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Cablegate: India Still Non-Committal On Kosovo Independence

VZCZCXRO6164
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHNE #0581 0560925
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 250925Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0590
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6074
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7579
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L NEW DELHI 000581

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV IN

SUBJECT: INDIA STILL NON-COMMITTAL ON KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE

REF: A. SECSTATE 16319 B. NEW DELHI 454 C. NEW DELHI 502

Classified By: PolCouns Ted Osius for Reasons 1.4 (B,D)

1. (SBU) PolCouns delivered Ref A demarche to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary for Americas Gaitri Kumar and MEA Joint Secretary for Central Europe V. Ashok on February 21, neither of whom provided a substantive response. Post notes the MEA released the following statement on Kosovo February 18, 2008:

"India has a long standing and consistent policy on the issue of recognition. Recognition is normally accorded on the basis of a country having a defined territory, a duly constituted Government in charge which is accepted by the people and which has effective control over an area of governance.

It has been India's consistent position that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be fully respected by all states. We have believed that the Kosovo issue should have been resolved through peaceful means and through consultation and dialogue between the concerned parties.

We have taken note of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo. There are several legal issues involved in this Declaration. We are studying the evolving situation."

2. (C) Comment: As reported in reftels B and C, Post believes India's historical alignment with Russia and concern over setting a precedent which could affect the question of Kashmir are causing the GOI's reticence on the recognition of Kosovo. In recent days, Indian media has produced several stories on the subject with an angle relating Kosovo to Kashmir. Kashmir separatist Shabir Shah, leader of the pro-independence Democratic Freedom Party, said Kosovo's independence declaration has "strengthened our resolve to achieve freedom for Kashmir. Kosovo's independence is an indicator that struggles based on truth and justice never fail," according to press reports, adding that it would not be long before Kashmiris were free. Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani reportedly stated that he was delighted by Kosovo's independence proclamation, commenting that the "creation of a Muslim state within the European heartland has strengthened our resolve to achieve our right to self-determination." End comment.

MULFORD

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