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Cablegate: Expanding the Adriatic Charter

VZCZCXRO7286
OO RUEHPOD
DE RUEHC #0723/01 2632108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 192104Z SEP 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0745
RUEHPOD/AMEMBASSY PODGORICA IMMEDIATE 1378
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO IMMEDIATE 9856
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE IMMEDIATE 5815
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE 2068
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB IMMEDIATE 1563
INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 9051

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 100723

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR NATO PREL MK HR AL SR MW BK
SUBJECT: EXPANDING THE ADRIATIC CHARTER

REF: A. STATE 85946
B. ZAGREB 620
C. SKOPJE 519
D. TIRANA 649

1. (U) This is an action request cable. Please see paragraph
8.

2. (U) Objective: To capitalize on Albania, Croatia and
Macedonia's affirmation that the Adriatic Charter should be
expanded to include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro by
outlining a process by which they will offer them full
participation in the near-term while leaving the door open to
Serbia to join at a later date.

3. (SBU) BACKGROUND: In response to our recent demarche (ref
A), Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia confirmed they see
continued value in the Adriatic Charter mechanism and support
expansion to include Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
eventually Serbia. The Adriatic Charter (A3) - signed on May
2, 2003 in Tirana - has played an important role in promoting
regional cooperation and furthering the Euro-Atlantic
integration efforts of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia. The
Charter, modeled on the Baltic Charter from 1998, has
institutionalized peace and stability within the framework of
joint efforts to fulfill NATO aspirations. It helped
transform the A3 nations from consumers to producers of
security by promoting reforms and supporting the efforts of
state institutions, particularly in times of crises. In
addition, A3 exercises, deployments, and training activities
have served as a litmus test for multinational
interoperability, a core principle of NATO membership. A
joint A3 medical team has been deployed as part of ISAF in
Afghanistan.

3. (U) Since the Charter's inception, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro, and Serbia have participated as informal
observers at Ministerial meetings and joint activities.
Paragraph 13 of the Charter explicitly recognizes that the
A3's efforts at Euro-Atlantic integration will be enhanced by
the participation of all neighbors in regional and
multilateral institutions.

4. (SBU) Specifically in response to our demarche, Croatia
noted that it was already cooperating with Montenegro and has
near-term plans to consult with Bosnia (ref B), and agreed
that Macedonia could still serve as a mentor to new
countries, even though it technically remains a NATO
aspirant. Albania raised concern about Macedonia's difficult
position should its dispute with Greece not be resolved
before the April summit and felt the time may not yet be
right to invite Serbia, but still supported expansion to
include the first two (ref C). Macedonia stated willingness
to support new Adriatic Charter participants but fretted
about keeping Croatia and Albania fully engaged in the
process (ref D). END BACKGROUND.

5. (SBU) The Allies intrinsically acknowledged the A3's
successes at NATO's Bucharest Summit. Invitations were
granted to Albania and Croatia, but Macedonia was held back
solely due to a bilateral issue with Greece over its name.
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro moved into Intensified
Dialogue (ID) with NATO, while the door remains open for
Serbia to do the same.

6. (SBU) In a region that recently experienced acute violence
and dysfunctional institutions, the Charter has helped to
amplify and concentrate NATO's effects on reforming military
capabilities and building democratic institutions. The U.S.
participation helped guarantee the positive reform efforts of
the A3, especially under difficult circumstances in each
country. The USG now places the emphasis on the A3 to work
together and guarantee the pace and quality of reforms among
its neighbors. The Charter has been an effective forum for
aspirants to share best practices, build trust, and further
cooperation on common goals. We foresee the original A3
countries would play a mentoring role to new participants.

7. (SBU) As a next step, we envision a way to expand the
Adriatic Charter would be an exchange of diplomatic notes,
followed by a meeting of the expanded five countries before
the end of 2008. First, Bosnia and Herzegovina and

STATE 00100723 002 OF 003


Montenegro should be encouraged to formally request
participation via diplomatic note. Macedonia, as the
rotating A3 chair, should coordinate with Croatia and Albania
a response via diplomatic note extending the invitation to
join. This note could reference paragraph 13 of the Adriatic
Charter, in which the A3 affirmed "their determination to
further enhance bilateral, regional and multilateral
relations between themselves and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia
and Montenegro and with other neighbors." It might also note
that the A3 countries would assist the new participants to
pursue their NATO aspirations. After Bosnia and Montenegro
positively respond via diplomatic note, Macedonia should
organize a meeting of the expanded Adriatic Charter countries
before the end of 2008. While we believe this process would
be sufficient to make Adriatic Charter expansion official, it
is possible the countries would prefer to formalize the
expansion via a simple joint declaration at the expanded
meeting or perhaps an addendum to the original Charter, to
possibly include a signing ceremony.

8. (U) The Department requests that Posts deliver the
following talking points to appropriate officials in their
host government.

