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Cablegate: Permanent Sava Commission has Croatian Support But

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 000847

SIPDIS


STATE PASS USAID/ANNE CONVERY
BELGRADE FOR MSALVETTI
BUDAPEST FOR KPOSNER-MULLEN
LJUBLJANA FOR SGONZALEZ
SARAJEVO FOR MBOYNTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID ECIN EWWT PREL HR
SUBJECT: PERMANENT SAVA COMMISSION HAS CROATIAN SUPPORT BUT
NEEDS CHAMPION

REF: STATE 90991

1. (U) THE FOLLOWING RESPONDS TO REFTEL QUESTIONS ON THE
STATUS OF THE SAVA RIVER BASIN INITIATIVE AND THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT COMMISSION IN ZAGREB.

SUMMARY
-------

2. ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION WITH A SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB HAS BROAD SUPPORT
AT THE WORKING LEVEL. SHIFTING PERSONNEL IN THE SENIOR
LEVELS OF THE GOC, COMBINED WITH A COMPLICATED DISTRIBUTION
OF RESPONSIBILITIES AMONG THREE MINISTRIES, HAVE PRECLUDED
A STRONG STATEMENT OF POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR THE INITIATIVE
SINCE THE HDZ-LED GOVERNMENT CAME TO POWER EARLIER THIS
YEAR. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS ITS SUPPORT FOR THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB, THE PERMANENT COMMISSION

SIPDIS
HAS EFFECTIVELY BEEN PUT ON HOLD PENDING RATIFICATION OF
THE INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BY SERBIA AND
MONTENEGRO. END SUMMARY.

PERMANENT SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB IS "ALREADY SETTLED"...
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. IN RESPONSE TO REFTEL, WE SPOKE WITH KARMEN CERAR,
SENIOR ADVISOR IN THE DIRECTORATE OF WATER MANAGEMENT,
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND WATER MANAGEMENT;
NEVEN GRUBISIC, ADVISOR IN THE MINISTRY OF MARITIME
AFFAIRS, TOURISM, TRANSPORT, AND DEVELOPMENT; SPOMENKA CEK,
NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR THE STABILITY PACT IN THE MINISTRY
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; AND MELITA ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC, LEGAL
ADVISOR IN THE MFA, TO ASSESS PROGRESS TOWARDS ESTABLISHING
A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION. ALL FOUR
CONFIRMED CROATIA'S RESOLVE TO WORK WITH NEIGHBORING
RIPARIAN STATES TO ESTABLISH A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION.

4. CERAR CONFIRMED GOC SUPPORT FOR ZAGREB AS THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION, ADDING THAT A PHYSICAL LOCATION ON

SIPDIS
PANTOVCAK STREET HAS ALREADY BEEN SELECTED; HOWEVER, SHE
CAUTIONED THAT CROATIAN ENTHUSIASM FOR THE PERMANENT
COMMISSION COULD NOT PROCEED WITHOUT SAM RATIFICATION OF
THE IFA. MOREOVER, CERAR NOTED THAT A DIPLOMATIC NOTE
CONFIRMING CROATIA'S SUPPORT WAS UNNECESSARY, AS THE GOC'S
RATIFICATION OF THE IFA FULLY DEMONSTRATED THE NECESSARY
POLITICAL WILL TO PROCEED. GRUBISIC SAID THAT THE QUESTION
OF THE SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION WAS ABOVE ALL LEGAL AND THAT
THE MFA WAS FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO
THE PERMANENT COMMISSION'S STATUS. CEK AFFIRMED MFA'S
READINESS TO PROCEED WITH THE PERMANENT COMMISSION AND EVEN
ANNOUNCED THAT OFFICE SPACE FOR TEN HAD BEEN PREPARED.
ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC AT THE MFA CONFIRMED THAT THE ISSUE OF THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB WAS "ALREADY SETTLED."

