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Cablegate: Croatia: "Expect Progress Soon" On Bilat

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

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000562

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR L/PM (MITCHELL) AND EUR/RPM (SEIDENSTRUCKER)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL KTIA HR NATO
SUBJECT: CROATIA: "EXPECT PROGRESS SOON" ON BILAT
SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENT TO PFP SOFA

REF: STATE 70858

1. (SBU) AS INSTRUCTED BY REFTEL, ON MARCH 31 AND APRIL 1,
WE AGAIN PRESSED RELEVANT MFA AND MOD OFFICIALS FOR A
RESPONSE TO OUR REQUEST TO NEGOTIATE A BILATERAL SUPPLEMENTAL
AGREEMENT TO THE PFP SOFA.

2. (SBU) ASSISTANT FOREIGN MINISTER PJER SIMUNOVIC ASSERTED
THAT THE SANADER GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN NEGOTIATION OF AN
AGREEMENT A HIGH PRIORITY, BUT ADMITTED THAT THE GOC'S ANSWER
IS OVERDUE.

3. (SBU) MFA EXPERTS ADMITTED THAT THE DRAFT AGREEMENT
LANGUISHED DURING THE CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT AND THAT THE
POLITICALLY SENSITIVE LANGUAGE IN ARTICLE V OF THE DRAFT TEXT
(SIMILAR TO AN "ARTICLE 98" AGREEMENT) HAS MADE IT A HOT
POTATO. THE GOC HAS NOT EVEN AGREED WHETHER THE MFA OR THE
MOD WILL HAVE THE LEAD IN NEGOTIATIONS. THANKS TO OUR
REPEATED ENGAGEMENT, THE GOC HAS FORMED AN INTERAGENCY
WORKING GROUP AND HAS SET A TIMETABLE FOR WORKING ON THE
AGREEMENT. THE WORKING GROUP WILL MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME ON
APRIL 5. BY THE END OF APRIL, THE GOC EXPECTS TO PRESENT TO
THE EMBASSY ITS AREAS OF CONCERN. DURING UPCOMING BILATERAL
DEFENSE CONSULTATIONS (NOW SLATED FOR WASHINGTON ON MAY 11),
THE GOC WOULD BE PREPARED TO HAVE A FIRST FORMAL "DISCUSSION"
ON THE AGREEMENT, FOLLOWED SHORTLY THEREAFTER BY A FINAL
NEGOTIATING SESSION.
FRANK



NNNN

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