered economic losses estimated at over $600 million. Then there is the
political dimension. Simitis had been weakened politically due to popular opposition to
his economic austerity program, aimed at EMU membership, and mishandling of the
Ocalan episode. Although Simitis retained his party's leadership at a congress in March,
the conclave disclosed intraparty fissures. Moreover, the public, press, and Orthodox
Church have condemned NATO's bombing of Serbia and complicate matters for him.
Polls have indicated that over 95% of the public opposes the NATO operation. Anti-
NATO, anti-U.S. demonstrations have been widespread. Communist demonstrators have
temporarily blocked allied military shipments and troops bound for the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) from leaving the port of Thessaloniki. Terrorists have
bombed government and business sites belonging to NATO members, including the United
States. Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Khristodhoulos claimed that the
West hates the Orthodox people,5 while President Costas Stephanopoulos observed, "the
entire Serbian people, which is bravely and proudly struggling for its rights, has our
sympathy."6 Many in parliament have criticized the government for going along with
NATO, and some want it to denounce NATO. Paradoxically, polls now indicate that the
public increasingly approves of the government's statesmanship and that Simitis's
popularity is rising.

The Ottomans defeated the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, at the
cost of a sultan's life. The Turks remained in the Balkans into the 20th century. They have
a great affinity for and kinship with ethnic groups in the region which the Ottoman Empire
converted to Islam. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said, "Kosovo is part of our history. We
share a common culture, history, and faith with the Kosovar Albanians and Turks. We
have pursued a very serious policy in order to prevent Kosovo from turning into another
Bosnia.... Both in Bosnia and Kosovo, Turkey sought for the traces of our history not to
be erased."7 While it favored a peaceful resolution to the crisis, Ankara holds Milosevic
responsible for what it considers the need to use force.
In addition, Turks, especially the influential military, are loyal to NATO. With the
EU's rejection, NATO is their main organizational link to the West. President Suleyman
Demirel has stated that NATO must succeed in Kosovo.8

Military Role in Kosovo
Turkey: Turkey is a fully participating NATO ally in the Kosovo campaign. At first,
Turkey committed 11 F-16 fighter aircraft only for air defense, and one frigate in the
Adriatic Sea. In early May, it deployed 7 more planes. On May 12, Turkey agreed to
station U.S. fighters and tankers at airbases in western Turkey and, on May 17, confirmed
that its planes were bombing Yugoslavia. If NATO decides that they are necessary,
Turkey would consider committing combat ground forces. A parliamentary mandate
already exists, and a battalion composed of a mechanized unit and an armored unit is being
5 Greek Opposition Officials Condemn NATO Raids on Serbia, Ta Nea, March 29, 1999.
6 George Gilson, Popular Outcry Against NATO Strikes Mounts, Athens News, March 28, 1999.
7 Cem, Russian Envoy Comment on NATO Operation, Kosovo, Anatolia, March 25, 1999.
8 Speech at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, April 27, 1999.
9 Turkey also is prepared to commit 1,000 troops to a peacekeeping force.
Turkish troops joined NATO's Operation Allied Harbor to assist refugees in Albania.

Greece: Greece decided not to veto NATO's use of force, but it is not participating
in military operations. Greece has allowed NATO to use its ports and fuel lines, and a
Greek destroyer is on NATO patrol duty in the Adriatic Sea. Foreign Minister
Papandreou indicated that Greece would provide no facilities for the passage of forces to
invade Yugoslavia.
10 Greece has allowed Turkish humanitarian aid flights to use its
airspace and would permit transit of peacekeeping forces, but it denied transit by Turkish
fighter aircraft and supply planes. Greek troops assist refugees in Albania and the
FYROM. A Greek medical group was the first non-governmental humanitarian aid
organization that Belgrade allowed into Kosovo. Greece said that it would contribute to
a U.N.-mandated peacekeeping force if all sides, including Yugoslavia, agree.
11 Greece abstained from voting when the European Union imposed an oil embargo on Yugoslavia
but opposed ship inspections and questioned the legality of a possible maritime blockade.
It also abstained from a EUTELSAT vote to end Serbian television use of a European
satellite. Greece may have disrupted NATO plans to build up forces in the region via the
port of Thessaloniki by requesting that no military personnel and equipment cross its
territory from 10 days before until 10 days after June 13 European Parliament elections
in order to free police for tasks related to the vote.
Prospects of a Wider Conflict
Wars can have unpredictable consequences, and events may occur during the Kosovo
conflict that could destabilize Greek-Turkish relations. At present, however, despite their
difficult history and differing views of the crisis, neither Greece nor Turkey believes that
it would be drawn into the conflict against the other over Kosovo. The Greek and Turkish
foreign ministers met with their Balkan counterparts on March 19, just days before the
start of the bombing, and called on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept the
Rambouillet agreement. Since hostilities broke out, they have consulted by telephone,
primarily on humanitarian/refugee issues.
Greece: Prime Minister Simitis told a European Union (EU) summit that he
"disagreed ... that this development could lead to conflict with Turkey," and said, "Greece
... is a stabilizing force in the area. There is no reason for anyone to fear that there will be
implications with Turkey." He concluded, "Mr. Clinton's view is not justified by any
"12 Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that 'mistaken' spillover scenarios
did not help ease regional tension.
13 The Greek Ambassador in Washington made a
demarche to the State Department, objecting to President Clinton's characterization.
9 Reuters, March 24, 1999, General Staff Says Turkish Battalion for Kosovo Ready, Cumhuriyet,
March 29, 1999.
10 Interview, Kiriakatiki Elevtherotipia, May 16, 1999.
11 Costas Iordanidis, A Serious Balkan Challenge, I Kathimerini, February 8, 1999. Also Simitis
speech in parliament, May 3, 1999, NET television.
12 Reuters, March 24, 1999.
13 Reuters, March 24, 1999.

President Stephanopoulos sarcastically observed that he had "never thought that a way to
avoid a possibility (of a war between Greece and Turkey) would be the bombing of
"14 Other politicians, such as Coalition for the Left and Progress leader Nikos
Costantopoulos, wondered whether President Clinton's statement revealed a wider
destabilizing (U.S.) plan.15
Nonetheless, Prime Minister Simitis acknowledged that refugees are not just a
humanitarian issue, but a political one that could destabilize the region.
16 He expressed concern that the economies of Albania and the FYROM cannot survive the disruptive
effects of the refugee influx. Greece has increased humanitarian aid for the FYROM and
Albania, as well as Yugoslavia, and lobbied the EU on the issue. A conflict spillover might
occur if many Kosovar Albanian refugees are settled in southern Albanian regions
inhabited by Albanians of Greek ethnicity, and clashes ensue.
17 Greece might aid its kin, and Turkey might aid the Albanian government.
18 However, Athens resolved earlier, albeit
less momentous, differences with Tirana over Greek-Albanian rights by diplomacy, which
would continue to be its preferred course of action. In another scenario, refugees might
attempt to enter Greece, which would repel them by military force, prompting Turkish
forces to aid the Albanians. Greece has secured its northern border with 1,000 additional
police, and, while incidents may occur, it is unlikely to use force systematically to repel
refugees. Greece hosts over 400,000 Albanian immigrants and must be sensitive to their
possible reaction to the ill-treatment of refugees. However, Greece fears a resolution that
would create an independent Kosovo, heralding a Greater Albania, which would further
destabilize the region and could provoke a wider war.
Some suggest that Greece has territorial designs on the Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, based on the early 20th century Balkan Wars. But this analysis does not
reflect modern Greece's self-image as a European state, satisfaction with its borders,
homogeneity, and lack of desire to import the FYROM's ethnic woes or poverty. Greece's
objection to the FYROM's name choice stemmed from concerns about the latter's
improbable irredentism with respect to northern Greek territory, not from its own.

Turkey: Since 1923, the Turkish Republic has attempted to follow the precept of
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, its founder: "peace at home, peace abroad." Thus, Turkey did
not intervene militarily in Bosnia or in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, despite public
19 While Turkish officials disagreed with President Clinton's spillover theory, they
were charitable in their reaction to it. Defense Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said that the
U.S. President simply wanted to "point out possible developments."20Turkish Foreign
Minister Ismail Cem stated, "A state of war between Turkey and Greece due to the
14 NET, March 25, 1999.
15 NET, March 24, 1999.
16 Greek Prime Minister Makes Statement on Kosovo Crisis, NET, March 24, 1999.
17 U.S. Yugoslav Strikes Said Causing Regional Instability, To Vima tis Kiriakis, March 28, 1999.
18 Possible Greek Involvement in Yugoslav Crisis Seen, I Kathimerini, March 26, 1999.
19 Turkey views Cyprus differently due to its being a signatory to the Treaty of Guarantee. See
CRS Issue Brief 89140, Cyprus: Status of U.N. Negotiations.
20 Anatolia, March 24, 1999.

Kosovo crisis is possible only if Greece supports Serbia by leaving NATO and fights
NATO. And I don't expect that such a situation will happen.
"21 Turkey has welcomed Kosovar refugees and does not view them as a potential problem. Some 6,000 early
arrivals were housed with relatives or in reception centers, and a tent city was erected for
the 20,000 more.

Other Implications
Greece: Prime Minister Simitis told his people that Greece continues to cooperate
with NATO and the EU to avoid being marginalized.
22 He has emphasized a political solution, the postwar period, and humanitarian issues.
Aims for "the day after" include
security, democratization, and economic development. Foreign Minister Papandreou has
traveled widely among NATO members, Russia, China, and Yugoslavia to resolve the
conflict. He and his Czech counterpart developed a peace plan to augment that of the G-8
industrialized states. Its centerpiece is a 48-hour bombing pause intended to spur
diplomatic efforts toward a U.N. Security Council resolution.23 Greek officials also are
concerned about how their Kosovo policy might affect relations with the United States,
including the U.S. role in resolving the Cyprus issue and regarding Greek-Turkish disputes
in the Aegean and about a possible longer term popular alienation from the U.S. They are
apprehensive that a pro-Serb stance might lead the United States to favor Turkey. Simitis
has suggested that Greece wants to prevent Turkey from using the crisis to enhance its
role in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkans.24 Greece also wants to avoid a perceived
pro-Serb position that could detrimentally affect relations with neighboring Albania,
whose ethnic kin are the victims of Serb violence.

Turkey: Turkey hopes to benefit from being a reliable ally of the West and
humanitarian in the current crisis, and to have NATO allies compare its conduct favorably
with that of Greece. Defense Minister Turk even suggested that Turkey's contribution
might serve as an impetus for EU membership.25 Foreign Minister Cem has sought a more
active role in NATO decision-making. However, Turkey has discovered that European and
American opponents of the NATO campaign are drawing analogies between the plight of
the Kosovar Albanians and that of the Turkish Kurds. Critics question why the alliance
had not acted over the years to defend the Kurds, among other oppressed ethnic groups,
if it could now intervene to protect the Kosovars. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
has been waging an insurgency aimed variously at autonomy or independence in southeast
Turkey since 1984, and Turkey's abuses of Kurdish civilians' human rights in its counterinsurgency
activities have been criticized by many, including the U.S. State Department.
Turkey's insistence on Yugoslavia's territorial integrity is probably due at least partly to its
insistence on its own.
21 Anatolia, March 25, 1999.
22 Reuters, April 5, 1999.
23 See Text of Czech-Greek Proposal, Prague CTK, May 26, 1999.
24 Simitis States Greek Policy on Kosovo Crisis, NET Television, March 29,1999.
25 Statement at Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 26, 1999.[/quoteem]

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Re: WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by erix77 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:58 pm

A conflict spillover might
occur if many Kosovar Albanian refugees are settled in southern Albanian regions
inhabited by Albanians of Greek ethnicity, and clashes ensue
Are they talking about Cameria as in the Albanian state there are left only a handful of greeks.
Dhe e bëmë me besa besën ja të rrojmë ja të vdesëm!

