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Cablegate: Macedonia: Gom Positively Considers Additional

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSQ #0812 2820854
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090854Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY SKOPJE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6594
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 0055
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0033
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUESEN/SKOPJE BETA
RUEHSQ/USDAO SKOPJE MK
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

UNCLAS SKOPJE 000812

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/SCE, NEA/I;
SECDEF FOR OSD DASD CAGAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IZ MASS MK PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: MACEDONIA: GOM POSITIVELY CONSIDERS ADDITIONAL
TROOPS FOR IRAQ


1. (SBU) Following up on DASD Cagan's September 28 meetings
in Skopje with MOD Elenovski and CHOD Stojanovski to request
an additional Macedonian platoon for operations in Iraq
(septel), P/E Chief conveyed Cagan's points in separate
meetings with MFA State Counselor for Bilateral Relations
with Non-European Countries Vasko Grkov; the Prime Minister's
Chief of Staff, Martin Protoger; the Chairs of the
Parliamentary Committees for Foreign Affairs (Flora Kadriu)
and Defense (Vlatko Gjorcev); and with President
Crvenkovski's Chief of Cabinet Natasa Savova, and Foreign
Policy Adviser, Stevo Pendarovski.

2. (SBU) The MFA's Grkov said he expected full GOM support
for the request, which would double Macedonia's contributions
in Iraq. However, he cautioned that the cost of enhanced
salaries for the additional platoon would probably have to be
included in next year's budget, meaning the troops likely
would not deploy until January 2008. Foreign Affairs
Committee Chair Kadriu said she did not expect any
controversy over the request for additional troops, pointing
out that the Macedonian parliament had unanimously approved
all past deployments, whether to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Defense Committee Chair Gjorcev was equally positive,
commenting that it would be useful for Macedonia to
demonstrate that, while other Iraq coalition partners might
be walking away from their commitments, Macedonia could be
counted on to step up to the plate and deliver when it
counted. President Crvenkovski's Chief of Cabinet said both
the President and Prime Minister Gruevski had discussed DASD
Cagan's request and were positively inclined to support it,
provided the MOD's and CHOD's assessment indicated the troops
could be deployed without undermining progress on Macedonia's
NATO-related defense reform process.

3. (SBU) The Defense Committee Chair later suggested to P/E
Chief that, once the GOM had made its decision to support the
request for the additional platoon, it would be useful for
State and DoD to jointly reach out to the media here to
explain the rationale for the request, since he only expected
potential opposition from that quarter. He suggested asking
State and DoD officials to take part in a DVC with post, at
the appropriate time, to fully brief the media on the details
of the additional deployment.
MILOVANOVIC

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