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Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Activity Report: February 26, 2010

VZCZCXRO4424
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHVB #0122 0571413
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261413Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9938
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000122

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB DAILY ACTIVITY REPORT: FEBRUARY 26, 2010

POLITICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CROATIA AND SERBIA STAGNATING, FM
JANDROKOVIC SAYS

1. (U) Political relations between Croatia and Serbia are
stagnating, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said
in a February 25 television interview; although he stressed
that the countries had good cooperation on economic, police,
judicial and cultural issues. Jandrokovic was responding to
questions about Serbian President Boris Tadic's comments
earlier in the week that relations between the two countries
would be damaged if The Hague war crimes tribunal acquits
Croatian General Ante Gotovina. Both Jandrokovic, and in a
separate statement Prime Minister Kosor, described Tadic's
comments as inappropriate pressure on the ICTY. Jandrokovic
added that Tadic "should be a bit more careful about what he
says" considering that Serbia has not extradited either
Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic or Croatian Serb
rebel leader Goran Hadzic to The Hague. Despite political
tensions, Jandrokovic raised the possibility of a meeting
between President Ivo Josipovic and President Tadic at a
summit of Southeastern European countries in March in
Slovenia.

EVEN AS CROATIA SEEKS SERBIAN TOURISTS AS BELGRADE TOURISM
FAIR

2. (U) Despite the on-going political exchanges (see previous
item), Croatia was officially represented at Belgrade's
International Tourism Fair for the first time since the
break-up of Yugoslavia. Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs
personally attended to promote Croatia as a summer holiday
destination for Serbians. According to Bajs, Croatia wants
to increase the number of Serbian tourists in Croatia to
above the 2009 figure of nearly 90,000. Bajs also discussed
the possibility of increasing the number of flights from
Belgrade to Croatian destinations with Serbian Minister of
Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic. Currently,
there is only one weekly flight from Belgrade to JAT Airways
to Pula. Bajs claimed there were no legal obstacles to more
flights, but that increased routes will depend not so much on
flight permits but on demand levels and the profitability of
the routes. Local media reported that Croatia's presentation
was well received, but that Serbian tour operators want
reductions in Croatian hotel prices to make the offers more
attractive for their clients.

U.S. EURASIAN ENERGY ENVOY BEGINS VISIT TO CROATIA

3. (U) U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Ambassador
Richard Morningstar began a two-day visit to Croatia on
February 25 with a trip to the island of Krk, site of
Croatia's largest oil terminal and proposed site of a LNG
terminal. He met with Ante Markov, director of state-owned
oil-pipeline operator JANAF, and discussed JANAF expansion,
Croatia's role in regional energy issues, and Prime Minister
Kosor's March 1-2 visit to Moscow. On February 26,
Ambassador Morningstar is meeting with the American Chamber
of Commerce in Zagreb, PM Kosor, and member of Parliament
Kresimir Cosic, who has been heading the Sabor's
consideration of national energy policy. Amb. Morningstar
will have dinner with leading energy specialists and
officials involved in the LNG terminal at the Residence.

AMBASSADOR FOLEY ATTENDS AMCHAM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
CONFERENCE

4. (U) U.S. Ambassador to Croatia James Foley opened an IPR
conference on February 25 organized by the American Chamber
of Commerce in Croatia. In his remarks, the Ambassador
stressed the importance of innovation and intellectual
property protection for economic growth and noted U.S.
support of reforms aimed at liberalizing Croatia's economy.
Ljiljana Kuterovac from the State Intellectual Property
Office commented that intellectual property is still
insufficiently protected in Croatia. Most IPR protection
cases in Croatia are brought by foreigners and individuals,
in contrast to global trends, where patent protection is
mainly used by companies. She added that Croatia is second
to last among European countries according to the number of
patents registered with the European Patent Office. The
State Intellectual Property Office is proposing changes to
the government's intellectual property development strategy,
and pushing for wider application of intellectual property
protection in the industry in accordance with international
and European standards.
FOLEY

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