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Cablegate: Maldives to Submit a Kosovo Brief to Icj

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #0367 0901103
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311103Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9708
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0139
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000367

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PQL AORC ICJ KV MV CE
SUBJECT: MALDIVES TO SUBMIT A KOSOVO BRIEF TO ICJ

REF: A) STATE 29385 B) STATE 21891 C) COLOMBO 264

MALDIVES
--------

1. (SBU) Ambassador communicated ref A points to Maldives
Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed on March 27. Embassy Colombo
notes that the letter from Secretary Clinton thanking
Maldives for its recognition of Kosovo (ref B) has helped
greatly to sustain Maldives' support for Kosovo independence.
Several members of the leading party in the new government
have long-standing ties to the Serbian reform movement OTPOR,
which has lobbied the government of Maldives to reverse its
recognition of Kosovo (ref C).

2. (SBU) Moreover, according to Maldivian media reports,
the leader of a small Islamist party in Maldives' parliament,
the Majlis, accused Shaheed and others of accepting a bribe
from Kosovar official in exchange for the recognition.
Shaheed was called upon to appear before a Majlis committee
to respond to the charge - which we believe is probably
baseless - on March 28.

3. (SBU) The pressure on him notwithstanding, on March 30
Shaheed responded to Ambassador: "The Maldives would be most
happy to join the other members of the international
community in contributing to sustaining peace and stability
in the Balkans. I will stay in touch with you as we develop
our paper."

SRI LANKA
---------

4. (SBU) Embassy believes it would be counterproductive to
deliver the demarche to Sri Lanka, however. Sri Lanka's
Foreign Ministry has made it clear several times in the
recent past that it supports Serbia's position in this
question. As Sri Lanka attempts to achieve a final military
victory over its own separatist movement, the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Post does not believe there is any
realistic possibility of moderating Sri Lanka's position.
However, given the limited capacity of the Sri Lankan MFA
(and its current preoccupation with defending against charges
of serious human rights abuses and even genocide), it is
quite possible that Sri Lanka might omit to submit a brief to
the ICJ on Kosovo. A demarche, on the other hand, might well
alert the GSL to the issue and elicit an unhelpful submission.
BLAKE

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