SIPDIS

...LESS SO THE DIVISION OF LABOR
--------------------------------

4. AUTHORITY FOR OVERSEEING THE SAVA RIVER BASIN
INITIATIVE IS CURRENTLY DIVIDED AMONG THE MINISTRIES OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AGRICULTURE AND MARITIME AFFAIRS. MFA HAS
THUS FAR PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON THE LEGAL ASPECT, INCLUDING
THE DRAFTING OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT. MFA WILL RETAIN
LEAD AUTHORITY ON THE INITIATIVE UNTIL SAM RATIFICATION IS
COMPLETED. WORKING LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY IS DIVIDED BY AREA
OF TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT, FLOOD
CONTROL, AND WATER QUALITY ARE HANDLED THROUGH THE
DIRECTORATE FOR WATER MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE WHILE NAVIGATION AND TRANSPORTATION ISSUES ARE
HANDLED THROUGH THE MARITIME MINISTRY. A/M FOR
TRANSPORTATION ANDRIJA BEDNJICKI (MARITIME MINISTRY) AND
DEPUTY COMMISSION MEMBER ZELJKO OSTOJIC (AGRICULTURE
MINISTRY) HAVE BEEN THE HIGHEST-LEVEL GOC REPRESENTATIVES
ON THE INTERIM COMMISSION AND ARE LIKELY TO REPRESENT THE
GOC TO THE PERMANENT COMMISSION UPON ITS ESTABLISHMENT.
WHILE BOTH CERAR AND GRUBISIC EXPRESSED THEIR MINISTRIES'
ENTHUSIASM, GRUBISIC SAID THE MARITIME MINISTRY FELT "A
LITTLE MARGINALIZED" BY THE "POLITICIANS" IN THE MFA WHO
SEEMED MORE EAGER TO FOCUS ON THE POLITICALLY PROMINENT
FLOODING PROBLEM RATHER THAN MORE TECHNICAL TRANSPORTATION
PROJECTS.

ZAGREB 00000847 001.2 OF 002

IATIVE AND THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT COMMISSION IN ZAGREB.

SUMMARY
-------

2. ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION WITH A SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB HAS BROAD SUPPORT
AT THE WORKING LEVEL. SHIFTING PERSONNEL IN THE SENIOR
LEVELS OF THE GOC, COMBINED WITH A COMPLICATED DISTRIBUTION
OF RESPONSIBILITIES AMONG THREE MINISTRIES, HAVE PRECLUDED
A STRONG STATEMENT OF POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR THE INITIATIVE
SINCE THE HDZ-LED GOVERNMENT CAME TO POWER EARLIER THIS
YEAR. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS ITS SUPPORT FOR THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB, THE PERMANENT COMMISSION
HAS EFFECTIVELY BEEN PUT ON HOLD PENDING RATIFICATION OF
THE INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BY SERBIA AND
MONTENEGRO. END SUMMARY.

PERMANENT SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB IS "ALREADY SETTLED"...
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. IN RESPONSE TO REFTEL, WE SPOKE WITH KARMEN CERAR,
SENIOR ADVISOR IN THE DIRECTORATE OF WATER MANAGEMENT,
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND WATER MANAGEMENT;
NEVEN GRUBISIC, ADVISOR IN THE MINISTRY OF MARITIME
AFFAIRS, TOURISM, TRANSPORT, AND DEVELOPMENT; SPOMENKA CEK,
NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR THE STABILITY PACT IN THE MINISTRY
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; AND MELITA ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC, LEGAL
ADVISOR IN THE MFA, TO ASSESS PROGRESS TOWARDS ESTABLISHING
A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION. ALL FOUR
CONFIRMED CROATIA'S RESOLVE TO WORK WITH NEIGHBORING
RIPARIAN STATES TO ESTABLISH A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION.

