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Cablegate: Rfg - Nato to Exchange Views with Bosnia And

VZCZCXRO4552
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHNO #0088/01 0571555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261555Z FEB 10
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3893
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO 0225
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/USNMR SHAPE BE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USNATO 000088

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: NATO PGOV PREL BK
SUBJECT: RFG - NATO TO EXCHANGE VIEWS WITH BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA

USNATO 00000088 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE and SUMMARY: On Wednesday, March
3, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) will conduct an exchange
of views with the Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(BiH) in the run-up to the NAC's March 23 Sarajevo visit and
NATO's Foreign Ministerial meeting in April. The NAC meeting
is intended to address BiH's request to join NATO's
Membership Action Plan (MAP). Post requests guidance on
messages to deliver to the BiH dignitaries during the March 3
multilateral meeting. END REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE and SUMMARY.

---------------------
BiH: Stuck in neutral
---------------------

2. (U) BiH requested to join MAP on October 2, 2009. After
vigorous debate within the Alliance, Foreign Ministers
decided at the December 2009 meeting that BiH will join MAP
"once it achieves the necessary progress in its reform
efforts." Ministers tasked the Council in Permanent Session
to keep BiH's progress on reform under active review, and
affirmed continued support for BiH's reforms. BiH's intent
is to prove that between December 2009 and the Ministerial in
April 2010, it will have demonstrated sufficient progress on
reforms to warrant a positive answer on its request to join
MAP.

-------------------------
Helping BiH gain traction
-------------------------

3. (U) One of the first opportunities for BiH to brief NATO
on its reform efforts will be on March 3, when the NAC will
hear from BiH's Prime Minister, Ministers of Foreign Affairs
and Defense. The high level of the delegation is clearly
intended to demonstrate to Allies the depth of BiH's
commitment to NATO and to securing its invitation to join
MAP. After BiH presents its reform efforts, Permanent
Representatives will exchange views and provide feedback on
BiH's reform efforts, focusing leaders on what further
efforts need to be made in preparation for Foreign Ministers'
April meeting.

------------------
Potential messages
------------------

4. (U) Based on private discussions with Allies, we assess
that the following messages would be most likely to achieve
Allied consensus:

-- As our Ministers of Foreign Affairs said in their December
2009 statement, we affirm our support for your participation
in MAP and your aspirations for NATO membership once BiH
achieves the necessary progress on reform efforts.

-- As has been stressed many times in the Individual
Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) Assessment and in other
settings, NATO wants to see more than just defense reform.
Allies look to you for evidence of reform efforts in the
political, security, public information and resources
sectors, as well.

5. (U) Additionally, USNATO suggests the following points:

-- It is not the Alliance's job to establish benchmarks or
timelines by which to judge BiH's progress in reforms. It is
your responsibility to identify and implement reforms that
could most benefit the citizens of BiH.

-- In order to successfully participate in MAP, a country has
to have the institutional structures in place to make tough
decisions and implement difficult reforms. In order to
persuade the Alliance that BiH is ready for this next step,
you have to demonstrate to us that you are willing and able
to engage in this process.

-- Currently the Alliance, as a whole, is not convinced.
Nationalistic rhetoric, divisive actions and stalling on
decisions undercut your argument that BiH is seriously ready
to engage with us and assume the responsibilities associated
with MAP.


USNATO 00000088 002.2 OF 002


-- BiH stands at a critical juncture -- there is still time
to take the necessary decisions and move your reform process
forward. Foreign Ministers will be looking for concrete
signs of your commitment to implementing reform when they
evaluate BiH's MAP application in April.

6. (U) REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE - Post requests cabled guidance
by Tuesday, March 2, on what messages to deliver to the
visiting BiH dignitaries during the Council meeting on March
3. Ambassador Daalder will additionally use this guidance as
the basis of his statements when the NAC visits Sarajevo on
March 23.
HEFFERN

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