Search

 

Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report - June 19, 2008

VZCZCXRO4411
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0465/01 1721503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201503Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8418
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000465

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR MASS PHUM PREF EAIR PGOV HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT - JUNE 19, 2008

1. (U) MINISTER OF DEFENSE TO MINNESOTA, WASHINGTON DC:
Croatian Minister of Defense Branko Vukelic headed a
delegation that consisted of State Secretary Zejlko Gorsuc,
Deputy Chief of Defense LTG Slavko Baric, and Army Commander
LTG Mladen Kruljac on a visit to Minnesota and Washington DC.
The delegation visited Camp Ripley, Minnesota to observe the
annual platoon exchange exercise CROMIN '08 between the
Croatian Army and its State Partner, the Minnesota National
Guard. While in Minneapolis, Minister Vukelic met with
Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau at the State Capital. The
visit by the Minister to Minnesota served to further solidify
the already strong bilateral relationship between the
Minnesota National Guard and the Ministry of Defense and
kicked-off the next step of the bilateral relationship
between Minnesota's civilian agencies and businesses and
Croatia's civilian and business sectors. The delegation
traveled to Washington DC afterwards where they met with the
Deputy Secretary of Defense, The Honorable Gordan England.
(BMcAloon)

2. (SBU) USOSCE AMBASSADOR FINLEY DISCUSSES FUTURE OF OSCE
OFFICE IN CROATIA:
US Ambassador to the OSCE Julie Finley visited Zagreb on June
18-19 and held discussions with GoC officials, key third
country diplomats and prominent NGO activists about the
performance of Croatia in addressing the remaining issues
within the mandate of the OSCE Office (housing for returned
refugees, and handling of war crimes cases) and the value of
the OSCE presence in monitoring that performance. This visit
was to gather information in advance of discussions expected
later this year in Vienna about whether to keep the OSCE
Office open in 2009. All contacts, including GoC officials,
praised the OSCE's role in advancing rule of law issues in
Croatia over the past decade and more, but voiced varied
opinions on whether an OSCE presence was still needed in
2009. In her meetings with Foreign Minister Jandrokovic and
Deputy Prime Minister Uzelac, Amb. Finley stressed the value
of having a single and clear GoC position on the issue of
whether or not the OSCE presence should be extended.
(RHoltzapple)

3. (U) REGIONAL REFUGEE COORDINATOR TRAVELS TO CROATIA:
Embassy Zagreb was pleased to host Regional Refugee
Coordinator Branka Jikich during her June 9-13th visit to
Croatia. Meetings in the capital with GOC officials, UNHCR,
and Embassy staff, were followed by two days of in-depth
field visits to returnees, NGOS, a collective center and
local officials in the Lika and Zadar Hinterlands regions of
the country. The fact finding visit provided Embassy
officials and the Regional Refugee Coordinator the
opportunity to better coordinate policies directly impacting
returnees, jointly review the GOC Action Plan for the
accelerated implementation of the housing care program, and
objectively analyze progress made and steps still to be
undertaken by the GOC in the months ahead. A full trip
report will follow septel. (DFisk)

4. (U) UNAFFECTED BY IRISH "NO" TO LISBON TREATY, CROATIA'S
ACCESSION PROGRESS CONTINUES:
On multiple occasions and from various figures among EU
leadership, Croatia has received assurances that the Irish
"no" vote on the Lisbon Treaty will not affect Croatia's
accession negotiations. Some diplomats have even suggested
that if the treaty is not adopted by the time Croatia
completes negotiations, Croatia's accession agreement could
include a new weighting of votes within the Council of the EU
and a new distribution of EU parliament seats, thereby
bringing some elements of the Lisbon Treaty into EU practice
in an indirect way. On June 17, the EU Accession Conference
with Croatia opened negotiations on two new chapters: Freedom
of Movement for Workers and Social Policy and Employment. To
close the Social Policy and Employment chapter, Croatia must
amend its Labor Act and Health Care and Safety at Work Act
and pass an umbrella anti-discrimination law and a law on
gender equality. To close the Freedom of Movement for Workers
chapter, Croatia will have to prove it has the adequate
administrative structures and enforcement capacity to
implement relevant legislation. Acknowledging that Croatia
opened only four chapters and closed none during the
Slovenian presidency, Croatian FM Jandrokovic claimed Croatia
can still complete negotiations by the end of 2009. He added
that the Slovenian presidency had in no way slowed Croatia in
achieving its goals. In a separate press interview,
Croatia's chief negotiator, Vladimir Drobnjak noted that
France--next in line for the EU presidency--is particularly
committed to negotiations with Croatia. (SLitke)


ZAGREB 00000465 002 OF 002


5. (U) CROATIA AIRLINES LAUNCHES NEW ROUTES TO PRISTINA AND
PODGORICA:
On Monday, June 16, Croatia Airlines launched a new regular
route between Zagreb and Pristina. Thirty-seven passengers
were aboard the first flight. The airline hopes that the
route will become more popular and that a larger aircraft
will be needed soon. Croatia Airlines boasts that it
currently has the most favorable prices flying between
Pristina and any point in Europe. The current fare for a
return flight from Zagreb to Pristina is 230 Euro. On
Tuesday, June 17, the airline launched a new regular route
between Zagreb and Podgorica. Thirty-eight passengers were
aboard that inaugural flight. (PMcCabe)
Bradtke

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: