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Cablegate: Croatian Response On Bilateral Sofa Language

VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVB #1032 3271503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231503Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8359
INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3465
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 001032

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

FOR EUR/SCE, EUR/PPD AND EUR/RPM
OSD FOR WINTERNITZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO HR
SUBJECT: CROATIAN RESPONSE ON BILATERAL SOFA LANGUAGE

REF: A. STATE 142607 (OCT 11 2007)

B. EUR/SCE-WALKER EMAILS

1. (U) Croatian FM Grabar-Kitarovic on November 22 sent a
letter to the Ambassador stating her "belief" that the
language regarding "other appropriate US control" of US
personnel (proposed in reftel) and the subsequent
explanations (provided in ref emails), is "appropriate...thus
contributing to the finalization of the negotiating process"
of the SOFA. Full text of the letter is in para 3.

2. (SBU) The letter is not the final approval from the GoC on
the SOFA texts (English and Croatian). Acceptance by GoC
officials of the revised SOFA language and accompanying
explanations has come too late for the text to be put before
the full GoC's weekly meeting prior to this Sunday's (Nov.
25) elections. Our understanding is that this letter is the
MFA's effort to put the GoC's officials and lawyers who have
been negotiating the provisions on record as accepting the
language prior to this weekend's election. This in turn
should make it easier to secure adoption of the SOFA text
shortly after a new government is formed (which could take
several weeks after the election). If the HDZ is returned to
power, we believe the SOFA would be adopted without need of
any further discussion. If an SDP-led government is voted
into office, we will likely need to explain the SOFA text to
the new government, but this agreement to the text should
make success in that task easier.

3. (U) BEGIN TEXT OF LETTER (in the original English)

Zagreb, November 22, 2007

Dear Excellency,

I would like to thank you for your letter of November 13,
2007 including two explanatory documents attached thereto,
with regard to the provision of Article IX of the negotiating
text of the Status of Forces Agreement between the Republic
Croatia and United States of America.

I would like to convey to you my belief that the information
provided therein with regard to the various forms of pretrial
restraint to which a member of the U.S. military may be
subject to and "other appropriate US control" which could be
imposed upon civilian component personnel, as well as the
position of the US side on the possibilities that pertain in
case pretrial confinement of a member of the civilian
component is appropriate, would provide for a better
understanding, thus contributing to the finalization of the
negotiating process of the said Agreement.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest
consideration.

Sincerely,

/s/

Mr.sc. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

END TEXT OF LETTER
BRADTKE

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