4. CERAR CONFIRMED GOC SUPPORT FOR ZAGREB AS THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION, ADDING THAT A PHYSICAL LOCATION ON
PANTOVCAK STREET HAS ALREADY BEEN SELECTED; HOWEVER, SHE
CAUTIONED THAT CROATIAN ENTHUSIASM FOR THE PERMANENT
COMMISSION COULD NOT PROCEED WITHOUT SAM RATIFICATION OF
THE IFA. MOREOVER, CERAR NOTED THAT A DIPLOMATIC NOTE
CONFIRMING CROATIA'S SUPPORT WAS UNNECESSARY, AS THE GOC'S
RATIFICATION OF THE IFA FULLY DEMONSTRATED THE NECESSARY
POLITICAL WILL TO PROCEED. GRUBISIC SAID THAT THE QUESTION
OF THE SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION WAS ABOVE ALL LEGAL AND THAT
THE MFA WAS FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO
THE PERMANENT COMMISSION'S STATUS. CEK AFFIRMED MFA'S
READINESS TO PROCEED WITH THE PERMANENT COMMISSION AND EVEN
ANNOUNCED THAT OFFICE SPACE FOR TEN HAD BEEN PREPARED.
ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC AT THE MFA CONFIRMED THAT THE ISSUE OF THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB WAS "ALREADY SETTLED."

...LESS SO THE DIVISION OF LABOR
--------------------------------

4. AUTHORITY FOR OVERSEEING THE SAVA RIVER BASIN
INITIATIVE IS CURRENTLY DIVIDED AMONG THE MINISTRIES OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AGRICULTURE AND MARITIME AFFAIRS. MFA HAS
THUS FAR PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON THE LEGAL ASPECT, INCLUDING
THE DRAFTING OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT. MFA WILL RETAIN
LEAD AUTHORITY ON THE INITIATIVE UNTIL SAM RATIFICATION IS
COMPLETED. WORKING LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY IS DIVIDED BY AREA
OF TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT, FLOOD
CONTROL, AND WATER QUALITY ARE HANDLED THROUGH THE
DIRECTORATE FOR WATER MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE WHILE NAVIGATION AND TRANSPORTATION ISSUES ARE
HANDLED THROUGH THE MARITIME MINISTRY. A/M FOR
TRANSPORTATION ANDRIJA BEDNJICKI (MARITIME MINISTRY) AND
DEPUTY COMMISSION MEMBER ZELJKO OSTOJIC (AGRICULTURE
MINISTRY) HAVE BEEN THE HIGHEST-LEVEL GOC REPRESENTATIVES
ON THE INTERIM COMMISSION AND ARE LIKELY TO REPRESENT THE
GOC TO THE PERMANENT COMMISSION UPON ITS ESTABLISHMENT.
WHILE BOTH CERAR AND GRUBISIC EXPRESSED THEIR MINISTRIES'
ENTHUSIASM, GRUBISIC SAID THE MARITIME MINISTRY FELT "A
LITTLE MARGINALIZED" BY THE "POLITICIANS" IN THE MFA WHO
SEEMED MORE EAGER TO FOCUS ON THE POLITICALLY PROMINENT
FLOODING PROBLEM RATHER THAN MORE TECHNICAL TRANSPORTATION
PROJECTS.

ZAGREB 00000847 001.3 OF 002

IATIVE AND THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT COMMISSION IN ZAGREB.

SUMMARY
-------

2. ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION WITH A SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB HAS BROAD SUPPORT
AT THE WORKING LEVEL. SHIFTING PERSONNEL IN THE SENIOR
LEVELS OF THE GOC, COMBINED WITH A COMPLICATED DISTRIBUTION
OF RESPONSIBILITIES AMONG THREE MINISTRIES, HAVE PRECLUDED
A STRONG STATEMENT OF POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR THE INITIATIVE
SINCE THE HDZ-LED GOVERNMENT CAME TO POWER EARLIER THIS
YEAR. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS ITS SUPPORT FOR THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB, THE PERMANENT COMMISSION
HAS EFFECTIVELY BEEN PUT ON HOLD PENDING RATIFICATION OF
THE INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BY SERBIA AND
MONTENEGRO. END SUMMARY.

