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Cablegate: "Croatia Summit 2006" Reaffirms Regional

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RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHVB #0837 1931353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121353Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6393
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000837

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL HR REGIONAL ISSUES
SUBJECT: "CROATIA SUMMIT 2006" REAFFIRMS REGIONAL
COMMITMENT TO EUROATLANTIC INTEGRATION AND SHARED
VALUES

1. SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Prime Ministers of Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania and Albania and the
President of Georgia, plus representatives of NATO, the
EU, the USG and leaders of international organizations
attended the Croatia Summit 2006, devoted to
"Completing Europe's Southern Dimension". PM Sanader
and President Mesic hosted the regional gathering in
historic Dubrovnik, where many speakers called on the
EU and NATO to maintain a credible open-door policy as
the only path to regional stability and security. NATO
and EU officials called on the region to move more
decisively in reforms. Southeast European leaders
adopted a joint declaration highlighting the strong
commitment of Southeast European countries to
membership of the European Union and NATO. The GOC
achieved its objectives with the summit, keeping the
spotlight on regional aspirations and showcasing
Croatia as a well-qualified candidate. The text of the
declaration can be found at
http://www.croatiasummit2006.com/index.aspx?i d=30. END
SUMMARY AND COMMENT

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2. Participants maintained that the war, instability
and extremism which characterized so much of the 1990s
in southeastern Europe are things of the past. Most
speakers emphasized that the future of the region is in
the EU and NATO. PM Sanader noted "Croatia is
completely aware that peace and security cannot be
achieved through isolation. NATO, which has been
recognized as the most successful alliance in history,
should not be seen exclusively as a military alliance.
[It] has been established and acts upon basic values -
peace, freedom, democracy and free market economy."
President Mesic strongly endorsed European values,
saying that South-Eastern Europe had turned to the past
too often and had repeated the same mistakes too many
times. "Today, however, we are headed in the right
direction, both politically and economically."
Parliament Speaker Seks took a regional approach,
asserting "Croatia wants to have a positive influence
on the political and economic situation through the
improvement of cross-border and regional cooperation.
Full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is of
vital importance for Southeast Europe." All three
underlined that Croatia's accession to the EU and NATO
was a national priority, and pointed out that Croatia,
having made significant progress in Euro-Atlantic
integration already, was willing to help neighboring
countries which are at different degrees of
association.

3. Officials from NATO, the EU and member states
applauded the progress made to date, but told the
regional leaders to be more decisive in reforms and
integration, noting that mere geographic location is no
longer sufficient to join the EU. Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly President Rene van der Linden,
warning that EU membership was not "automatic", called
on the regional leaders to "Carry out your tasks first,
and then you will receive our assistance."

Bradtke

© Scoop Media

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