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Cablegate: Canadian Recognition of Kosovo

VZCZCXRO8485
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHQU RUEHROV RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0395 0781953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181953Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7536
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000395

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EU KV CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO

REF: OTTAWA 0392

1. (U) In a statement on March 18, Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier
announced Canada's recognition that Kosovo's independence was now an
"international reality," without being a precedent (reftel). Full
statement in para 3.

2. (U) The Serbian Ambassador to Ottawa told the media on March 18
that his government, in reaction, had ordered his recall. He warned
publicly that "separatism is dangerous."

3. (U) Begin statement by Minister Bernier:

We note that a significant number of countries, including our G7
partners and many of Canada's close allies, have already recognized
Kosovo.

Kosovo is a unique case, as illustrated by its recent history
characterized by war and ethnic cleansing, the role subsequently
played by the United Nations and NATO in administering the territory
and providing for its security, and the ongoing role that
international organizations such as the European Union will play in
assisting Kosovo with its transition to full independence.

As the declaration issued by Kosovo's parliament also makes clear,
the unique circumstances which have led to Kosovo's independence
mean it does not constitute any kind of precedent. Statements made
by other countries recognizing Kosovo's independence have echoed
this point.

We welcome the commitment made by Kosovo to ensure the protection of
the rights of Serbian and other minorities, including their right to
safety. Canada also welcomes Kosovo's commitment to ensure the
protection of religious and cultural heritage sites. Canada
attaches great importance to the full implementation of these and
other commitments, undertaken by Kosovo's leaders in line with the
recommendations of UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

The development of Kosovo into a democratic, multi-ethnic state that
fully respects human rights is essential for peace, political
stability and economic progress in the Balkans.

In this context, Canada acknowledges this new international
reality.

End text

WILKINS

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