PERMANENT SECRETARIAT IN ZAGREB IS "ALREADY SETTLED"...
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. IN RESPONSE TO REFTEL, WE SPOKE WITH KARMEN CERAR,
SENIOR ADVISOR IN THE DIRECTORATE OF WATER MANAGEMENT,
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND WATER MANAGEMENT;
NEVEN GRUBISIC, ADVISOR IN THE MINISTRY OF MARITIME
AFFAIRS, TOURISM, TRANSPORT, AND DEVELOPMENT; SPOMENKA CEK,
NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR THE STABILITY PACT IN THE MINISTRY
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; AND MELITA ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC, LEGAL
ADVISOR IN THE MFA, TO ASSESS PROGRESS TOWARDS ESTABLISHING
A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION. ALL FOUR
CONFIRMED CROATIA'S RESOLVE TO WORK WITH NEIGHBORING
RIPARIAN STATES TO ESTABLISH A PERMANENT SAVA RIVER BASIN
COMMISSION.

4. CERAR CONFIRMED GOC SUPPORT FOR ZAGREB AS THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION, ADDING THAT A PHYSICAL LOCATION ON
PANTOVCAK STREET HAS ALREADY BEEN SELECTED; HOWEVER, SHE
CAUTIONED THAT CROATIAN ENTHUSIASM FOR THE PERMANENT
COMMISSION COULD NOT PROCEED WITHOUT SAM RATIFICATION OF
THE IFA. MOREOVER, CERAR NOTED THAT A DIPLOMATIC NOTE
CONFIRMING CROATIA'S SUPPORT WAS UNNECESSARY, AS THE GOC'S
RATIFICATION OF THE IFA FULLY DEMONSTRATED THE NECESSARY
POLITICAL WILL TO PROCEED. GRUBISIC SAID THAT THE QUESTION
OF THE SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION WAS ABOVE ALL LEGAL AND THAT
THE MFA WAS FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO
THE PERMANENT COMMISSION'S STATUS. CEK AFFIRMED MFA'S
READINESS TO PROCEED WITH THE PERMANENT COMMISSION AND EVEN
ANNOUNCED THAT OFFICE SPACE FOR TEN HAD BEEN PREPARED.
ZIZANOVIC-DAKIC AT THE MFA CONFIRMED THAT THE ISSUE OF THE
SECRETARIAT'S LOCATION IN ZAGREB WAS "ALREADY SETTLED."

...LESS SO THE DIVISION OF LABOR
--------------------------------

4. AUTHORITY FOR OVERSEEING THE SAVA RIVER BASIN
INITIATIVE IS CURRENTLY DIVIDED AMONG THE MINISTRIES OF
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AGRICULTURE AND MARITIME AFFAIRS. MFA HAS
THUS FAR PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON THE LEGAL ASPECT, INCLUDING
THE DRAFTING OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT. MFA WILL RETAIN
LEAD AUTHORITY ON THE INITIATIVE UNTIL SAM RATIFICATION IS
COMPLETED. WORKING LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY IS DIVIDED BY AREA
OF TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT, FLOOD
CONTROL, AND WATER QUALITY ARE HANDLED THROUGH THE
DIRECTORATE FOR WATER MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE WHILE NAVIGATION AND TRANSPORTATION ISSUES ARE
HANDLED THROUGH THE MARITIME MINISTRY. A/M FOR
TRANSPORTATION ANDRIJA BEDNJICKI (MARITIME MINISTRY) AND
DEPUTY COMMISSION MEMBER ZELJKO OSTOJIC (AGRICULTURE
MINISTRY) HAVE BEEN THE HIGHEST-LEVEL GOC REPRESENTATIVES
ON THE INTERIM COMMISSION AND ARE LIKELY TO REPRESENT THE
GOC TO THE PERMANENT COMMISSION UPON ITS ESTABLISHMENT.
WHILE BOTH CERAR AND GRUBISIC EXPRESSED THEIR MINISTRIES'
ENTHUSIASM, GRUBISIC SAID THE MARITIME MINISTRY FELT "A
LITTLE MARGINALIZED" BY THE "POLITICIANS" IN THE MFA WHO
SEEMED MORE EAGER TO FOCUS ON THE POLITICALLY PROMINENT
FLOODING PROBLEM RATHER THAN MORE TECHNICAL TRANSPORTATION
PROJECTS.