Ishte thënë prej Zotit që të nderohen armët e Shqipërisë!

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Re: WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by qiellikaltër » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:50 pm

[quoteem]Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ROME97 2009-01-26 11:11 2010-12-02 14:02 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Rome
DE RUEHRO #0097/01 0261148
O 261148Z JAN 09
SECRET SECTION 01 of 05 ROME 000097



E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2019

REF: a) 08 STATE 134386 b) ROME 451

CLASSIFIED BY: Ronald P. Spogli, Ambassador, for reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

¶1. (U) This is a joint Political and Economic Section cable.

¶2. (C/NF) Summary. Italy's relationship with Russia is
complex, encompassing historical ideological sympathies,
geostrategic calculations, commercial pressure, energy
dependence, and personal relationships between top leaders.
The combination of these factors creates a strong tendency
for Italy's foreign policy to be highly receptive to Russian
efforts to gain greater political influence in the EU and
to support Russia's efforts to dilute American security
interests in Europe. In its relationship with Russia, energy
is the most important bilateral issue and the quest for
stable energy supplies from Russia frequently forces
Italy to compromise on security and political issues.
A not insignificant concomitant factor is PM
Berlusconi's desire to be seen as an important
European player on foreign policy, leading him to
go where others dare not. End summary.

Roots of Italian Russophilia: Ideology on the Left, a
Long-Standing Market Opportunity on the Right
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶3. (C/NF) Until the 2008 parliamentary elections, the Italian
Communist party and various leftist splinter groups were a
permanent fixture of the Italian political scene. Throughout the Cold
War members of the Italian communist movement maintained close
ties with the Soviet Union, other communist countries, and many
communist revolutionary movements. Unlike many other communist parties
around the world, the Italian communist movement remained
unapologetic in its continued belief in Marxism-Leninism as a viable
economic alternative to capitalism. While many European leftist
intellectuals recognize that -- aside from an authoritarian approach to
governing - - Putin's Russia bears little resemblance to Communist
ideals, this fact has not deterred Italian communists and other radical
left politicians from being openly pro-Russia on the basis of
ideological solidarity. This, combined with the advanced average age o
most high-level Italian politicians (65-70), prevents many in the
far left of Italy's political spectrum from moving beyond a worldview
developed (and apparently frozen) during the Cold War.

¶4. (C/NF) Throughout the Cold War, Italian business interests
frequently skirted the line of what was appropriate in their
pursuit of the Soviet market. After the collapse of the Soviet
Union, the explosion of consumer wealth in Russia created massive deman
for high-end and luxury Italian exports. From 1998 to 2007
Italian exports to Russia grew by 230 percent, from 2.7 billion Euros
to 9.5 Billion. Many of Italy's leading businessmen began to see
Russia as a limitless market that could substitute for loss of export
revenue from other parts of the world. These businessmen maintain
strong ties to the pro-business, free-market-oriented politicians on
the right, including the most visible patron of Italy's business
elite: PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Putin Most Influential Figure in Italy's Russia Policy
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -

¶5. (C/NF) While Italy's political parties, the MFA and ENI
exert some influence on Italy's Russia policy, by far the most importan
factor is the personal attention Putin devotes to the relationship.
By our reckoning, Putin has held more bilateral meetings with
sitting Italian PMs in the recent past than any other world leader.
He was the first world leader to meet with Berlusconi after the 2008
elections, arriving in Sardegna to visit the PM designate
before the latter had even been sworn in. Berlusconi believes that
Putin is his close and personal friend and continues to have more
contact with Putin than with any other world leader. During the Georgi
crisis, Berlusconi spoke to Putin on a daily basis for a period of
almost a week. The basis of the friendship is hard to determine, but
many interlocutors have told us that Berlusconi believes that
Putin, a fellow 'tycoon', trusts Berlusconi more than other European
leader. (A contact in the PM's office told us that their frequent
meetings are accompanied by exchanges of lavish gifts). Berlusconi
admires Putin's macho, decisive, and authoritarian governing style,
which the Italian PM believes matches his own. From the Russian side,
it appears that Putin has devoted much energy to developing
Berlusconi's trust.

¶6. (S/NF) Contacts in both the opposition center-left PD

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party and Berlusconi's own PdL party, however, have hinted at a more
nefarious connection. They believe that Berlusconi and his cronies are
profiting personally and handsomely from many of the energy
deals between Italy and Russia. The Georgian ambassador in Rome
has told us that the GOG believes Putin has promised Berlusconi a
percentage of profits from any pipelines developed by Gazprom in
coordination with ENI. Whenever we raise the issue of Russia and the P
with our contacts in PdL, Berlusconi's own party, they have usually
pointed us to Valentino Valentini, a member of parliament and somewhat
shadowy figure who operates as Berluscon's key man on Russia, albeit
with no staff or even a secretary. Valentini, a Russian-speaker who
travels to Russia several times per month, frequently appears at
Berlusconi's side when he meets other world leaders. What he does in
Moscow during his frequent visits is unclear but he is widely
rumored to be looking after Berlusconi's business interests in Russia.
Our contacts uniformly deem Valentini, a multilingual former
interpreter, close to Berlusconi with regard to Russia, but not a polic

¶7. (C/NF) All of our interlocutors - xxxxxxxxxxxx - report that Berlusconi determines
Italy's policy on Russia single-handedly, neither seeking nor
accepting counsel. Virtually all are reluctant to confront the PM even
when he is at his worst on Russia. In November 2008, after a
disastrous press conference in which, inter alia, the PM described NATO
expansion, recognition of Kosovo's independence, and missile
defense as "U.S. provocations" of Russia, GOI officials did a classic
duck- and-cover. In response to our objections, MFA and PM staff
sheepishly directed us to the PM himself, rather than deliver
the unpleasant news to him that he had angered not only the
Americans but other members of the Contact Group for the Balkans, not t
mention the Czechs and Poles.
Even FM Frattini admits to wielding no
influence on Berlusconi on Russia. During an early September
visit to Italy, former VP Cheney confronted Frattini on Italy's
very public and unhelpful stance on the Georgia conflict. A subdued
Frattini noted that, while he had strong opinions on the issue, he
nevertheless received his marching orders from the PM.

¶8. (C/NF) Distressingly, Berlusconi treats Russia policy as
he does his domestic political affairs - tactically and day-to-day.
His overwhelming desire is to remain in Putin's good graces, and
he has frequently voiced opinions and declarations that have been
passed to him directly by Putin. One such example: in the aftermath of
the Georgia crisis, Berlusconi began (and continues) to insist
that Georgia was the aggressor and that the GOG was responsible
for several hundred civilian deaths in South Ossetia.

No Institutional Leadership on Russia
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶9. (C/NF) Trying to determine who might have some influence
on Berlusconi's Russia policy is not an easy task. One thing is
certain, however - it is not the foreign policy institutions
of the GOI. FM Frattini is widely seen as only the messenger for PM
Berlusconi's Russia policy - indeed he termed himself as much
to VP Cheney during the latter's September 2008 visit to Rome.
Within the professional ranks, resources and expertise are scant.
Italy's MFA contains only one full-time diplomat assigned to cover
Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union: the Office
Director. The Deputy Office Director position and single Desk Officer
position assigned to cover all the countries of the FSU are vacant.
Italy's dire budget situation is likely to prevent the hiring of
additional staff at the MFA for at least two years, according to one MF
source. The Office Director's direct supervisor - the A/S equivalent
- is also responsible for the Balkans and the rest of Europe, but
she, like Frattini, appears to have little or no input to GOI
Russia policy. The PM's staff does not fare much better. The
Office of the Diplomatic Advisor is thinly staffed - with only one
officer assigned to each geographic region. The position covering
Russia is staffed by a midlevel diplomat who is in the process of being
transferred. No replacement is likely to be named. As a result, the
officer covering the Middle East (also the deputy for the office)
will be forced to take on those duties in addition to his already
overwhelming portfolio and management duties.

¶10. (C/NF) In 2008 the MFA undertook an effort to produce a
long-term foreign policy strategy for the GOI. In a paper entitled
"Rapporto 2020" the MFA outlined its strategic vision for the next
decade and a half. The document notes that geostrategic realities have
created the need for Italy to adapt its foreign policy with regard to
Russia and calls for Italy to seek 'a privileged relationship' with
Moscow in order to press its overwhelmingly preeminent bilateral
concern: energy.

Rome 00000097 003 of 005

Energy Becomes Key Bilateral Issue
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶11. (C/NF) With virtually no domestic energy reserves, no
domestic nuclear power, and an ambitious parastatal energy company,
Italy's key bilateral concern with Russia has become the quest for
long-term guarantees of energy supplies. The GOI has supported ENI and
other energy giants' efforts to create a unique partnership with
Russia and Gazprom for long-term cooperation. ENI, Italy's most
prominent energy parastatal, wields immense political power; its
business strategy has focused on complicated geopolitical environments
generally perceived as overly risky by many of its international
competitors. ENI's lobbying efforts vis-(-vis the GOI are better
funded than most government offices. It hosts one diplomatic
advisor assigned from the MFA. Going by press reports alone, we
would judge that PM Berlusconi grants its director, Paolo Scaroni, as
much access as he does his own FM.xxxxxxxxxxxx. Members of political
parties on both sides of the aisle have told us that ENI is
one of the leading financial contributors to Italy's many
think-tanks - many of which produce public diplomacy discussions and
events on the importance of Italy-Russia relations. At one such event
in 2007, a conference on Central Asia, representatives from ENI and
Edison were given 30 minutes each to speak, while the four Foreign
Ministers and Deputy Foreign Minister of five Central Asian former
Soviet states were all crammed into a single hour. There is even
suspicion that ENI maintains journalists on its payroll.

¶12. (C/NF) Members of political parties from both sides of
the aisle have told us that ENI does not limit its dialogue with the
government to energy issues. One member of the opposition center-left
PD party told poloffs that ENI's presence in Russia exceeds that of
Italy's understaffed embassy. While it is unclear how much policy
coordination occurs between ENI and the Russian political
structure, the same PD party members noted that ENI had as much contact
with Russian political and economic leaders as the embassy, if not
more, and political messages were frequently passed through such
commercial/economic channels. Back in Rome, ENI maintains
strong contacts with members of the Italian parliament - something
the MFA does not do (apart from requested briefings to members of the
foreign affairs committees).

An Energy Policy without the Policy
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶13. (C/NF) ENI and other energy giants have managed to press
their case quite effectively within the highest ranks of the GOI.
Italian leaders on both sides of the aisle seem strangely unconcerned
about dependence on Russian energy. They point out that Italy
depended on Russian coal during the darkest days of the Cold War with n
dire consequence. Italians are also lulled into complacency by
the fact that geographic proximity to North African resources means
that they are far less dependent on Russia than are the Germans or the
former Eastern bloc countries.

