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Cablegate: Ambassador's Call On Minister for Refugee Issues

VZCZCXRO4390
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHVB #1115 2581110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151110Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6656
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ZAGREB 001115

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR PRM ROLSON, EUR/SCE RBALIAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PGOV HR REFUGEES
SUBJECT: Ambassador's Call on Minister for Refugee Issues

Ref: Zagreb 1055

Sensitive but Unclassified; please handle accordingly.

1. (SBU) Ambassador paid his initial courtesy call on
Bozidar Kalmeta, Minister for Sea, Transport, Tourism and
Development on September 19.

2. (SBU) Ambassador raised the GOC's newly-approved housing
program for former tenancy rights holders outside war-
affected areas (reftel). At the meeting, Ambassador
congratulated Kalmeta on adoption of the program, which
provides for construction of apartments in major cities. He
requested clarification of the purchase and lease options,
as the written government decision and subsequent GOC
statements were vague on whether both options still existed.
Kalmeta indicated that former tenancy rights holders would
only be allowed to lease these apartments in the future, not
to purchase. Ambassador urged Kalmeta and the GOC to
consider the purchase option, as the lack of clarification
has raised the concern of the international community. This
is a difficult decision, Ambassador acknowledged, with both
humanitarian and political implications.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Kalmeta did not appear fully briefed on
the housing program prior to the meeting. Ambassador will
raise this issue with Kalmeta once again during the
September refugee meeting which includes the OSCE, UNHCR,
and EU principals. Also, MFA State Secretary Hido Biscevic
is preparing a written interpretation of the GOC decision in
order to clarify this point in particular. Post will keep
Department informed. END COMMENT.
BRADTKE

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