ZAGREB 00000847 002.1 OF 002

ECRETARIAT LOCATED IN ZAGREB IS STRONG
AT THE WORKING LEVEL, CHANGES IN TOP-LEVEL PERSONNEL AND
MINISTRY RESTRUCTURING HAS LEFT THE INITIATIVE IN THE HANDS
OF TECHNOCRATS WITHOUT A CLEAR POLITICAL CHAMPION. THOUGH
THE MFA STRESSED THAT THE PROJECT BELONGED IN THE HANDS OF
EXPERTS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS, IT'S
UNCLEAR TO WHAT EXTENT BEDNJICKI AND OSTOJIC WILL BE ABLE
TO COMMIT GOC RESOURCES WITHOUT STRONG POLITICAL SUPPORT.
WHILE SAM'S DELAY IN RATIFYING THE IFA HAS CERTAINLY
CONTRIBUTED TO SLOW PROGRESS, A LACK OF CONTINUITY (BOTH IN
PERSONNEL AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL AND IN COMPETENCES AMONG
THE INVOLVED MINISTRIES) HAS PRECIPITATED SOME CONFUSION
AND DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY DOWN THE RANKS.

6. SINCE THE SIGNING OF THE LETTER OF INTENT BY THE THEN
MARITIME MINISTER IN NOVEMBER 2001, THE GOVERNMENT HAS
CHANGED AND THE MINISTRY HAS BEEN BROADENED TO INCLUDE
TOURISM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT. THE CURRENT MINISTER,
BOZIDAR KALMETA, HAS FOCUSED LATELY MORE ON THESE
PORTFOLIOS THAN STRICTLY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. WHILE THE
HARD-CHARGING KALMETA IS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE TO INVIGORATE
THE INITIATIVE WITH HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL SUPPORT, WORKING
LEVEL CONTACTS QUESTIONED EVEN HIS AWARENESS OF IT. AS
LONG AS RATIFICATION REMAINS PENDING, HIGHER LEVELS IN THE
MFA AND MARITIME MINISTRY CAN SAFELY ALLOW THE INITIATIVE
TO PROCEED AT THE WORKING LEVEL. ONCE RATIFICATION HAS
BEEN COMPLETED, WE WILL MONITOR PROGRESS TO DETERMINE IF

ZAGREB 00000847 002.2 OF 002

ECRETARIAT LOCATED IN ZAGREB IS STRONG
AT THE WORKING LEVEL, CHANGES IN TOP-LEVEL PERSONNEL AND
MINISTRY RESTRUCTURING HAS LEFT THE INITIATIVE IN THE HANDS
OF TECHNOCRATS WITHOUT A CLEAR POLITICAL CHAMPION. THOUGH
THE MFA STRESSED THAT THE PROJECT BELONGED IN THE HANDS OF
EXPERTS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS, IT'S
UNCLEAR TO WHAT EXTENT BEDNJICKI AND OSTOJIC WILL BE ABLE
TO COMMIT GOC RESOURCES WITHOUT STRONG POLITICAL SUPPORT.
WHILE SAM'S DELAY IN RATIFYING THE IFA HAS CERTAINLY
CONTRIBUTED TO SLOW PROGRESS, A LACK OF CONTINUITY (BOTH IN
PERSONNEL AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL AND IN COMPETENCES AMONG
THE INVOLVED MINISTRIES) HAS PRECIPITATED SOME CONFUSION
AND DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY DOWN THE RANKS.