¶14. (C/NF) During a March 2008 visit to ENI Headquarters
embassy staff were given a briefing on ENI's Russian energy
operations (available on Embassy Rome's Classified web site). ENI's
view of the European energy situation was disturbingly similar to that
of GAZPROM and the Kremlin, and at times laced with rhetorical
flourishes reminiscent of Soviet-era double-speak: according to ENI,
the real threat to Western Europe's energy security is not Russia --
it is Ukraine. The real solution to Europe's energy insecurity,
according to ENI, lies in more direct pipeline connections to Russian
gas fields and a need for pipelines that do not go through
Ukraine - the rationale for the South Stream and Nord Stream pipelines
(ref b).
ENI's engineering arm hopes to construct both pipelines using
experience gained in the construction of the Blue Stream
pipeline that connects Russia and Turkey under the Eastern portion of
the Black Sea. Additionally, ENI seeks full partnership with
Russia on the South Stream project. GOI and ENI contacts have reported
that the company was having trouble getting a firm Russian
commitment to this South Stream partnership. The plummeting price of
hydrocarbons may have reduced the economic incentives for this project,
but many analysts believe that Russian geo-strategic concerns will
trump business considerations on this project. The most recent
Russia- Ukraine gas dispute seems to have revived interest in the
Nord Stream and South Stream projects, especially among those who see
Ukraine as the problem.

Rome 00000097 004 of 005

¶15. (C/NF) Italy is not totally blind to the dangers of its
dependence on Russia, however, and it is taking some steps
that may prevent an increase in the percentage of their energy that
they get from Russia. Upon returning to power, Berlusconi announced
that he would return the country to nuclear power. While the GOI
seems serious, this project will require eye-popping expenditures,
long- term commitment, and the resolution of thorny environmental
problems. Some fear that the nuclear project was launched in response
to an oil price of $140 per barrel, and wonder if the Italian
commitment to nuclear power will recede if oil prices stay low. Italy
is also increasing its use of Liquid Natural Gas and is finishing
work on a new terminal in the Northern Adriatic. While
less-than-enthusiastic about the EU's complex Nabucco pipeline, the GOI
seems to be supporting the smaller-scale Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline
project designed to bring Caspian gas to Western Europe. Edison, a
French company with Italian roots, is trying to determine if it
should commit to this project. While Azeri gas supplies and
Turkey's willingness to allow the gas to flow West are unresolved
issues, Edison believes its project has a chance of succeeding
because unlike Nabucco, it is small enough -- it believes -- not to
provoke opposition from Russia. The GOI -- especially powerful
Minister for Economic Development Scajola -- supports the TGI project
(in fact GOI officials complain if the U.S. sometimes seems to imply
that Nabucco should have priority). There is fear that a successful
launch of South Stream would -- by promising to meet demand -- doom
both South Stream and Nabucco.

A Foreign Policy Designed to Deny Russia Nothing
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶16. (C/NF) The combination of historical ideological
sympathy, energy dependence, lack of institutional influence, and a
close personal relationship between Berlusconi and Putin serve to
provide Russia with an apparently trusted ally, overtly willing to work
overtime within the EU on Moscow's behalf. Russia can count on Italy
to support its efforts to remove irritants in its relations with
the West, including:

- pressure on/within OSCE to overlook Russia's lack of
compliance with its legally binding Istanbul commitments on frozen
- weak support or even opposition to NATO efforts to build
closer ties to Georgia and Ukraine,
- weak initial support for international efforts to recognize
Kosovo's independence,

- unhelpful comments on U.S. bilateral Missile Defense plans
with Poland and Czech Republic,
- support for Russian President Medvedev's plans to redefine
European security architecture to undermine OSCE and NATO.
- support for Russian efforts to undermine EU and US energy
security initiatives for Europe.

¶17. (C/NF) In the past, Berlusconi's highly-prized personal
relationship with U.S. President Bush was an important
counterweight to Russian influence, but many pro-U.S. Italian party
officials on both sides of the aisle have worried to us that Bush's
departure could tempt Berlusconi to move closer to Russia. For his
part, Berlusconi has publicly stated that he would like to become a
bridge between the U.S. and Russia and to "educate a young and
inexperienced new American president" on how to deal with the Russians.
If the past is any guide, this will likely mean an intensified
effort to press the Russian agenda with the U.S.

Mitigating the Problem: Pushing Back on a Corrosive Influence
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

¶18. (C/NF) To tackle the problem head-on, Post has deployed
a robust diplomatic and public affairs strategy targeting key figures
inside and outside government. Our aim is two-fold: educate our
interlocutors more profoundly on Russian activities and thus
the context for U.S. policy, as well as build a counter- weight
of dissenting opinion on Russia policy, especially within
Berlusconi's political party. . Since the beginning of the summer, wit
Berlusconi's return to power and the Georgia crisis, we have
been engaging with GOI leaders aggressively at all levels. Pol,
PA and Econoffs have engaged party members, GOI contacts, think
tanks and even press to provide an alternative narrative to the
Berlusconi insistence that Russia is a democratic and stable country
that has been provoked by the West. The effort seems to be paying
off. The opposition has begun taking jabs at Berlusconi by portraying
him as choosing the wrong side of the debate. Some in the PdL have
begun to approach us privately to say that they would like greater
dialogue with us on the Russia issue, and have indicated their

Rome 00000097 005 of 005

interest in challenging Berlusconi's giddiness about Putin. While we
have a long way to go in changing the narrative, unfortunately, we have
help - in the form of a PM who appears increasingly to be the
mouthpiece of Putin.

- - - -

¶19. (C/NF) The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and
Italy is excellent and encompasses tremendous cooperation
on many levels and on many fronts.
Unfortunately, Berlusconi efforts to "repair" the relationship
between the West and Russia (which as he told the Ambassador in their
farewell meeting on February 23, "sticks in my gut as a large
undigested mass") are threatening his credibility and
becoming a real irritant in our relationship. We can help
get him back on the right track by sending him a clear signal
that the U.S. does not need an interlocutor for its important bilateral
relationship with Russia and that his insistence on undermining existin
structures and channels based on common interests and shared values
within the alliance in exchange for short term stability is not a
strategy Washington wishes to pursue.

"Du t'jem zot, n'timen tok,
dje dhe sot, sot e neser."

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Re: WikiLeaks dhe shqiptarë!!!


Post by qiellikaltër » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:46 pm

[quoteem]Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08BERLIN122 2008-01-29 16:04 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Berlin

DE RUEHRL #0122/01 0291625
O 291625Z JAN 08
S E C R E T BERLIN 000122




E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2018


Electoral Fever Puts Pressure on Coalition

¶1. (C) NSA Hadley: Mission Germany looks forward to
welcoming you to Berlin January 31 to February 1. Germany is
currently consumed by the aftermath of bitterly fought state
elections that took place on January 27 in Hesse and Lower
Saxony. They are being seen as barometers for next year's
nationwide vote. Although the conservative Christian
Democrats (CDU) won comfortably in Lower Saxony, the CDU
suffered a major setback in Hesse, where CDU
Minister-President Roland Koch ran a divisive election
campaign that took his party from a commanding lead in early
polls to a virtual tie with the Social Democratic party
(SPD). The country is also digesting the significance of the
unexpected political gains by the (neo-Communist) Left Party
and its entry into both Hesse and Lower Saxony parliaments.
Over the next several weeks, state and national politicians
will evaluate coalition options, none of which appear to
please any of the major parties. The CDU's poor showing in
Hesse could energize its competitors and lead to further
domestic partisanship, thereby complicating Chancellor Angela
Merkel's goal of solidifying the political center in advance
of the 2009 national elections. On the other hand, the
success of CDU Minister-President Christian Wulff's
relatively low-key, centrist re-election campaign in Lower
Saxony has been seen as a vindication of Merkel's domestic
political strategy.

¶2. (C) The outcome of these two state elections, and that of
the February 24 Hamburg elections, will likely reverberate in
the day-to-day functioning of the CDU-SPD coalition.
Already, Merkel's conservatives and Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier's Social Democrats resemble the
proverbial couple that hated each other but stayed together
for the sake of the children: the lack of any other viable
coalition options is what sustains the partnership between
the CDU/CSU and the SPD at this point. On key priorities
like Afghanistan and Kosovo (and on certain aspects of Iran),
the gap between Merkel and Steinmeier is not so wide, and
cooperation with the U.S. has not been harmed by domestic
Differences are becoming more evident on some
foreign policy issues however: Steinmeier's January 17
meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem, over strong
opposition from the Chancellery, is just the latest example.
Increasingly, Christoph Heusgen and the Chancellery's small
staff are being blindsided by the Foreign Ministry on policy
matters that are significant but outside the spotlight.
Overall, we can expect Merkel's government to be more
hamstrung by partisan and interagency rivalries between now
and the fall of 2009 than was the case in its first two years
in office.

Steinmeier's Evolving Political Role

¶3. (C) Steinmeier, who came to office with a reputation as a
technocrat, is increasingly a political rival to the
Chancellor. Like most of his predecessors, he has benefited
from the visibility conferred on the Foreign Minister. He
has become the most popular SPD politician in Germany and the
second most popular overall, trailing only Merkel. He
recently was named Vice Chancellor, was elected as one of
three national deputy chairmen of the SPD, and announced he
will run for a federal parliament seat in 2009. Steinmeier
is regarded, both within the SPD and among the general
public, as an attractive possible chancellor candidate in
2009, should SPD Chairman Kurt Beck stumble.

¶4. (C) With Steinmeier's evolution from technocrat to
political leader, he must cultivate much greater
rank-and-file support within the SPD. This is a particular
challenge for him, because on domestic issues he is seen as
relatively conservative. He was a key architect of Gerhard
Schroeder's economic reforms and stood by with a studied
detachment as Kurt Beck and the SPD's left wing began to roll
them back last fall. This is all the more reason for
Steinmeier to seek out foreign policy issues like arms
control and disarmament on which he can strike chords that
resonate with SPD voters (regardless of the shortcomings we
find in these ideas). Similarly, in policy toward Russia,
the former Soviet republics, and the Middle East, Steinmeier
misses no opportunity to evoke the legacy of Willy Brandt,
elevating dialog and economic engagement above open
expression of disagreement as tools of diplomacy.

¶5. (C) These internal factors amplify the tendency of
Steinmeier and his Foreign Office to pursue initiatives not
in harmony with the Chancellor's instincts or policy
preferences. Germany has a weak foreign policy coordination
process and the German constitution grants broad autonomy to
ministers. Therefore, the ability of the Chancellor and her
staff to rein in the Foreign Office is limited. A result is
that Germany does not always speak with a single, clear voice.

IRAN: Importance of International Cooperation

¶6. (S) Although Merkel and the Chancellery have more
consistently toed our common firm line on Iran, both the
Chancellery and the Foreign Office are firmly committed to
securing a third UNSCR sanctions resolution as a basis for
more biting EU autonomous measures. MFA officials called the
January 22 P5 1 Ministerial a success in demonstrating unity
among the members, both by producing a new UNSC resolution
text and by showing a unified strategic approach in dealing
with Iran. MFA officials have told us in private that EU
autonomous sanctions would not be discussed at the January
28-29 GAERC. In conversations prior to January 22, German
officials have emphasized the importance of the broadest
possible international coalition, and thus highly value
efforts to keep all members of the P5-plus-1 on board,
deploying this argument when approached about either
unilateral or EU autonomous measures. However, they point to
pressures from their business community (as well as from the
Finance and Economics Ministries) as constraints on adopting
stronger unilateral action against the Iranian regime.
Privately, senior officials in the Chancellery and Foreign
Office have expressed frustration that the NIE has
complicated international diplomatic efforts. On December 4,
FM Steinmeier said the NIE on Iran offered the chance "inject
new momentum" into the nuclear negotiations and called on all
sides not to squander this opportunity. Merkel said publicly
on January 15 that the NIE had slowed the momentum behind
further UN sanctions; she simultaneously underscored the
seriousness of Iran's nuclear activities and the need for
international solidarity.

