Cablegate: Mgkv01: Turkey Swiftly Recognizes Kosovo
DE RUEHAK #0307/01 0501206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191206Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5268
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
UNCLAS ANKARA 000307
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE, EUR/SCE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL TU YI ZL
SUBJECT: MGKV01: TURKEY SWIFTLY RECOGNIZES KOSOVO
REF: SECSTATE 16265
1. (U) At approximately 19:30 local time, February 18, the
GOT formally recognized Kosovo's independence. FM Babacan's
statement (see paragraph 4) emphasized the importance Turkey
attaches to peace and stability in the Balkans. The
statement also noted Turkey's historical and cultural ties to
Kosovo and pledged Turkey's continued assistance to Kosovo's
development. PM Erdogan reportedly called Kosovo PM Taci to
congratulate him. According to the Turkish press, Turkey
will carry out relations with Kosovo through its Pristina
Coordination Office and its Embassy in Tirana, and Turkey
will consider opening an Embassy in Pristina.
2. (SBU) Anticipating a rough patch in Ankara-Belgrade
relations, FM Babacan underscored the importance Turkey
attaches to improving its bilateral and regional relations
with Serbia. In response to Turkey's announcement, Serbia
has ordered its Ambassador to Turkey to return to Belgrade
for "consultation until further notice." According to MFA
contacts, the Serbian Ambassador will meet with FM Babacan
February 19, where he is expected announce his departure.
"Vatan" daily newspaper reported that stones were hurled at
the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade, and that Turkey has
submitted two separate notes to the Serbian Foreign Ministry
demanding tighter security measures.
3. (U) Turkish media reaction is divided on Kosovo
independence and on Turkey's swift recognition. Mainstream
"Sabah" carried a cartoon on its front-page entitled "Double
Standard," lampooning Europe's recognition of Kosovo but not
of the "TRNC" (northern Cyprus). Other columnists cautioned
against Turkey trying to link Kosovo to Cyprus, noting that
such a precedent could create headaches for Turkey in
northern Iraq. Cengiz Candar, in the business daily
"Referans," celebrated Kosovo independence, expressing the
joy he believes will be felt by the millions of Turkish
citizens of Kosovo-origin. However, liberal "Radikal" and
Islamist, pro-government "Yeni Safak" expressed apprehension
at the deep divisions emerging between countries that
recognize Kosovo's independence and those that oppose it.
They warned that the new state will be entirely dependent on
the United States, triggering a new Cold War with Russia, and
igniting clashes in the Caucasus.
4. (U) Text of the statement of FM Babacan recognizing
Kosovo's independence (as received).
18 February 2008
STATEMENT OF H.E.MR. ALI BABACAN,
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY,
REGARDING THE RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO BY TURKEY
The Assembly of Kosovo declared independence of
Kosovo on 17 February 2008. In this context, an appeal was
made to all countries of the world for the recognition of the
Republic of Kosovo.
The Republic of Turkey has welcomed the content
and elements of the Declaration of Independence, and with
this understanding, has decided to recognize the independence
of the Republic of Kosovo.
Securing peace and stability in the Balkans is
one of Turkey's foreign policy priorities. Turkey attaches
importance to advance the understanding of lasting peace in
the Balkans which has suffered immensely in recent years and
hopes that the independence of Kosovo will present an
opportunity for the enhancement of stability and confidence
among the countries in the region.
Serbia has a significant role and responsibility
in the future of the Balkans. Turkey attaches importance to
improving its relations and cooperation with Serbia, both at
bilateral and regional levels.
Turkey believes that rule of law and the
universal values of human rights, democracy and pluralism
should be promoted in Kosovo. Turkey is also of the opinion
that creating an atmosphere of mutual confidence and
cooperation between Kosovo and her neighbours is essential.
Turkey believes that its long-established
historical, cultural and human ties with Kosovo will be
further strengthened. Turkey will continue its assistance and
contributions for the development of Kosovo.
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