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Cablegate: Nicaragua-Kosovo: No Plan to Recognize, But

VZCZCXRO1625
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #1159/01 2561253
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121253Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3154
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHMU/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0001
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0186
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0006
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0005
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 001159

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN
DEPT PASS TO USOAS
STATE PASS TO USAID/LAC - CARDENAS AND BATTLE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV KV EU NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA-KOSOVO: NO PLAN TO RECOGNIZE, BUT
PREVENTED CENTAM CONSENSUS

REF: A. MANAGUA 1153
B. MANAGUA 1138
C. MANAGUA 1116 AND PREVIOUS
D. GUATEMALA 607
E. SAN SALVADOR 535
F. PANAMA 328
G. STATE 41979
H. SAN SALVADOR 231
I. SAN SALVADOR 195
J. MANAGUA 32
K. STATE 1087

Classified By: Ambassador Robert Callahan for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY. On September 8, Foreign Ministry officials
confirmed that Nicaragua has not recognized Kosovo and has no
plans to do so in the future. This formal confirmation of
the GON position on Kosovo comes eight months after our first
inquiries (REF I) and stands in stark contrast to Nicaragua's
lightning-quick recognition of the breakaway Georgian
"republics" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (REF B). In a
separate conversation with the Ambassador on the same day
(REF A), Foreign Minister Samuel Santos drew a distinction
between Nicaragua's opposing stances on Kosovo and the
Georgian "republics" -- a position that differs greatly from
the one he asserted to the Deputy Secretary in February.
Nicaragua's formal, though not-public, statement on Kosovo
may reduce the chance that other Central American nations
will formally recognize Kosovo. As early as February,
Managua had actively worked to block a long-promised
consensus decision by Central American countries to recognize
Kosovo. END SUMMARY.

Ossetia "Si," Kosovo "No"
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (C) On September 8, we met with Rene Morales, Americas
Division Director, to discuss positions on upcoming UNGA
agenda items. In response to our question from a previous
meeting regarding Serbia's plan to request that the ICJ rule
on Kosovo's status (REF C), Morales confirmed to us that the
Government of Nicaragua (GON) had not recognized Kosovo and
did not have any plans to do so. This statement of GON
policy came more than six months after we first inquired
about this theme (REF J) and on the heels of Nicaragua's
highly-publicized formal recognition of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia (REF B). On the same day, but in a separate
conversation with the Ambassador, Foreign Minister Samuel
Santos confirmed Nicaragua's non-recognition of Kosovo and
drew a distinction between Kosovo and Nicaragua's
lightning-quick decision to recognize the breakaway Georgian
"republics" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Santos asserted
that Kosovo did not fall under United Nations norms, that
Kosovo was an "unnatural division" of Yugoslavia that had
damaged its territorial integrity, and so "different
criteria" had been applied to the GON's non-recognition
Kosovo.

GON blocked Centam Consensus on Kosovo
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (C) During a Valentine's Day meeting, Foreign Minister
Samuel Santos assured the Deputy Secretary that Nicaragua was
"studying the issue" of recognition for Kosovo. By
mid-February, it seemed that most Central American countries
were poised to recognize Kosovo. In fact, regional reporting
indicated that a formal recognition statement had been in the
works, perhaps in conjunction with a Heads-of-State meeting
of the Central American Security Initiative (SICA), hosted by
El Salvador (REFS H, I). However, the statement never
materialized. Our contacts later told us that during the
SICA meeting, almost at the moment Santos was meeting with
the Deputy Secretary, the GON had actively blocked consensus
in favor of Kosovo recognition. By May, Guatemala, El
Salvador and Panama had all backed away from recognition.

(REFS D, E, F)

COMMENT
- - - -

4. (C) The principal basis for this decision may have been
the question: "Will it oppose the U.S. position?" We also
suspect that, as in the recognition of Ossetia and Abkhazia,
Ortega may hope that aligning Nicaragua with Russia may
somehow herald a return to the privileged position and
accompanying largesse which it received in the 1980s from the
Soviet Union.

CALLAHAN

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