AFGHANISTAN: Need for Broader Deployment

¶7. (C) Encouraging greater German involvement in Afghanistan
is a key priority of Mission Germany; we have made some
progress, but the Germans remain very reluctant about
deploying combat forces outside of the North. In advance of
the April NATO Summit, Germany will increase its involvement
in the training of the Afghan National Army and will probably
agree to take over responsibility for the 150-man quick
reaction force (QRF) in the north. We should welcome the QRF
decision, because it would represent the first German ISAF
contingent deployable on short notice (including possibly in
exceptional and temporary circumstances outside the north),
which would be a qualitatively new and significant step
toward greater involvement in kinetic operations. Secretary
Gates' recent written request to Defense Minister Jung to
deploy German Special Operations Forces (SOF) under ISAF in
the south of Afghanistan is likely to be very controversial
here, but may prove acceptable in the end if, in return, we
were to offer Germany the option of ending its current offer
of SOF for OEF. Moving the German SOF commitment from OEF to
ISAF would also have the benefit of allowing us to shift the
considerable diplomatic resources and attention we devoted
last fall to getting the German OEF mandate renewed to
activities that may yield more practical benefits, such as
pressing Germany to increase its contributions to ISAF.

¶8. (C) We should encourage greater German leadership in the
EUPOL effort to train Afghanistan's civilian police force.
EUPOL is led by German Juergen Scholz, and Germany
contributes more police trainers than any other EU country,
but the program has been slow to start and the planned
ceiling of 195 EU police trainers is inadequate for the job.
Furthermore, activities are not currently planned at the
district level where the need is greatest. Germany should be
urged to accelerate the deployment of EU trainers to
Afghanistan, increase the number of trainers, and broaden the
geographic range of activities.

RUSSIA: Split Approaches

¶9. (C) There are significant differences between the
Chancellery and the Foreign Office on Russia, which invites
Russian wedge-driving. Merkel has never shied away from
plain talk about disturbing trends inside Russia. Steinmeier
was the first foreign visitor to get a meeting with
presidential candidate Medvedev after his nomination (a
meeting with President Putin was thrown in as well). Lately,
the combination of Russian CFE suspension, backsliding on
democracy, and intransigence on Kosovo has pushed even some
in the SPD to offer criticism. Still, the Foreign Ministry
will likely continue to seek an unhelpful bridging role with
Russia, in particular on CFE and other matters related to
arms control. The Chancellery can help constrain these
impulses, but we will also need to keep up pressure among the
Quad partners as well as from other key allies (e.g. Turkey
and Norway) to make clear that German unilateral initiatives
put transatlantic solidarity at risk.

KOSOVO: Close Cooperation

¶10. (C) We discern very little daylight between the
Chancellor and Steinmeier on Kosovo, and there is keen
interest in working closely with the U.S. to resolve status
and seal the EU's leadership role. While the Bundestag will
engage in intensive debate following an anticipated
coordinated declaration of independence, we expect the
multiparty consensus in favor of independence and the KFOR
and ESDP missions to hold.

COUNTERTERRORISM: Building on Success

¶11. (C) Your visit comes at a time when U.S.-German bilateral
cooperation on security issues is as close as it has ever
been. The successful cooperation surrounding the
September 4 arrests of three individuals planning large-scale
attacks and the upcoming conclusion of a new bilateral
agreement on fingerprint, DNA and other data sharing are the
latest evidence of this trend. Furthermore, no German senior
official pushes as hard, or argues so publicly, for closer
bilateral cooperation on security issues as Interior Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble. Should the opportunity arise, you should
inform German officials that we are eager to build on our
successful record of counterterrorism cooperation and explore
how we might work together to address threats such as
European residents who seek terrorist training at overseas
camps and become jihadists in Iraq or Afghanistan.

ECONOMICS: Commitment to TEC

¶12. (C) Merkel highly values the U.S.-EU Transatlantic
Economic Council (TEC) -- a centerpiece of her 2007 EU
presidency -- aimed at reducing regulatory barriers to
transatlantic trade and investment. She is concerned,
however, about maintaining the momentum in the TEC and fears
that the European Commission and future EU presidencies
(including France) may lose enthusiasm for the project.
German officials also worry that a changing U.S.
Administration could derail what they regard as a highly
successful new transatlantic economic instrument; we should
emphasize our continued commitment to the TEC, and encourage
the Germans to maintain a leading role in it. The German
economy is expected to grow at only 1.7 percent this year.
Previous higher estimates were lowered due to rising oil
prices, the strength of the Euro, slower U.S. growth, and
continuing turmoil in financial markets. German economists
and business leaders are also worried about the possibility
of a national minimum wage as well as increased labor union
demands for wage increases, both of which could affect the
economy adversely. Merkel plans to highlight employment
gains -- as opposed to minimum wages -- as the focus of her
economic plan looking ahead to the 2009 national elections.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Aggressive Measures

¶13. (C) Chancellor Merkel and the rest of Germany's political
leadership remain serious about pursuing aggressive
international measures to meet the challenges of global
warming. Merkel has made climate change a priority of her
Chancellorship and enjoys the overwhelming domestic support
on this. Merkel's support for mandatory, targeted global
limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an international
cap-and-trade regime reflects a deep-seated belief that only
drastic, concerted efforts on the part of the international
community can slow -- and ultimately reverse -- the human
contribution to global warming. If anything, Steinmeier
supports tougher standards. While the Germans have been
willing to consider alternative solutions, such as new
technologies for clean coal and renewables, fundamental
differences in our approaches to the issue of climate change
remain, and could lead to more public disagreement in the
future. For example, while Germany will send a delegation to
the January 30 Major Economies Meeting (MEM), the German
Government remains skeptical about the value that the Major
Economies Process (MEP) adds to the UNFCCC track. The Germans
are particularly concerned about the need to avoid
duplication of effort in the various other climate
change-related forums, including the UNFCCC and the G-8.
TIMKEN JR[/quoteem]
"Du t'jem zot, n'timen tok,
dje dhe sot, sot e neser."

Supreme Member
Supreme Member
Posts: 476
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:12 am
Gender: Male

Embassy of Prishtina


Post by Phoenix » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:19 pm

[quoteemViewing cable 09PRISTINA77, SCENESETTER FOR THE VISIT OF KOSOVO PRESIDENT]SEJDIU AND PRIME Monday, 23 February 2009, 17:24
EO 12958 DECL: 02/14/2019

¶1. (C) It has been a difficult but in many ways successful year since Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, 2008. Though we spent much time planning for the possibility of large-scale population flows after the declaration and took precautions lest the independence move sparked outright conflict between Kosovo and Serbia, none of this has taken place. Instead, with our strong support and encouragement, Kosovo has weathered a series of provocative and sometimes violent actions taken by Serb hardliners, demonstrating through patience and restraint that it is a responsible member of the international community and an eager aspirant for eventual inclusion in Euro-Atlantic institutions. Kosovo has a modern constitution, has passed laws to protect its minorities, and is looking to build a sustainable economic base through development of its energy sector and other private investment. Acknowledging Kosovo’s achievements, 55 of the most important countries in Europe and elsewhere have recognized Kosovo, though the pace of recognitions has been slowed by Serbia’s unfortunate decision to refer the question of Kosovo independence to the International Court of Justice. Kosovo is working to expand the group of recognizers, and would appreciate the assistance of the new U.S. administration in convincing friends and allies -- particularly in the Islamic world -- to come on board.

¶2. (C) Kosovo’s temperate line is in many ways due to the leadership of President Sejdiu and Prime Minister Thaci, two men of very different backgrounds and political sentiment who chose to make common cause at a critical time for Kosovo. The two formed a coalition government just prior to independence, an arrangement that has held steady despite historical animosities and considerable mistrust between their two parties. This visit and your visible endorsement of Kosovo’s moderate approach will help fend off growing domestic criticism -- from dissatisfied members of the governing coalition and from the vocal opposition -- that Kosovo leaders have not been assertive enough in establishing control over Kosovo’s rebellious Serb-majority north or defending against Serbian encroachments on Kosovo sovereignty.

¶3. (C) And those encroachments will likely persist, even under the pro-European government of Serbian President Tadic in Belgrade. The previous Serbian government under Prime Minister Kostunica engineered a policy of full ethnic separation in Kosovo, physically intimidating local Serbs into abandoning jobs in Kosovo’s once multi-ethnic police force and municipal administrations. Serbia held its own illegal municipal elections in Kosovo despite warnings from the UN that such a move violated UNSCR 1244 and moved rapidly to emplace parallel institutions in Serb-majority areas throughout Kosovo. Serbia also backed open violence by the thuggish and criminalized Serb leadership in Kosovo’s north, which ordered the destruction of two northern border gates and the subsequent March 17, 2008 attack on UN and KFOR peacekeepers.

¶4. (C) While Tadic has made significant steps on key issues of importance to the West, including on ICTY commitments, he has pursued a policy in Kosovo not materially different from that of his predecessor. Serbia continues to assert the authority of parallel Serb municipal authorities throughout Kosovo, sowing the seeds of potential conflict in areas where Serbs and Albanians live side by side. Tadic’s Serbia has refused to restore customs operations at the two northern gates, resulting in a rash of smuggling and organized crime in northern Kosovo. No local Serbs have yet been permitted by Belgrade to return to Kosovo institutions. While Tadic and his foreign minister Jeremic (the mastermind of Belgrade’s Kosovo policy) finally bowed to European pressure to accept the deployment of an EU rule of law mission (EULEX) throughout Kosovo, they have resisted engaging in discussions with EULEX on the resolution of practical issues including customs and police, insisting instead that the UN impose Belgrade-crafted measures -- the so-called “six points” -- to effectively separate Kosovo’s ethnic Serbs from its majority population. Should these six points be implemented in the way Belgrade foresees, Kosovars worry that partition could once again become a viable reality.

¶5. (C) The Kosovo government remains prepared to engage in quiet diplomacy with Serbia via EU mediation, and has held open those positions in the police and public sector that
were once occupied by local Serbs in anticipation of any signal from Belgrade to the Kosovo Serb community that they are free to resume a more collaborative approach. You can impress upon Sejdiu and Thaci once again the imperative to maintain outreach to their minority communities and implement fully those obligations they undertook to the Serb population under the plan developed by UN Special Envoy (and Nobel laureate) Ahtisaari.

¶6. (C) Kosovo’s challenges are not limited to the political and security realm. Last year’s Donors Conference saw over $1.5 billion pledged in support of Kosovo, but the momentum of Kosovo’s economic development and its attractiveness to international investors -- particularly in the energy field, where Kosovo’s huge lignite deposits can be transformed over the next decade into a reliable domestic supply of electricity as well as an export commodity -- will ultimately depend not on the largesse of donors but on the government’s own credible pursuit of its economic objectives, something you can stress in your discussions with them. They will also need to avoid the serious pitfalls of cronyism, corruption and political patronage in public appointments; the recent selections of solid professionals to lead their intelligence agency and the ministry of the Kosovo Security Force (the small, NATO-trained civil response force) gives at least some cause for hope in this regard.

