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Cablegate: Goc Moving Forward with Demining Prevlaka

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000407

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON HR PBTS PGOV PREF HR PBTS PGOV PREF PREL PRELECON
SUBJECT: GOC MOVING FORWARD WITH DEMINING PREVLAKA
PENINSULA, MONTENEGRIN BORDER AREAS


SUMMARY
-------

1. WHILE THE GOC WILL COVER THE FULL COST OF DEMINING THE
PREVLAKA PENINSULA, IT IS SEEKING INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE IN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00407 01 OF 02 241640Z
DEMINING AREAS ON BOTH SIDES OF ITS BORDER WITH MONTENEGRO.
CROATIAN AUTHORITIES WANT TO BE ABLE TO TOUT PREVLAKA AS A
MAJOR TOURIST ATTACTION THIS SUMMER, AND SEE DEMINING AS A
KEY PART OF THIS EFFORT. END SUMMARY.

GOC HAS BIG PLANS FOR PREVLAKA
------------------------------

2. AT THE INVITATION OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE CROATIAN MINE
ACTION CENTER (CROMAC), OTO JUNGWIRTH, WE TRAVELED ON
FEBRUARY 13 TO PREVLAKA AND OTHER AREAS ALONG THE CROATIAN
BORDER WITH MONTENEGRO TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANING OF THE
SCOPE OF THE MINE PROBLEM IN THE AREA. UNTIL RECENTLY, THE
PENINSULA HAD BEEN OFF LIMITS, PART OF AN EXCLUSION ZONE OF
THE UN OBSERVER MISSION (UNMOP), WHICH SHUT DOWN OPERATIONS
IN DECEMBER. CROATIAN AND MONTENEGRIN AUTHORITIES DESCRIBED
TO US EXTENSIVE COOPERATION THEY HAVE HAD ON A NUMBER OF
ISSUES THEY BOTH FACE IN DEVELOPING THE REGION POST UNMOP.

3. BEFORE TRAVELING TO PREVLAKA, WE MET WITH HDZ MEMBER AND
COUNTY PREFECT OF DUBROVNIK, IVAN SPRLJE, WHO HAS POLITICAL
AUTHORITY OVER PREVLAKA. SPRLJE TOLD US THAT PLANS WERE
ALREADY UNDERWAY TO ESTABLISH PREVLAKA AS A MAJOR TOURIST
ATTRACTION. HE SAID THAT ONE ASPECT OF THE PLAN IS TO
CONVERT A HUGE PORTION OF THE PENISULA INTO A CAMP AREA FOR
TOURISTS. IN ADDITION, THE GOC WILL BUILD AN INTERNATIONAL
STUDENT CENTER ON PREVLAKA, WHICH WOULD BE THE LARGEST IN THE
REGION. ALL OF THE FACILITIES WILL BE FOR PUBLIC USE AND
WOULD BE OPEN YEAR ROUND. SINCE IT IS A STATE PROJECT, MUCH
OF THE FUNDING FOR DEMINING AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION WILL COME
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00407 01 OF 02 241640Z
FROM THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. THE GOC HAS ALREADY ALLOCATED
OVER $2 MILLION FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS AND WORK HAS ALREADY
BEGUN TO ENHANCE ROADS AND WATER SUPPLY -- A LONGSTANDING
CONSTRAINT -- TO THE PENINSULA.

4. SPRLJE SAID THE NUMBER OF MONTENEGRIN TOURISTS TO
DUBROVNIK WAS UP CONSIDERABLY SINCE UNMOP SHUT DOWN. HIS
ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO INCREASE THE POPULATION IN THE AREAS NEAR
THE BORDER WITH MONTENEGRO. HE SPECULATED THAT MORE PEOPLE
WOULD LIKE TO MOVE TO THOSE AREAS ONCE GOOD RELATIONS HAVE
BEEN ESTABLISHED AMONG THE COMMUNITIES STRADDLING THE BORDER
AND THE LANDMINES HAVE BEEN REMOVED. CURRENTLY, NO ONE WAS
LIVING ON PREVLAKA OR IN THE AREAS NEAR THE BORDER. ONE MINE
INCIDENT ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BORDER COULD CAUSE RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES TO NOSE DIVE. SPRLJE VOICED HIS
APPRECIATION FOR U.S. INTEREST IN THE REGION AND POSSIBLE
WILLINGNESS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO DEMINING EFFORTS.

EYEING THE TOURIST SEASON
-------------------------

5. ACCESS TO PREVLAKA IS RESTRICTED BY THE CROATIAN POLICE,
PER AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE TWO SIDES WHEN UNMOP'S CLOSURE
WAS BEING DISCUSSED. DEMINING EFFORTS, HOWEVER, ARE ALREADY
UNDERWAY. CROMAC OFFICIALS TOLD US THAT THE PENINSULA
CONSISTED OF ALMOST ONE MILLION SQUARE METERS OF LAND, ALL OF
WHICH HAD TO BE EXAMINED FOR MINES. SO FAR, ONE-THIRD OF THE
LAND HAD BEEN CLEARED. THEY SPECULATED THAT THE REMAINING
AREAS WILL BE COMPLETED BY JUNE. THE GOC WANTED TO SPEED UP
THE INTEGRATION OF THE PENINSULA AS PART OF CROATIAN
TERRITORY AND TO SHOW THAT THERE WAS STABILITY ON ITS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00407 01 OF 02 241640Z
SOUTHERN FLANK. ALSO, THE GOC IS SEEKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THE UPCOMING TOURIST SEASON BY HAVING PREVLAKA OPEN TO
TOURISTS IN JULY.

6. CROATIAN AND MONTENEGRIN AUTHORITIES ARE COOPERATING IN
IDENTIFICATION OF SUSPECTED MINE SITES NEAR THE BORDER. SO
FAR THEY HAVE IDENTIFIED THREE AREAS AND HAVE DEVELOPED JOINT
DEMINING PROJECTS FOR EACH OF THEM. ONE AREA IS ON THE
OUTSKIRTS OF PREVLAKA, WHILE THE OTHER TWO AREAS ARE ON THE
MONTENEGRIN SIDE OF THE BORDER. EACH PROJECT CONSISTS OF
ABOUT 100,000 SQUARE METERS. ONCE THESE PROJECTS HAVE BEEN
COMPLETED, AUTHORITIES TOLD US, THE ENTIRE AREA STRADDLING
THE BORDER WILL BE MINE FREE. THE CROATIAN AND MONTENEGRIN
GOVERNMENTS ARE SEEKING INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO HELP
FINANCE THE PROJECTS.

COMMENT
-------

7. RELATIONS BETWEEN MONTENEGRINS AND CROATIANS, BITTER FOR
OVER A DECADE, ARE ON THE MEND, AND COOPERATION ON DEMINING
HAS HELPED IMPROVE THE CLIMATE EVEN FURTHER. WHILE ON THIS
VISIT THERE WAS NO FORMAL PITCH FOR U.S. FINANCIAL SUPPORT,
WE WILL SEEK TO LEND OUR SUPPORT IN THIS EFFORT WHERE
POSSIBLE.

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1648

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00407 02 OF 02 241640Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 DODE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 EXME-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00
FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00
AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00
STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00
DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /007W
------------------3A9044 241640Z /38
O 241635Z FEB 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9527
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000407

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON HR PBTS PGOV PREF HR PBTS PGOV PREF PREL PRELECON
SUBJECT: GOC MOVING FORWARD WITH DEMINING PREVLAKA
PENINSULA, MONTENEGRIN BORDER AREAS

8. BELGRADE MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.

ROSSIN

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00407 02 OF 02 241640Z

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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