BEGIN TALKING POINTS

Tirana and Zagreb:
-- Bucharest decision rewarded your efforts and demonstrated
the value and success of regional cooperation.
-- You agreed again recently the Charter should be updated to
include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as full
participants and the door should also be left open for Serbia.
-- The U.S. believes the Charter can continue to provide a
useful mechanism and support for developing NATO's
relationship with the countries of the region, and therefore
we intend to continue our active support for the Charter's
activities. We expect continued, serious participation on
your part as well, including high-level representation and
use of the rotating chair position to the fullest extent
possible.
-- Your role as a mentor to new participants will be vital to
their progress.
-- We believe that expansion of the Adriatic Charter could be
achieved via an exchange of diplomatic notes and wanted to
get your views on the way forward.
-- For example, once Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro
formally request participation, Macedonia as the rotating
chair could coordinate the response officially inviting them
to join.
-- Once the exchange of diplomatic notes was complete, a
meeting of the expanded Adriatic Charter countries could be
held.
-- While we believe this process would make the Adriatic
Charter expansion official, we are also open to other
options, such as having Charter participants make a simple
joint declaration at the expanded meeting to note the new
participants. Another option would be to further formalize
the arrangement via an addendum to the charter. We would be
interested in your views on whether either a declaration or
an addendum would be useful or necessary, or whether an
exchange of diplomatic notes and an expanded meeting would be
best.
-- We urge that the process be completed by the end of 2008.

Skopje:
-- USG remains committed to your NATO membership aspirations;
partnership agreement signed in May demonstrates unwavering
support of USG.
-- We are pleased that you agree the Charter should be
updated to include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as
full participants, and that the door should also be left open
for Serbia.
-- Macedonia has made tremendous strides in working toward
NATO membership; your neighbors need to learn from your
efforts. You can further demonstrate that you can shoulder
the responsibilities of Alliance membership by using enhanced
Adriatic Charter to mentor other NATO aspirants and advance
regional stability efforts.
-- The US believes the Charter can continue to provide a
useful mechanism and support for developing NATO's
relationship with the countries of the region, and therefore
we intend to continue our active support for the Charter's
activities.
--- Your role as a mentor to new participants will be vital
to their progress.
-- We believe that expansion of the Adriatic Charter could be

STATE 00100723 003 OF 003


achieved via an exchange of diplomatic notes and wanted to
get your views on the way forward.
-- For example, once Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro
formally request participants, Macedonia as the rotating
chair could coordinate the response officially inviting them
to join.
-- Once the exchange of diplomatic notes is complete, a
meeting of the expanded Adriatic Charter countries could be
held.
-- While we believe this process would make the Adriatic
Charter expansion official, we are also open to other
options, such as having Charter participants make a simple
joint declaration at the expanded meeting to note the new
participants. Another option would be to further formalize
the arrangement via an addendum to the charter. We would be
interested in your views on whether either a declaration or
an addendum would be useful or necessary, or whether an
exchange of diplomatic notes and an expanded meeting would be
best.
-- We urge that the process be completed by the end of 2008.
-- We urge you to take the lead as the current chair and look
forward to working with you closely to make this happen.

Bosnia and Montenegro:
-- USG welcomes your deeper engagement with NATO and the
Bucharest decision to start Intensified Dialogue (ID).
-- The road ahead will be difficult, but your commitment to
reform and your performance can demonstrate to Allies that
you are serious about membership.
-- You have the benefit of neighbors and Allies who have
traveled this path ahead of you; it is critical that you
follow their good examples and avoid the pitfalls they
experienced.
-- Understand your interest in joining Adriatic Charter as
full participants; U.S. consulted with A3 to update Charter
to reflect post-Bucharest situation and they agree that
expansion is a good idea.
-- We believe Charter remains useful mechanism for regional
cooperation toward Euro-Atlantic integration and support your
request to join.
-- The door should also be left open for Serbia.
-- Should the A3 countries agree to your participation in the
Charter, we would expect serious participation on your part,
including high-level representation and use of the rotating
chair position to the fullest extent possible.

Serbia:
-- USG continues to view Serbia as an important member of the
Euro-Atlantic community and supports your full integration
into its institutions.
-- Bucharest declaration made clear that the door remains
open for deeper engagement between NATO and Serbia.
-- The process is demand-driven; Allies recognize that Serbia
will move forward at its own pace.
-- We welcome GoS comments on intended further PfP
engagement.
-- We are working with participants in the Adriatic Charter
to update the Charter to reflect post-Bucharest situation.
-- We believe Charter remains useful mechanism for regional
cooperation toward Euro-Atlantic integration and we support
Bosnia and Herzegovina's and Montenegro's request to join the
expanded A3 within their new status in ID.
-- We also believe that Serbia should become a full
participant after the GoS moves forward on its NATO path;
until then, we look forward to your continued participation
in observer status.

END TALKING POINTS.
RICE

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