¶7. (C) Sejdiu and Thaci may reaffirm their conviction that U.S. troop contributions in Kosovo remain essential, particularly since U.S. forces alone are trusted enough by Serbs and Albanians to maintain peace in one of the most volatile parts of Kosovo. Kosovo leaders will also express their belief that only the United States can provide the kind of lasting leadership in Kosovo and the region that is necessary for prolonged stability. Frankly, we agree. While many in the EU and most notably the “Quint” countries were vigorous in supporting Kosovo’s independence, the intensified problems we predict as a consequence of Belgrade’s intransigence -- especially those surrounding Kosovo’s north, where Serb extremists have shown their readiness for continued confrontation -- could easily lead some queasy Europeans to back away from their commitments over time and settle for a partition-like outcome that has been adamantly opposed by Kosovars of all political persuasions. The United Nations, as well, though “reconfiguring” and downsizing its presence here, has shown a negative tendency to retain certain important authorities, under pressure from Belgrade and Moscow. If Kosovo is to succeed as a long-term proposition -- and it most certainly can -- our sustained engagement is necessary to bolster European resolve, bring Belgrade to a more realistic sense of its equities in peace and stability, and take a firm line with the UN on further reducing its presence in Kosovo. These meetings in Washington will help reinforce the sense that Kosovo is moving forward and imbue Kosovo’s leadership with a renewed sense of confidence as they prepare to face the many challenges ahead. KAIDANOW

[quoteemViewing cable 09PRISTINA148, KOSOVO/EULEX: AT FULL OPERATING CAPABILITY, BUT]Wednesday, 08 April 2009, 17:27
EO 12958 DECL: 03/14/2019
Classified By: Ambassador Tina S. Kaidanow for Reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: On April 6 the European Union’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, declared full operational capability (FOC). Four months after its initiation, EULEX can claim some significant successes, including a complete and violence-free roll-out of the police component; the reopening of the problematic Mitrovica courthouse and hearing of a case, the first since violence closed the court on March 17, 2008; and establishing its customs presence at border crossing points Gates 1 and 31 with Serbia. However, the EULEX police component’s low profile and its limited executive authority, the absence of control over its judges, and EULEX unwillingness -- or inability -- to clarify the question of applicable law continue to dog the rule of law mission’s ability to do its job effectively. All of these problems are compounded in the Serb-majority north, where EULEX has yet to reinforce its authority with the local populace. Success also requires that Serbia play a constructive role in dealing with EULEX on a technical level to solve practical problems while keeping the UN firmly outside the process -- an outcome we wish Brussels would underscore with Belgrade in a far more decisive manner. END SUMMARY

¶2. (C) EULEX’s Police component, with 1654 total staff (international and national), comprises by far the largest share of EULEX’s 2507 person presence in Kosovo. EULEX Police enjoyed some success when the Formed Police Units (FPUs or specialized riot police) responded to tense situations in January and March in the divided flashpoint city of Mitrovica. However, the EULEX Police component has remained largely invisible in day-to-day operations. This is largely due to a different mandate that EULEX sees for its police officers compared to how UNMIK Police operated. Where UNMIK Police possessed wide-ranging executive authority and were visible to the public throughout the country, EULEX Police focus primarily on monitoring, mentoring, and advising (MMA). EULEX headquarters tells us that this MMA role necessitates that its officers work most closely with the Kosovo Police on management functions, and this work requires primary staffing at the station level.

¶3. (C) American officers assigned to the Police component have expressed some frustration regarding this hands-off approach and the absence of executive authority when operating in the field. Officers in the Strengthening Department operating in Mitrovica and at border gates, for example, have no executive authority to enforce laws or make arrests for visible criminal violations committed in their presence. They can only perform their MMA activities, and acting outside of this mandate could expose individual officers to disciplinary action -- for example, responding with force to an agitated and threatening individual at a border crossing -- for exerting unlawful executive authority. As a result, EULEX refuses to deploy officers from the Strengthening Department to situations where they might be compelled to act in self-defense -- the very situations where an international presence would be most beneficial.

¶4. (C) As an example, March protests over power cuts in the eastern Serb enclave of Silovo/Shilovo (Gjilane/Gnjilane municipality) initially saw no EULEX police officers respond due to their absence of executive authority. U.S. officers assigned to work with Kosovo Police (KP) officers in station-level management positions in the region convinced KP commanders to visit the scene, thus creating a rationale for the U.S. officers to monitor the commanders’ performance in the field. At the same time, these officers exposed themselves to personal jeopardy by leaving what EULEX calls their primary workplace, the police station.

¶5. (C) As it stands now, there is a large gap in EULEX’s police activity. The Special Police Department provides in extremis crowd control and riot suppression and currently
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deploys the bulk of its 455 FPU officers in the Mitrovica region. The Strengthening Department assigns officers to monitor, mentor, and advise at the station-level across the country. However, due to its lack of executive authority, EULEX has little role to play in emerging situations not yet requiring an FPU response -- situations that might benefit from the presence of international police officers whom local residents may regard as more objective and professional than KP officers.

¶6. (C) EULEX Police’s Executive Police Department (EPD) does possess authority to conduct investigations into organized crime cases and incidents where political interference undermines the rule of law, but EULEX tells us that this activity is limited due to insufficient equipment. Without surveillance or wiretap equipment, EPD officers cannot conduct effective investigations.

¶7. (C) The EULEX Justice component enjoys some success in the solid mentoring relationship it has developed with Kosovo judges and prosecutors. Feedback has been positive and cooperation with USG programs in these areas has been very good. Cooperation with EULEX Justice at the headquarters level has also been good, and weekly meetings, which include other international stakeholders including the International Civilian Office (ICO) and the European Commission (EC), have helped ensure a tighter, more unified message on the range of legal issues. Significantly, EULEX has occupied the Mitrovica court house and has begun prosecuting cases. Though Serbs in north Mitrovica initially protested EULEX’s presence, seeing the organization as a tool of the Kosovo government and independence, EULEX was able to conduct a prosecution against two Serb defendants in March that resulted in acquittal on charges of felony robbery. But continued confusion within EULEX on applicable law has detracted from the success of this proceeding. The judges chose to apply UNMIK law, arguing that the offenses occurred while Kosovo was under UNMIK jurisdiction. EULEXXXXXXXXXXXXX failed to clarify the question of applicable law with both the judges and the GOK prior to beginning the case. We expect the court to issue a written judgment on or about April 10, which could prompt an unhappy response from Kosovo leaders and media (a point we have made repeatedly to EULEX top officials).


¶9. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX It’s also apparent that the rigidity of EULEX’s prosecutorial structure, with international prosecutors assigned to specific courts or prosecutor’s offices and case transfers among prosecutors necessary when a case moves to another court or jurisdiction, hampers quick and effective action.

¶10. (C) The EULEX Customs component has developed a strong mentoring, monitoring, and advising role with the Kosovo Customs Service and has gradually increased its activities since EULEX initiated operations on December 9, 2008. Coordination between Customs Head of Component Paul Acda and Kosovo Customs Director Naim Huruglica, stemming from their previous cooperation under UNMIK, is especially strong and transparent.

¶11. (C) Eight EULEX Customs staff are working at the Kosovo Customs Service headquarters, including the Customs Head of Component, his deputy, two media relations personnel, and four expert advisors working directly with relevant Kosovo Customs departments in revenue operations, law enforcement, legal, and finance and administration. EULEX Customs also has 18 personnel working as mobile customs units (six teams of three people), plus one team coordinator, monitoring all customs border posts. The mobile units group is based at a separate Kosovo Customs building located in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje, just outside of Pristina. These units are fully staffed but are experiencing some equipment shortages, including phones, radios, cameras, GPS equipment, etc.

¶12. (C) The EULEX Customs Reinforcement Task Force has a staff of 22 internationals out of a planned 33, with no local staff deployed to date. This group first operated on a 9-to-5 basis in northern Kosovo in December 2008, and commenced 24/7 operations in mid-January 2009. On February 1, 2009, EULEX Customs officials began registering commercial goods entering through the two northern gates (1 and D31), data which had gone unrecorded since protesters destroyed the gates in February 2008. The registration process entails collecting basic information about shipments, such as company name, type of goods, value and quantity, to share with customs officials at the inland Mitrovica customs clearance terminal, and vehicles entering these gates receive instructions to proceed to the inland terminal. These are essentially the same procedures that were in place prior to independence (February 2008), except that EULEX officials are not yet withholding personal documents from drivers -- such as a passport or driver’s license -- as a guarantee that the driver will present the goods for clearance at the Mitrovica terminal.

¶13. (C) Full customs procedures will not restart at Gates 1 and D31 until the gates undergo repair and receive specialized inspection equipment. Possible next steps toward
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reestablishing full customs controls will include building customs offices at the northern gates, establishing freight forwarding and bank offices, installing cameras that connect directly to the main customs operations center in Pristina, and acceptance of customs duties at the gates. Some of these steps, such as installing cameras and collecting duties, are likely to spark political sensitivities in the north, with threats emanating regularly from northern Serb hardliners about the violent response that will ensue if customs is fully restored. EULEX Customs also needs clarification on which customs law applies in the north -- UNMIK or Kosovo -- in order to begin collecting customs duties at the two northern gates. Discussions on how to rectify this legal dilemma are on-going in the context of “practical issues” consultations between EULEX and the Belgrade and Kosovo governments. EULEX Customs has recommended adding an additional 20 international and 10 local staff in the north to cover eventual revenue collection at Gates 1 and D31, which would take the Customs component to fully operational status.

¶14. (C) EULEX’s policy chief Dominique Orsini on April 2 told us that Full Operating Capability (FOC) is a military term in vogue and in use because of former French General Yves de Kermabon’s influence and reflects only that EULEX has sufficient personnel to fulfill its mission. While EULEX declared FOC on April 6, it does not mean that EULEX’s activities or its mandate have grown to meet Kosovo’s requirements for EULEX’s mission. Orsini told us that EULEX is actively considering how to improve its performance and told us that other participant countries and the UN have also noted the gap in policing left by the limited executive authority that EULEX police officers possess. EULEX is considering creating a very limited cadre of civilian affairs officers that might be able to respond to emerging situations, providing on-the-scene international voices working with Kosovo Police to help quell local tensions. Visiting EU CIVCOM representative Kim Friedberg told the Ambassador on April 7 that this was under active consideration for the north, though the very next day EULEX HOM de Kermabon denied to the Ambassador that this civilian or political component would do anything more than simply “coordinate” among EULEX elements and possibly other international actors operating in the north. Confusion obviously still exists on the methodologies EULEX will employ to overcome some of these “gap” issues.

¶15. (C) Orsini is also less confident that EULEX will resolve the applicable law question. As long as only 22 of 27 EU member states recognize Kosovo, EULEX will be unable, according to Orsini, to develop a consistent policy that identifies Kosovo law as the only legal system operating here. He added that Madrid and the other four non-recognizing capitals complain to Brussels each time a routine report even suggests that EULEX is venturing beyond the bounds of status-neutrality and straying from its mandate under UNSCR 1244, and Brussels, in turn, notifies EULEX headquarters of its offense. (At the recent EULEX ceremony marking the opening of their new headquarters and reaching FOC, no Kosovo flag was displayed, though all EU member state flags -- including that of the UK, which recently announced its withdrawal of most of its EULEX contingent -- were prominently featured. No U.S. or Turkish flag was flown, either.) We expect that this confusion will continue to plague both justice and customs operations in the North, and it will become an ever more vocal bone of contention among Kosovo Albanian political forces and the local media.

