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Cablegate: Germany: Kosovo Recognition Letter On Its Way

VZCZCXRO2796
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRL #0212 0511816
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201816Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0488
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BERLIN 000212

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL GM KV
SUBJECT: GERMANY: KOSOVO RECOGNITION LETTER ON ITS WAY


1. (SBU) The German cabinet approved today (February 20) FM
Steinmeier's proposal to recognize Kosovo's independence.
MFA Western Balkans Deputy Director Marc Bogdahn told us that
President Koehler, who has been on vacation in the German
state of Thuringia, was expected to return to Berlin this
afternoon to sign the letter of recognition, which will then
be transmitted to Kosovar President Sejdiu.

2. (U) In a speech before the Bundestag after the cabinet
decision, FM Steinmeier noted that Germany would have
preferred a consensus solution on Kosovo status, but that
nine years of fruitless efforts showed this was not possible.
He emphasized that the case of Kosovo was unique and should
not be viewed as a precedent for secessionist movements
elsewhere in Europe. He also indicated that recognition was
not the end of the road, but rather the start of a long
process to help Kosovo, through the EU rule-of-law mission
and NATO-led KFOR, to become fully self-sufficient as an
independent country. Kosovo, in return, was expected to live
up to its promises to protect minorities, respect human
rights and to accept international supervision.

3. (U) While not enthusiastic about Kosovo's unilateral
declaration of independence, most parliamentarians --
including those in the opposition -- acknowledged that there
had really been no other alternative and that Germany was
right to grant immediate recognition. Several talked about
the need to offer Serbia and Kosovo a future in the EU, where
national borders have lost much of their former significance.
Only Left Party parliamentarians opposed Kosovo's
declaration of independence and the German recognition of it,
calling them a violation of international law and contrary to
UNSCR 1244. These parliamentarians also raised concerns that
Germany's recognition of Kosovar independence would encourage
the Kurdish, Basque and Ossetian secessionist movements.
TIMKEN JR

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