6. SINCE THE SIGNING OF THE LETTER OF INTENT BY THE THEN
MARITIME MINISTER IN NOVEMBER 2001, THE GOVERNMENT HAS
CHANGED AND THE MINISTRY HAS BEEN BROADENED TO INCLUDE
TOURISM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT. THE CURRENT MINISTER,
BOZIDAR KALMETA, HAS FOCUSED LATELY MORE ON THESE
PORTFOLIOS THAN STRICTLY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. WHILE THE
HARD-CHARGING KALMETA IS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE TO INVIGORATE
THE INITIATIVE WITH HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL SUPPORT, WORKING
LEVEL CONTACTS QUESTIONED EVEN HIS AWARENESS OF IT. AS
LONG AS RATIFICATION REMAINS PENDING, HIGHER LEVELS IN THE
MFA AND MARITIME MINISTRY CAN SAFELY ALLOW THE INITIATIVE
TO PROCEED AT THE WORKING LEVEL. ONCE RATIFICATION HAS
BEEN COMPLETED, WE WILL MONITOR PROGRESS TO DETERMINE IF
SUFFICIENT ENERGY EXISTS TO PROCEED WITH THE INITIATIVE OR
IF INTERVENTION AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL IS WARRANTED.
FRANK

ZAGREB 00000847 002.3 OF 002

ECRETARIAT LOCATED IN ZAGREB IS STRONG
AT THE WORKING LEVEL, CHANGES IN TOP-LEVEL PERSONNEL AND
MINISTRY RESTRUCTURING HAS LEFT THE INITIATIVE IN THE HANDS
OF TECHNOCRATS WITHOUT A CLEAR POLITICAL CHAMPION. THOUGH
THE MFA STRESSED THAT THE PROJECT BELONGED IN THE HANDS OF
EXPERTS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS, IT'S
UNCLEAR TO WHAT EXTENT BEDNJICKI AND OSTOJIC WILL BE ABLE
TO COMMIT GOC RESOURCES WITHOUT STRONG POLITICAL SUPPORT.
WHILE SAM'S DELAY IN RATIFYING THE IFA HAS CERTAINLY
CONTRIBUTED TO SLOW PROGRESS, A LACK OF CONTINUITY (BOTH IN
PERSONNEL AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL AND IN COMPETENCES AMONG
THE INVOLVED MINISTRIES) HAS PRECIPITATED SOME CONFUSION
AND DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY DOWN THE RANKS.

6. SINCE THE SIGNING OF THE LETTER OF INTENT BY THE THEN
MARITIME MINISTER IN NOVEMBER 2001, THE GOVERNMENT HAS
CHANGED AND THE MINISTRY HAS BEEN BROADENED TO INCLUDE
TOURISM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT. THE CURRENT MINISTER,
BOZIDAR KALMETA, HAS FOCUSED LATELY MORE ON THESE
PORTFOLIOS THAN STRICTLY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. WHILE THE
HARD-CHARGING KALMETA IS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE TO INVIGORATE
THE INITIATIVE WITH HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL SUPPORT, WORKING
LEVEL CONTACTS QUESTIONED EVEN HIS AWARENESS OF IT. AS
LONG AS RATIFICATION REMAINS PENDING, HIGHER LEVELS IN THE
MFA AND MARITIME MINISTRY CAN SAFELY ALLOW THE INITIATIVE
TO PROCEED AT THE WORKING LEVEL. ONCE RATIFICATION HAS
BEEN COMPLETED, WE WILL MONITOR PROGRESS TO DETERMINE IF
SUFFICIENT ENERGY EXISTS TO PROCEED WITH THE INITIATIVE OR
IF INTERVENTION AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL IS WARRANTED.
FRANK

NNNN

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