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Cablegate: India Undecided On Kosovo Independence

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O 121153Z FEB 08 (ADX5B2147-WSC7469-45)
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0402
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
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RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 1399
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6006

C O N F I D E N T I A L NEW DELHI 000454

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C O R R E C T E D COPY - TEXT

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2018
TAGS: PREL UN UNMIK PGOV YI EU IN

SUBJECT: INDIA UNDECIDED ON KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE

REF: SECSTATE 13716

Classified By: Political Counselor Ted Osius for Reasons 1.4 (B and D)

1. (C) The Ambassador urged Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon February 11 to join the U.S. and key European countries in recognizing Kosovo's independence as early as possible after its expected declaration (reftel). Recognition from India would indicate global solidarity and help stave off instability in Kosovo and the region, he argued. Menon thanked the Ambassador for conveying the U.S. position, and cautioned that the Indian government has not yet decided how to respond to a declaration of Kosovo independence. 2. (C) Comment: We believe that there are two political tensions that will make the Indian government lean against recognition of Kosovo. The historical alignment with Russia, which the Russian Prime Minister's February 12-13 visit to Delhi will underscore, makes non-recognition the default position. Moreover, the Indian government's fear that Kosovo independence will set a precedent for Kashmir independence will also work against an immediate Indian recognition for Kosovo. We will continue to point out to Indian counterparts that the situation in Kosovo presents a unique situation that sets no precedent, and that recognition will help stabilize a region fraught with challenges. We will convey this message to the appropriate Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs later this week.

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