¶16. (C) EULEX has had some successes -- its deployment, de Kermabon’s receptiveness to our counsel, its effective response to violent outbreaks in Mitrovica, and a growing number of concluded court cases, including a war crimes conviction against a Kosovo Albanian that carried a 17-year
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prison sentence. Its cautiousness in hewing to status neutrality and defining its mission as purely technical, however, is a serious limitation. Right now EULEX is a stabilizing influence, helping to provide law and order in the absence of international consensus on Kosovo’s status, but it could quickly become immobilized by its inherent political limitations.

¶17. (C) EULEX must take a more active role in helping Kosovo resolve practical issues that fall within its legitimate mandate on customs, justice and police issues; this will obviously require an active dialogue with Serbia -- but without the UN presence in negotiations that convinces the Kosovars that these talks are just a continuation of the abortive “six point” discussions that almost led to a breakdown of stability in Kosovo last November. If EULEX -- the biggest and most ambitious ESDP mission to date -- is to succeed, it needs to make progress on the critical issues of the north, but that progress will only come if Brussels applies equal pressure on Belgrade and Pristina, rather than acceding to Belgrade’s political demands and alienating their Kosovo counterparts. Thus far the jury is still out on whether the EU will show the necessary degree of political leadership, but we will continue to urge a balanced and vigorous approach, as well as a more robust operational posture in Kosovo’s north. End Comment. KAIDANOW

[quoteemViewing cable 09PRISTINA183, SCENESETTER FOR THE VISIT OF VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN]Saturday, 09 May 2009, 13:02
EO 12958 DECL: 05/09/2019
TO KOSOVO, MAY 21, 2009
PRISTINA 00000183 001.2 OF 002
¶1. (C) Mr. Vice President: You last saw the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo in Washington during their first meetings with the new Administration in February, just after the one year anniversary of Kosovo’s independence. That meeting proved a huge boost for a Kosovo public anxious to be reassured of the continuing support of the United States, and your visit here will further encourage Kosovo to understand that it has the strong backing it needs, but must take the initiative on its own to pursue democratic and economic development in a way that meets the demands of its citizens.
¶2. (C) As Kosovo’s leaders told you then, they have emerged at the end of a long and arduous journey with independence achieved, but many serious challenges ahead. Their accomplishments in the last 18 months and longer -- in fact throughout the difficult status determination period -- are admirable and should be recognized. At our urging, Kosovo leaders have taken the high road and largely ignored the seemingly unendless provocations lobbed their way by successive regimes in Serbia: violence in Kosovo’s north sanctioned by Belgrade, the destruction of customs operations on the border with Serbia, Serbian support for parallel governing institutions and parallel elections, the continuing refusal of Belgrade to permit Kosovo Serb participation in multi-ethnic municipal administrations or in Kosovo’s police and security forces, a Serbian trade embargo on Kosovo’s exports, the insistence on raising a case against Kosovo’s declaration of independence in the International Court of Justice, and -- lately -- efforts by Belgrade to target prominent Kosovo figures for prosecution in Serbia and extradition from any Western country where they may travel. Though the pro-Western government of Serbian President Boris Tadic is an improvement on its predecessor in many ways, the general parameters of Serbia’s Kosovo policy remain unchanged under the single-minded focus of Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and his Foreign Ministry cohort.
¶3. (C) The need to deal with the flow of problems stemming from Belgrade’s policy has cost us and the Kosovars. It opens the Kosovo leadership to venomous opposition accusations that the government is not doing enough to establish its own authority in response to these Serbian moves, particularly in Kosovo’s north, and it distracts from the real requirements of responsible governance in Kosovo -- expanding economic growth, eliminating corruption, and enhancing the transparency and effectiveness of major social institutions. Indeed, the north has become a proxy battleground for two differing visions of the region’s future: for Serbs and for Belgrade (notably for President Tadic himself, who has spoken openly in the past of his thinking), it represents that part of Kosovo most likely to be retained by Serbia in a partition scenario as a precursor to Serbia’s accession into the EU, while for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, retention of the north remains the symbolic key to proving Kosovo’s legitimate sovereignty. The fragile EU rule of law presence inserted triumphantly last December in the north and elsewhere in Kosovo is no match for this political minefield, and we can expect regular ethnic confrontations -- with attendant casualties, including among international peacekeepers -- until such time as either side accepts the futility of its ultimate aims in the north.
¶4. (C) With close to 2000 EULEX police, justice and customs functionaries in Kosovo, the European Union should have an overriding interest in a stable relationship between Kosovo and Serbia, and indeed recent months have seen an ongoing dialogue among EU representatives and the governments in Pristina and Belgrade designed to press for practical progress on a variety of issues of importance to both sides. The talks, however, have limped along without much to show; full resumption of customs operations on the northern border is months away, assuming Belgrade ever gives the go-ahead, and Serb police remain outside the Kosovo Police structure in Kosovo’s south despite ample time (and full salaries paid by the Kosovo government) for their reabsorption. EU visitors from Brussels tell us that they “lack leverage” with Serbia (more accurately, they lack leverage with the five EU states that do not recognize Kosovo) and, despite the obvious imperative of gaining Belgrade’s cooperation to ensure the success and momentum of the EULEX mission, they seem to have
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abandoned any attempt at real leadership to push for concessions. We can already sense a strong degree of “Kosovo-fatigue” among our European counterparts which, coupled with the palpable sense here in the region that Europe has given up on further expansion, could prove a bad combination in providing the necessary EU-inspired incentives for further advancement in Kosovo.
¶5. (C) In the economic realm, Kosovo must find a way to deal with its moribund and budget-consuming energy sector if it is to attract investment and avoid popular unrest due to rolling blackouts. International organizations and donors -- the World Bank, the IMF (which Kosovo will join after a successful board vote this May), the European Commission, the U.S. and others -- must do a better job of coordination and providing effective guidance to the Kosovars, who lack the relevant experience and are often subject to mixed messages which do little to sketch out a clear way forward. The clearest example of this is in the energy arena, where the World Bank has taken a position on the development of Kosovo’s vast lignite deposits at odds with most of the other donors and stakeholders.
¶6. (C) All this, without question, makes continuing American leadership and support to Kosovo that much more imperative, in every sense possible -- political, technical and military. The need for KFOR to remain present in Kosovo, especially in the north but in other mixed ethnic areas as well (for example in Kosovo’s east and south where USKFOR has its area of responsibility and where the majority of Serbs live), cannot be overstated. Recent moves by some allies to depart Kosovo in a fashion uncoordinated through NATO bode ill for KFOR’s future effectiveness; that will be especially apparent if, as we anticipate, the French downsize their presence in Mitrovica and the north later this year.
¶7. (C) Kosovo is, thus far, a success story. Still, any of the factors we have enumerated -- continued Serbian pressure, counter-productive reactions from volatile political elites in Kosovo, EU vacillation and weakness, mounting territorial-cum-political tensions in the north, premature NATO withdrawal, or, maybe most serious, failure to secure a strong economic foundation for Kosovo’s future -- could create obstacles to Kosovo’s enduring survival. Kosovo is looking to the United States -- and to you, Mr. Vice President, as a known friend and long-time champion of human rights and dignity in the Balkans -- to assert yet one more time (and, yes, the continual reassurance is necessary under circumstances like those elaborated above) that we will be here for the long run to help get Kosovo through the difficult times ahead.
¶8. (C) But the quid pro quo, and one we must insist on with increased frequency and volume, is an acceptance of Kosovo’s own responsibilities -- in governance, in outreach to its non-majority communities, and in getting beyond the provocations from Serbia to focus on Kosovo’s future. Kosovo has been steeped in Serbia-related mayhem for too long; real maturity will come with the wisdom and ability to see beyond. You will carry this message in your meetings with leaders, in your address to the Assembly, and in your very appearance in Kosovo at this critical time. KAIDANOW

