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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Visit of Aid Administrator Fore To

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVB #0361 1301101
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091101Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8305
INFO RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 2601
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA 0829

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000361

SIPDIS

AID ADMINISTRATOR FORE FROM AMBASSADOR BRADTKE
AA/ENE FOR DOUG MENARCHIK
AID/ENE FOR VALERIE CHEN
EUR/SCE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL HR
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR VISIT OF AID ADMINISTRATOR FORE TO
CROATIA

1. I am delighted that you will be coming to Zagreb to mark
the closing of our AID Mission here after nearly 16 years.
During that period, with our assistance and the help of the
international community, Croatia has made remarkable
progress. Croatia has resisted the temptation of nationalist
and authoritarian politics, rebuilt its war devastated
economy and infrastructure, and supported the return of tens
of thousands of refugees. In less than a decade, Croatia has
gone being a country with UN peacekeeping troops on its
territory to becoming a country that contributes to over a
dozen UN peacekeeping missions and has two hundred soldiers
serving in ISAF in Afghanistan. In sum, Croatia has become a
transformational success story.

2. President Bush's highly successful visit here only six
weeks ago recognized the progress Croatia has made and
celebrated the invitation Croatia received at the NATO Summit
in Bucharest to join the Alliance. The President's speech to
the Croatian people in St. Mark's Square, the highlight of
his visit, was warmly welcomed, and U.S.- Croatian relations
are at perhaps their highest point since independence. There
are no major bilateral problems on our agenda, and we are now
working on the two issues where the Croatians requested the
President's help: increasing trade and investment and trying
to see whether we can begin the process of bringing Croatia
into the visa waiver program.

3. The President's visit here also signaled a change in the
nature of our relations. Rather than being the object of our
attention and the recipient of our assistance, Croatia is
becoming a partner in dealing with problems in Southeastern
Europe, an example of reform for other countries, and an ally
in meeting challenges elsewhere in the world. In addition to
membership in NATO, Croatia's seat as a non-permanent member
of the UN Security Council over the next two years will
provide new opportunities for partnership and cooperation.

4. In that context, I hope you will use your visit to
deliver several messages to the Croatians:

-- First, you can remind your Croatian interlocutors of what
we achieved together. Among other accomplishments, the
effective use of our assistance has enabled Croatia to
develop a flourishing NGO sector, to create jobs and improve
living conditions in war-affected areas, to encourage the
start up of small and medium sized enterprises, and to
strengthen rule of law and local government.

-- At the same time, however, these achievements do not mean
that the hard work of reform is over. Croatia now needs to
put its efforts on a self-sustaining basis, using its own
human and financial resources, as well as the considerable
assistance it will continue receive in the run-up to EU
membership.

-- Finally, the end of AID's presence does not mean a
lessening of U.S. interest or engagement. Rather, it
signifies a maturing in our relations. In forums such as
NATO's North Atlantic Council, we will deal with each other
as equals and partners.

5. In your luncheon remarks to the American Chamber and its
Croatian partners, you will also have an important
opportunity to encourage closer cooperation between business
and government and to promote the development of
public-private partnerships. Although your schedule will no
longer permit you to visit Varazdin, that city is perhaps the
best example in Croatia of how forward-thinking local and
regional government officials have created an atmosphere in
which cooperation between business and government can
flourish and benefit the local community. The Microsoft
Business Technology Center, which we helped to establish, is
precisely the kind of joint project that can help Croatia
prepare to compete in the globalized economy of the 21st
century.

6. Since I will be filling in for you in Varazdin I will not
be on hand for your arrival. You will be in the capable
hands of my DCM Vivian Walker and our Acting Mission Director
Rebecca Latorraca until I join you at the AmCham lunch. I
look forward to your visit and marking the end of this
successful chapter in U.S.-Croatian relations.
Bradtke

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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