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Cablegate: Background Paper for Presidential Visit: Balkans

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 003119

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE), PD/ECA (SEXTON)

EMBASSY VATICAN MESSAGE NO. 87/001

E.O. 12958: DECL 06/11/06
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV OPRC VT

SUBJECT: BACKGROUND PAPER FOR PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: BALKANS

CLASSIFIED BY CDA JOSEPH MERANTE, REASONS E.O. 12958 1.5
(B), (D).


1. (C) FOLLOWS IS AN EMBASSY DRAFT BACKGROUND PAPER FOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 VATICA 03119 111605Z
POSSIBLE VISIT BY PRESIDENT BUSH TO THE VATICAN.


2. (U) BEGIN TEXT. THE VATICAN IS VIGOROUS AND ACTIVE
IN THE GLOBAL PURSUIT OF PEACE, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN
DEVELOPMENT, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. WHILE THE
VATICAN ASSERTS PUBLICLY THAT A FUNDAMENTAL TENET OF ITS FOREIGN POLICY IS DEFENSE OF THE HUMAN PERSON (LARGELY CONGRUENT WITH THE US SUPPORT FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION, DEMOCRATIZATION, AND HUMAN RIGHTS), IN REALITY IT FREQUENTLY ACTS JUST LIKE A NATION-STATE IN PURSUING ITS OWN PERCEIVED SELF-INTEREST. THE VATICAN IS THUS ACTIVE ACROSS AN OUTSIZED NUMBER OF CRISIS AREAS IN EFFORTS TO RESOLVE CONFLICT AND PROMOTE RECONCILIATION AND DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION, AND TO PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF CATHOLICS. IN THE BALKANS, THE VATICAN SEEKS TO PROMOTE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS, TO PROTECT ""CATHOLIC"" PEOPLE AND INTERESTS, AND TO REINFORCE ITS OUTREACH TO THE ORTHODOX WORLD. A KEY GOAL OF POPE
JOHN PAUL II IS TO HEAL THE THOUSAND-YEAR SCHISM BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND ORTHODOX, IN ORDER TO CREATE A CONTINENT, FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE URALS, AT PEACE WITH ITSELF AND REINFORCED WITH THE UNIFIED SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY.


3. (SBU) THE USG HAS ENGAGED THE VATICAN TO PROMOTE
CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN THE BALKANS. DURING THE NATO AIR CAMPAIGN IN KOSOVO, WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE VATICAN TO HEAD OFF ITS CRITICISM OF THE MILITARY ACTION (A PAPAL DENUNCIATION OF THE CAMPAIGN AS AN ""UNJUST WAR"" WOULD HAVE MADE ALLIANCE SOLIDARITY THAT MUCH HARDER TO SUSTAIN). MORE RECENTLY, WE HAVE SOUGHT TO ENCOURAGE THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 VATICA 03119 111605Z
VATICAN TO EXERCISE A MODERATING INFLUENCE ON CROAT-
NATIONALIST CLERGY IN HERZEGOVINA. WE HAVE ALSO PROMOTED INTER-COMMUNAL RECONCILIATION BY DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING PROJECTS IN KOSOVO AND BOSNIA IN CONJUNCTION WITH VATICAN-AFFILIATED NGO, THE SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY. WITH THE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF EMBASSY VATICAN, SANT'EGIDIO HOSTED A SUCCESSFUL INTER-RELIGIOUS CONFERENCE WITH THE KEY BOSNIAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS JUNE 8,
2001. THESE PROJECTS HAVE BEEN FUNDED BY THE STATE
DEPARTMENT'S PD/ECA OFFICE.
MERANTE

CONFIDENTIAL

>

2001VATICA03119 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

"

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