[quoteemViewing cable 10PRISTINA44, KOSOVO: SUCCESS IN THE NORTH KEY TO A SUCCESSFU]Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 15:44
EO 12958 DECL: 01/27/2020
REF: A. 09 PRISTINA 509 B. 09 USNATO 409 C. BELGRADE 0003
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: While skirmishes and security incidents may be rare from day to day, an impending frozen conflict in Northern Kosovo remains the greatest threat to a safe and secure environment (SASE) in Kosovo in the near and medium terms. Fortunately, a constellation of factors exists that could reverse ten years of rot in Northern Kosovo and avoid letting this region become a frozen conflict. An impressive level of international consensus exists to address Northern Kosovo issues, and international actors and the GOK have agreed on a Northern Strategy to do just that. KFOR, at its current robust “Gate 1” force posture of 10,000, can play an important role, deterring extremists both north and south, as this strategy is implemented. As decisions are made on progress to “Gate 2” (5,000 troops) and beyond, the best way to operationalize the NAC’s central condition for successful drawdown -- maintenance of a safe and secure environment, with a threat level assessed as low -- will be success in this Northern Strategy. Benchmarks for this success include replacement of illegal parallel structures with legitimate Kosovo bodies, the establishment of robust rule of law institutions, the re-establishment of customs controls and revenue collection, and the re-establishment of legal, normalized electrical services and billing under KEK control. END SUMMARY
--------------------------------------------- -----
¶2. (C) We have argued (ref A) that to achieve the conditions-based drawdown of KFOR troops agreed by the North Atlantic Council (ref B), it is crucial both to build local security capacity and address existing security threats now, while KFOR’s force posture remains robust. Northern Kosovo -- home base for illegal Serbian parallel structures and a region rife with smuggling and organized crime -- remains perhaps the greatest threat facing Kosovo in the short and medium terms. Kosovo institutions have exercised little control there since 1999, and practically none since riots after Kosovo’s independence in 2008. The result has been a zone where customs collection is essentially on an “honor system,” courts don’t function, international police all but fear to tread, and the only municipal governments are those elected by the Republic of Serbia in polls held in direct contravention of UNSCR 1244. Lack of activity or even access by Kosovo authorities in Northern Kosovo is a constant irritant for Kosovo’s leaders and the country’s majority Albanian population, and it represents for both the very real threat of the partition of Kosovo -- a reversal of ten years of USG policy and a grave threat to stability in Kosovo and the Western Balkan region. A series of recent statements by Belgrade’s leadership has established that the ultimate partition of Kosovo is, at a minimum, one of the policy options Belgrade has in view (ref C).
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¶3. (C) For much of the past ten years, pursuit of our strategic goal of a stable, democratic, multi- ethnic Kosovo has taken a back seat in the North to tactical concerns of avoiding demonstrations and clashes. Fortunately, there is a growing consensus in the international community that the time is now to reverse this trend. Embassies of the major European powers, the U.S., the International Civilian Office and the European Union Rule of Law Mission EULEX have agreed on a Northern Strategy to displace the illegal parallel structures, introduce legitimate, legal GOK structures, and increase the presence and improve the performance of rule of law institutions (customs, police and courts) in Northern Kosovo. The GOK has accepted this strategy as its own, and has pledged budget resources toward its implementation.
¶4. (C) That this international and local alliance for action in Northern Kosovo comes while KFOR remains at a robust presence of roughly 10,000 troops is fortunate. The Northern Strategy (septel) has been designed to incentivize participation in GOK structures, not to impose them by force. That said, local forces, including Serbs and Albanians who benefit from the current near lawless environment, could attempt to use violence to disrupt attempts to collect customs duties or reopen courts. KFOR at 10,000 will play an important, if ancillary, role in this strategy to ensure Kosovo’s long-term stability and territorial integrity. At 10,000, KFOR remains capable to respond to multiple, simultaneous incidents. KFOR’s ability to respond with overwhelming force to multiple provocations will itself serve as a valuable deterrent. As recently as January 26, Serbian State Secretary for the Ministry of Kosovo and Metohija Oliver Ivanovic raised the specter of violence, arguing it is the inevitable outcome of the Northern Strategy. Whether meant as a warning, or simply to rattle the less committed elements of the International Community, Ivanovic’s statement was a useful reminder that some Serb elements consider such threats and tactics as legitimate. A strong KFOR is the best deterrent to extremists on either side of the River Ibar.
--------------------------------------------- ----------
¶5. (SBU) While a robust KFOR is important to the success of the Northern Strategy, the implementation of the strategy is an opportunity for KFOR, a roadmap to a successful drawdown to deterrent presence. In our view, the central condition established by the North Atlantic Council for KFOR’s eventual drawdown to deterrent presence is “maintenance of a safe and secure environment (SASE), with a threat level assessed as low.” In the past, we have been all too quick to assess the durability of Kosovo’s threat level based on the presence or absence of security incidents on a daily basis. Depending on a definition of SASE as the absence of security incidents risks masking a disturbing reality -- Northern Kosovo can be, at the same time, both free of security incidents and a frozen conflict in the making, at risk of partition. A Northern Kosovo like this, as it is today, is a far cry from stability, and is in fact an engine for future instability in Kosovo and the wider Western Balkan region.
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¶6. (SBU) As the NAC debates the move to “Gate 2” (5,000 troops) and beyond, we would argue that the time is ripe to move from a negative operationalization of security, based on the absence of incidents, to a positive one. Such an operationalization would establish realistic, observable measures of success in reversing a decade of erosion in Northern Kosovo and establishing Kosovo’s authority throughout its territory. Such benchmarks should include:
-- successful establishment of the decentralized municipality of North Mitrovica;
-- re-establishment of collection of customs revenue at Gates 1 and 31, as part of a single, Kosovo-wide customs regime;
-- the staffing of the Mitrovica District Court with ethnic Serb and Albanian judges recognized by the Kosovo justice system;
-- enhanced EULEX police presence in Northern Kosovo, and the full integration of Kosovo Serb members of the Kosovo Police (KP) in Kosovo Police structures;
-- the replacement of illegal parallel municipal authorities in Northern Kosovo with, legal, legitimately constituted Kosovo bodies;
-- the arrest and prosecution of major organized crime figures; and,
-- the normalization of electric power distribution and billing throughout Northern Kosovo by KEK, according to UNMIK law and regulation.
¶7. (C) Some may protest that the establishment of such benchmarks represents a break with KFOR’s status neutral stance. This is patently untrue. In no case do the benchmarks listed above violate UNSCR 1244, the source of KFOR’s mandate, and in most cases -- like electricity and local self- government -- success in these benchmarks would represent a re-establishment of the UNSCR 1244 regime, respect of UNMIK laws and UNMIK regulations. In the end, this is true status neutrality. What some would request, only taking positions and actions which are equally acceptable to Belgrade and Pristina, isn’t status neutrality, but rather value neutrality. This is neither in KFOR’s interest nor in Kosovo’s, and was never USG policy in the region.
¶8. (C) For ten years, stability in Northern Kosovo has been defined as merely the lack of conflict. Today’s KFOR, at “Gate 1” levels of 10,000 troops, presents our best opportunity to define stability properly, as success in addressing Kosovo’s most vexing security threat: Northern Kosovo as an emerging frozen conflict. Success in the Northern Strategy -- including reintroducing Kosovo structures to this region, and eliminating illegal Serbian parallel structures -- represents our best chance for a peaceful, stable Kosovo governing within the
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full extent of its recognized borders, and KFOR’s surest roadmap to a successful reduction in troop strength to “Gate 2” and beyond. DELL[/quoteem]




E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2019

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell for Reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

¶1. (C) Phil - I know that you are seeing Robert Cooper on
Tuesday, February 2, among other things, to discuss Kosovo
and the strategy for northern Kosovo. Integrating Kosovo
Serbs into Kosovo society and preserving the country's
territorial integrity is central to Kosovo's and the region's
long-term stability and has been a core U.S. policy objective
since 1999. In November 2009, we had a breakthrough that
ended ten years of Belgrade-imposed stalemate when thousands
of Serbs in southern Kosovo took part in Kosovo municipal
elections. We want to replicate that success in the north
and end the stalemate that has left Kosovo's future
uncertain. That fundamentally is what the so-called northern
strategy is about. We want to coax the population into
greater cooperation with Pristina, not to impose outcomes on

¶2. (C) Currently, we have a growing, if still somewhat
fragile, consensus within the international community in
Pristina that the time is right to end the years of drift on
the north and to alter the dynamic of a hardening partition
between the north and the rest of Kosovo. In part, this is
sparked by the new willingness among Kosovo Serbs to engage
with Kosovo institutions. It also stems from Belgrade's
increasingly aggressive actions in the north (e.g., seizure
of the Valac electrical substation; unilateral appointment of
Serb judges to illegal parallel courts) that have underscored
to representatives of the international community on the
ground the risks of continuing to do nothing. For ten years,
we told the Kosovars to trust us -- "let us handle the
situation, and we will protect you" -- and now the government
of independent Kosovo is increasingly asking us when we are
going to make good on that commitment. KFOR is drawing down
(in six months NATO could take a decision to cut its forces
in half). We need to take advantage of a unique opportunity
that has crystallized and act now while we still have a KFOR
presence capable of handling any contingency.

¶3. (C) Belgrade has reacted vehemently to the northern
strategy. I think this intensity is rooted in the concern
that any positive momentum in the north will undermine
Belgrade's likely post-ICJ strategy: push to reopen status
talks and formalize the emerging de facto partition of
Kosovo. Furthermore, Belgrade has shrewdly judged that
raising the specter of confrontation rattles our EU partners
and is an effective tactic for derailing the strategy
altogether. Cooper will likely reflect this anxiety with
you, but I do not sense that this concern is nearly as strong
within the local Quint (with the exception of Italian
Ambassador Michael Giffoni, who spent ten years on Javier
Solana's staff, where the Brussels bureaucrats have long been
anxious about taking any difficult decision on the north).
With this in mind, I recommend that you stress three points
with Cooper. First, the northern strategy is not radical.
Much of it restates what the international community, in
general, and the EU, in particular, are already committed to
doing. Second, it provides a vehicle for constructively
channeling the GOK's ambitions for the north and takes
advantage of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's readiness to offer
inducements to northern Serbs who engage with Kosovo
institutions. Third, we now have legitimate Serb partners
(elected by fellow Serbs) who are ready to help us in the
north. These are the elements of a soft approach, which is
the northern strategy's leading edge.

¶4. (C) We should expect Belgrade to challenge all elements of
the strategy and to misportray the strategy as hard and
confrontational. Serbian Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary
Oliver Ivanovic has already declared that Pristina is
promoting conflict. This is not the case. There is no
interest here in conflict (not among the Quint and the ICO,
nor within the GOK), but the current situation is untenable
and deteriorating. The aim is to stop the rot in the north
and create the positive momentum there that we need to secure
our long-term policy objectives: a secure and stable Kosovo
and a Serbia focused on its EU future, not old ambitions and
grievances. We need to start the process now, and we should
not allow Belgrade to use threats of confrontation as a veto
to block progress.

¶5. (C) You can tell Cooper that the northern strategy offers
incremental, but fundamental, steps necessary to getting the

north right. We know, however, that there will be difficult
challenges that pose risks. For example, EULEX must get
serious about rolling up organized crime networks in the
north that feed the parallel structures and make the current
situation unsustainable. The northern Serbs are the first
victims of these thugs, and there is a growing body of
reports that they would welcome a change if EULEX can deliver
it. We must, also, deal with the blatant theft of Kosovo
property that has allowed Serbia to, in effect, seize the
northern power grid in Kosovo. Dealing with these issues
will require hard choices and fortitude. Our message to
Cooper should be that we want to coordinate and consult with
Brussels every step of the way. This process, after all,
only works if Brussels makes clear to Belgrade that its EU
future depends on real cooperation on Kosovo. In recent
meetings with Boris Tadic, both Angela Merkel and Nicolas
Sarkozy reportedly emphasized that Serbia's path to Brussels
runs, in part, through constructive relations with Pristina.
This is the perfect message. Brussels needs to repeat it --
regularly. We, of course, are also ready to consult with
Belgrade, as well, and to offer them the opportunity to
engage constructively. Where we part company with some
within the EU, however, is in not being willing to accept
that we must have Belgrade's agreement before taking any

¶6. (C) I need to emphasize the importance of this moment.
Failure to act soon means losing northern Kosovo and will
re-open the Pandora's Box of ethnic conflict that defined the
1990s. Fortunately, our European partners increasingly
recognize this. My British colleague here confirms what Stu
has also heard -- that there is a greater degree of
commitment and resolve in member capitals than may be the
case in the Commission and the Council officialdom in
Brussels. Even there, though, initial anxieties over the
strategy appear to be easing as they look more carefully at
the content and less at the rhetoric.




E.O. 12958: N/A

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¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Kosovo celebrated the second anniversary of its
independence on February 17. These two years have seen political
stability that has allowed the country to create legitimate new
institutions, including the Constitutional Court and the Kosovo
Security Force, and to start fulfilling its Ahtisaari Plan
obligations, such as decentralization. Challenges remain, and
Pristina and the international community must focus on moving the
country towards eventual membership in the Euro-Atlantic
institutions that will act as a guarantor of Kosovo's viability and
security. Progress towards European Union membership and a role
within NATO will require a concerted focus on building institutions,
strengthening the country's system of justice, protecting its
multi-ethnicity, and developing its economy. In each of these
fields, Kosovo has been active in laying foundations for progress.
However, we cannot ignore that work remains. Political parties need
to move beyond their regional bases for support and cooperate better
in pursuit of national goals. The GOK, with more effective support
from EULEX, needs to build on its initial reforms in the justice
sector and intensify its anti-corruption efforts. Pristina, with
the help of the international community, wants to replicate the
success of decentralization in southern Kosovo that empowers Serb
communities and extend the same hope to northern Kosovo, where
Belgrade maintains an illegal stranglehold on municipal governance.
The GOK must use its string of economic reforms and privatizations
as a springboard to motivate private-sector growth. Eventual
membership in the European Union and other Euro-Atlantic
institutions will mitigate the challenge that Kosovo's small size
poses. The largest threats to this agenda come both from Belgrade
and the risk that Brussels will not use its influence there to
compel Belgrade's greater cooperation in allowing Kosovo to develop
and strengthen. END SUMMARY


¶2. (SBU) The Republic of Kosovo turned two years old on February 17.
It has been two years marked by a number of successes. Most
notably, we have seen peace and government stability. Kosovo has
taken responsibility for ensuring its own democracy with elections
that it ran on its own for the first time since the end of the
conflict. Serbs in southern Kosovo participated in these elections
and are starting to accept that their survival runs through Pristina
rather than Belgrade. More Serbs, in fact, cast ballots in Kosovo's
municipal elections in November 2009 than in the illegitimate
parallel elections for local Serbian institutions that took place
throughout the year. New institutions, like the Constitutional
Court, are standing up and starting to earn respect as legitimate
bodies. Internationally, Kosovo has secured membership in both the
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and recognitions of
Kosovo's independence now stand at 65 countries. At the
International Court of Justice, Kosovo (supported by many in the
international community, including the United States) presented a
strong case to challenge Belgrade's contention that the country's
independence fails to accord with international law, and we expect
that even an ambiguous opinion from the Court will open the door for
more states to recognize the country's independence.

