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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report - February 27, 2008

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0157 0591140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281140Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8623
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000157

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT - FEBRUARY 27, 2008

1. (U) GoC's MESSAGE TO CODEL TANNER: CROATIA FIRMLY
COMMITTED TO SEEKING NATO MEMBERSHIP:
Representative John Tanner and five other House members from
the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly had a
successful visit to Croatia from Feb. 21 to 24. The CODEL
met with both Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and President
Stjepan Mesic on Feb. 21. Key topics were Croatia's NATO
membership, ISAF deployments, Kosovo, and efforts to combat
corruption. Both Sanader and Mesic told the CODEL Croatia is
firmly committed to seeking NATO membership and expressed
confidence that public opinion in favor of NATO would remain
above 50 percent. In Dubrovnik on Feb. 23, a former mayor,
Nikola Obuljen, briefed the delegation on post-war
reconstruction efforts. (See also ZAGREB 128) (SLitke)

2. (U) EMBASSY ZAGREB HOSTS BELGRADE EVACUEES:
Embassy Zagreb dusted off our contingency plan and took in
over 65 employees and family members from Embassy Belgrade
over the weekend. Thanks to excellent cooperation with
counterparts in Belgrade, post had hotel reservations,
security and vehicle support lined up and mission staff
worked over the weekend to prepare office space, telephones
and computers for the arriving group. The 31-car convoy
departed Belgrade at 1:20 p.m. Upon reaching the border,
they were met by the A/RSO and a delegation from Zagreb. A
smaller group of AID staff diverted up to Budapest. Post
received outstanding assistance from the Croatian police, who
provided an escort for the convoy from the border to their
hotel in Zagreb, where the police also deployed additional
security to ensure the group's safety. At the hotel,
Belgrade families were greeted by Embassy Zagreb employees
and families, who welcomed their colleagues, disbursed local
funds, handed out welcome kits and snacks, and made plans for
weekend events. What made a difficult situation better was
absolutely gorgeous weather for zoo and castle visits the
following day. By Monday, Feb. 25, 18 children were enrolled
in the American school, a computer room was set up and 11
employees were at work in Zagreb's chancery. (TFavret)

3. (U) CAPSTONE FELLOWS VISIT ZAGREB:
U.S. National Defense University's Capstone fellows visited
Zagreb. The Defense Attache Office coordinated the visit for
this Capstone delegation led by Admiral Harold Gehman, (U.S.
Navy retired), and including fifteen active duty flag
officers from all the military branches and the Coast Guard,
plus one SES. Ambassador Bradtke hosted the delegation at
dinner on 24 February. 25 February was devoted to official
meetings including the U.S. embassy country team, Croatian
Minister of Defense Branko Vukelic, Acting Chief of the
General Staff LTG Slavko Baric, and a round table discussion
of Croatian military transformation and regional security
issues at Croatia's War College. (BMosenfelder)

4. (U) ZAGREB CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH DIGITAL
VIDEO CONFERENCES IN ZAGREB AND ZADAR:
In observation of Black History Month, the U.S. Embassy in
Zagreb organized digital video conferences on February 13 at
the American Corners in Zagreb and Zadar with Ms. Yvonne R.
Davis, the President of a public relations and training firm
and a distinguished journalist and businessperson.
Incorporating hip hop music and short video clips on poetry
slams and civil rights history, the digital videoconference
enabled secondary school students in both Croatian cities to
discuss African American culture and heritage. Students
asked numerous questions on education, politics, music, and
everyday life in the United States. Local press in Zadar
covered the event. (KWetzel)
Bradtke

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