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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #1060 3391544
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051544Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8397
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 001060

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SCE, EUR/PPD, EUR/EX, EUR/RPM AND EUR/ERA
OSD FOR WINTERNITZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AMGT HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT

1. (SBU) COALITION NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE BETWEEN HDZ AND
HSS/HSLS GROUP:
On December 3, the ruling HDZ began formal talks on a
possible coalition agreement with the Croatian
Peasants/Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSS/HSLS) group that
holds eight parliamentarians. Initial meetings on December 3
and 4 set the broad parameters for the talks. HSS sources
told us that discussions will break into about ten working
groups focused on a dozen or so issues, and would take a week
to ten days at most. The HSS source said it was not
guaranteed that the negotiations would produce a coalition,
but indicated that even if the HSS could no agree to join, it
was still likely the HDZ would form the government, using the
seats of other small parties. (NOTE: It is mathematically
possible for the HDZ to gather the necessary 77 seats, but we
believe the most likely outcome remains an HDZ coalition with
HSS in it.) On December 5, PM Sanader sounded increasingly
confident in his comments to the media that he would be able
to form a government that would have the support of at least
80 parliamentarians. More details will follow septel.
(RHoltzapple)

2. (U) AMBASSADOR BRADTKE PRESS INTERVIEWS:
On November 28, Ambassador Bradtke gave an interview to daily
Jutarnji list, explaining the U.S. positions on Kosovo and
Bosnia and Herzegovina and welcoming Croatia into the UNSC.
On the Croatian elections, he called for all sides to put
aside partisan differences and work together to form a
government; a similar statement was placed in the November 30
edition of Vecernji list. On November 29 the Ambassador
interviewed with Zagreb-based Radio 101 responding to call-in
questions on elections, regional issues, Afghanistan, Iraq,
Iran, and Croatia's progress toward NATO membership. (KWetzel)

3. (U) CROATIAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CONNECT WITH NATIONAL
MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN:
U.S. Embassy Zagreb sponsored a digital video conference
(DVC) on November 29 between the National Museum of the
American Indian and secondary school students from Velika
Gorica, a large municipality in the Zagreb metropolitan area.
Mr. Jimmy Locklear, the Volunteer Coordinator at the Museum
and a member of the Lumbee tribe from North Carolina, spoke
about native American culture and heritage, sharing his
personal experience with the students. In addition to the
DVC, students received a short Embassy tour. The DVC served
to further solidify relations with the municipality of Velika
Gorica and its public library, which the Public Affairs
Section visited last summer.

4. (U) "WELCOME TO HELL" BECOMES "LOVE FOR ALL" IN
WAR-AFFECTED TOWN:
As part of Embassy Zagreb's Entry Level Officer Development
Program, seven first and second tour officers traveled to
Gvozd and Vojnic to meet with local officials and community
leaders and to visit some of USAID's successful projects in
community and economic development and reintegration in this
war-affected area. The group discussed local and national
issues with mayors of each town, the head of Suncokret
(Sunflower, an NGO), the heads of the women's organization
and the new library in Vojnic. They also visited a new
publicly funded kindergarten aimed at giving children a head
start in school. The director of Suncokret led a tour of the
community center and discussed how youth activities,
including a summer camp drawing in international volunteers,
has helped integrate the community and lessened unwanted
graffiti. On a sign at the outskirts of Gvozd where once was
painted "Welcome to Hell," town youth repainted, "Love for
All," an apt emblem of the transformative power of USAID
programming in Croatia. (MNice)

5. (U) ZAGREB'S REGIONAL BLACKBERRY EXPANSION BEARING FRUIT:
With the recent addition of Embassy Ljubljana, Zagreb now
supports Blackberry cell phone programs in seven embassies in
the region. In addition to Embassy Zagreb, we provide
software and server support to Ljubljana, Kyiv, Belgrade,
Sarajevo, Podgorica, and Bucharest and are now on the verge
of adding Embassy Tblisi, even though the Blackberry network
provider, RIM, doesn't cover Tblisi! Zagreb enables
embassies in countries without Blackberry service by setting
the devices to "roaming" mode. This allows users on the road
access to emails, calendar and contacts even where there is
no local service provider. By leveraging our Open Net
infrastructure to allow for regional support, Embassy Zagreb
hopes to subscribe additional embassies, thereby saving
equipment, software and training costs. (TFavret)
BRADTKE

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