¶3. (SBU) In short, Kosovo has much to celebrate on its independence
day. We must not forget, however, that Kosovo is a nascent state
that still confronts challenges. Its stability is laudable, but
its political scene is fractious as inexperienced political parties
tend to elevate narrow interests above national goals. The legacy
of conflict and socialism has weakened its institutions, and its
economy remains a work in progress. Kosovo continues to look to the
international community for guidance, and it sees in this advice a
path that will lead to eventual membership in the Euro-Atlantic
community of nations, an end-goal that will act as a guarantor of
the country's independence, viability, and stability. In helping
Kosovo ultimately realize both European Union and NATO membership,
we need to focus our efforts in fostering the state's institutions,
developing the rule of law, promoting its multi-ethnicity, and
strengthening its economy.


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¶4. (SBU) Kosovo's two largest parties -- the Democratic Party of
Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) -- have
coexisted in stable government since national elections in November
¶2007. This stability has allowed the GOK to focus on several
post-independence institution building projects: embarking on
decentralization, standing up the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), and
creating the Constitutional Court, among others. The results have
been positive. We have seen Serbs turnout in large numbers to elect
Serb candidates for mayor and municipal assemblies in the new,
Ahtisaari-mandated, Serb municipalities. The KSF has broken ties
with the legacy of the Kosovo Liberation Army and is showing a
commitment to becoming a multi-ethnic force with its new pan-Kosovo
recruitment campaign. The Constitutional Court has earned
legitimacy as the final arbiter of elections-related disputes.

¶5. (SBU) The stability allows us to focus on critical economic
projects -- like the New Kosovo Power Plant and the privatization of
the state telecom, Post and Telecom of Kosovo -- with a stable
government partner focused on work rather than campaigning. It also
gives us time to encourage Kosovo politics to move beyond its
post-conflict paradigm, when all parties focused on independence to
the exclusion of other considerations. Left-right policy dimensions
do not yet exist here. The large political parties have not yet
developed policy platforms that extend beyond reaffirming promises
to their core supporters. The LDK still sees itself as the
standard-bearer for late President Ibrahim Rugova. The PDK and the
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) are outgrowths of the KLA
and continue to appeal to regional support bases. These lingering
identities too often obfuscate priorities and encourage leaders, at
times, to forget that national interests must take precedence.


¶6. (SBU) On February 16, President Sejdiu appointed new Supreme
Court judges and prosecutors. This action builds on a years-long,
continuing process of vetting for professional competence judges and
prosecutors. The vetting process involves both Kosovo and
international community arbiters, and the GOK's full acceptance of
the results shows a commitment to developing an independent
judiciary that will start to fill the gaps that exist in Kosovo's
rule-of-law institutions. A similar process of interviews and
testing went into the selection of the Constitutional Court justices
last year, and we have seen this court grow in legitimacy over the
past several months. It has already had its own minor Marbury v.
Madison moment, exercising unchallenged authority over legislation
that controls the funding of the state radio and television
broadcaster. Although the ruling has invited critics and
controversy, none of these critics has questioned the role that the
Court has played. This is a significant step in shoring up the
independence of the country's judicial institutions.

¶7. (SBU) There remains a need for more progress. In January of this
year one of Kosovo's most widely read newspapers noted in an
editorial that Kosovo's system of justice needs deep reform. The
GOK, too, recognizes that it faces a challenge in developing its
legal institutions, and the Prime Minister has adopted a legislative
strategy for the year that prioritizes the rule of law. It is a
strategy that will modernize and reform the court structure,
invigorate the country's prosecutorial ranks, and create an
institutional foundation where objectivity has an opportunity to
flourish. Concurrent with this legislative strategy, the GOK --
with more active assistance from EULEX -- will need to strengthen
its anti-corruption efforts, a difficult challenge in a country this
small, where businesses often claim a political patron. Despite the
inherent difficulties, our institution-building efforts must
prioritize the rule of law and the fight against corruption. The
public needs to feel confident that laws apply to everyone. EULEX
needs to step up its activity and deliver long-promised arrests of
high-ranking corrupt public officials, or we run a risk that our
rule-of-law reforms will fall flat and leave the public with a
perception that the government is little more than a kleptocracy.


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¶8. (SBU) Kosovo has made a strong start in fulfilling its promises
under the Ahtisaari plan to empower Serb communities. Serb mayors,
following municipal elections in November 2009, now hold office in
the new municipalities of Gracanica, Klokot, and Ranilug. In
Strpce, a pre-existing municipality where the Serb majority refused
to participate in the November 2007 elections, a new legitimate Serb
mayor has taken significant steps to undo the influence of the
illegal parallel municipal government that answers to Belgrade. In
Pristina, the central government is devolving more authority to all
municipalities, giving local residents a louder voice in shaping
their communities' future. Most refreshing is that that the GOK
continues to focus on these Serb communities, providing them with
significant new resources in the 2010 budget that will allow them to
strengthen the new municipal structures and develop their

¶9. (SBU) In northern Kosovo the challenges surrounding integration
are greater. Belgrade's legitimacy outstrips Pristina's in the
northern municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan, but
it may not be as unchallenged as Belgrade would like us to think. A
municipal preparation team (MPT) is now working in the planned new
municipality of North Mitrovica, which will hold a special election
later this year to select its inaugural government. This MPT is the
GOK's first step in building on the success of its decentralization
efforts in the South. It has adopted a comprehensive approach to
the North that entails an incremental "hearts and minds" campaign to
win greater support from northern Serbs to work with Kosovo
institutions. The illegal parallel institutions that control the
North are little more than fronts for organized crime, and the
region has become stagnant. The Serbs north of the Ibar River
consistently point to the absence of the rule of law there, and this
could prove to be the tool that begins their acceptance of Pristina
-- if the GOK and EULEX, together, can make meaningful progress in
shutting down the criminal networks that dominate throughout the
North. Pristina can offer hope, but it cannot achieve success on
its own. The Europeans need to contribute. EULEX needs to crack
down on organized crime, and Brussels must use the lure of EU
integration to compel Belgrade to play a helpful role in returning
law and order to northern Kosovo. Pristina cannot return hope to
the North if the international community will not stop Belgrade from
interfering in the region's development.


¶10. (SBU) At the central level Kosovo has laid a strong foundation
for economic reforms. In recent months the Assembly has adopted a
debt law that sets rational limits on the amount of debt that the
country can incur and should allow Kosovo to pursue a sovereign
credit rating that will permit it to finance its development. The
IMF has provided guidance on a Central Bank law that will both
strengthen the institution and open opportunities for more
development assistance. And, the GOK is demonstrating an ever
improving control of its budgetary process, delivering a
comprehensive and reasonable 2010 budget to the Assembly that
prioritizes critical needs. Amid these steps, privatization
continues. The GOK hosted a pre-bid conference for representatives
from three pre-qualified consortia interested in entering into a
public-private partnership for the Pristina Airport which we expect
will attract a 100 hundred million Euro investment, with a contract
awarded in April. Further cause for optimism is on the near horizon
with the upcoming privatization of the Kosovo Energy Corporation and
development of a new 500MW power plant that will put an end to the
rolling blackouts that still affect the country. When this plant
comes online, industry will find a more inviting environment for
setting up business.

¶11. (SBU) These important steps do not mask Kosovo's current
economic woes that leave many Kosovars without work. With an
unemployment rate of greater than 40 percent, the economy is
suffering. There is little industry, the private sector is
underdeveloped, and the country's greatest natural resource --
lignite -- is underutilized due to a dilapidated power
infrastructure. At present, the government remains the primary

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engine that drives the economy, a model that is not sustainable.
Government contracts for road-building projects help to provide
temporary employment, but they do not offer the longer term economic
stability that the country requires. In the coming years, both the
government and the international donor community need to redirect
their efforts towards projects that will spark greater dynamism and
diversity within the private sector. The central reforms that have
occurred -- and will continue throughout the rest of the year --
provide hope that Kosovo will soon feature a strong economic
framework where private sector growth will necessarily follow.


¶12. (SBU) Kosovo's small size presents a challenge for its survival,
a challenge that the international community can help surmount with
its Euro-Atlantic institutions. The lure of these institutions --
in particular, the European Union and NATO -- are tantalizing
opportunities that focus the attention of the GOK. With a small
population where family and klan ties provide dominant affiliations,
Kosovo is susceptible to corruption that will retard development.
On the security front, Kosovo is currently a NATO protectorate, but
those forces are beginning to withdraw, and Kosovo leaders are
wondering whether or not the small (no more than 2500 active members
according to the Ahtisaari Plan) and lightly armed Kosovo Security
Force (KSF) can fill the void that KFOR will leave. The antidote
for both of these problems is membership within the European Union
and NATO, and this Euro-Atlantic orientation is the primary issue
that unifies the country's dueling political forces around a core
national vision.

¶13. (SBU) Prime Minister Thaci, daily, expresses his commitment to
readying Kosovo for EU consideration, and he regards the next
European Union Progress Report on Kosovo, due in June, with a mix of
anxiety and optimism. He wants to show the electorate that his
leadership is bringing Kosovo closer to Brussels, and he wants to be
the person who brings EU visa liberalization to Kosovo. Over the
longer term, the country needs EU membership as an outlet for its
young workforce and as a unified market for exports. It also needs
to define its future relationship with NATO. Every Kosovar desires
full membership in an institution second only to the United States
in the hagiography of Kosovo's recent history. The limitations that
the Ahtisaari Plan places on the Kosovo Security Force are going to
prove contentious over time, especially once KFOR withdraws
completely. Without an agreed and viable connection to NATO, we run
the risk that unofficial militias will again develop out of fear
that the country is unable to defend itself from aggression.


¶14. (SBU) Kosovo's independence has been a success story. The worst
fears -- large scale population movements and outbreaks of violence
-- following February 17, 2008, never materialized. The political
scene, while fractious, works together on the big issues, like
decentralization and establishing new institutions. The
international community and the Kosovars, themselves, can feel good
about the positive steps that have occurred over the past two years,
but we cannot ignore the challenges that remain. With each passing
day we need to see the GOK take more responsibility for securing the
country's future -- more activity on lobbying for recognitions, more
temperate political debate, greater respect for the rule of law, and
a concerted focus on national interests -- but there remains an ever
present role for the international community. Pristina cannot yet
extend its authority across its entire territory. The International
Steering Group on February 8 gave its blessing to a comprehensive
approach that will bolster Pristina's presence in the North, but
this approach will also require international support. Indeed, each
of the steps towards Kosovo's eventual membership in the European
Union will require international attention, and we need to make sure
that Brussels gives Pristina the same consideration that it pays to
Belgrade. Above all, the progress that Kosovo makes in overcoming
the challenges it confronts should play the determining role in the
country's qualifications for European Union and NATO membership. We
need to keep the GOK's focus squarely on its responsibilities while
reminding our European partners that they too have a role to play.

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