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Cablegate: New Zealand and the Serbian Icj Resolution

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWL #0327 2800410
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 060410Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5460
INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0002
RUEHPS/AMEMBASSY PRISTINA PRIORITY 0004
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0107
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0140

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000327

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND EUR/SCE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/06/2018
TAGS: PREL KJUS NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND AND THE SERBIAN ICJ RESOLUTION

REF: STATE 105796

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, David J. Keegan, Reason: 1.4 (b) and
(d)

1. (C) In an October 6 meeting with Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Caroline Forsyth and
European Affairs Division policy officer Rob Little, Charge
d'Affaires Keegan summarized the points in reftel. He noted
that the USG position remains that referring the question of
Kosovo independence to the the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) is a distraction and that ultimately, the independence
declaration will be deemed legally sound. The USG will vote
no on the UNGA resolution, and he asked the MFAT officials if
the GNZ had taken a decision on this matter.

2. (C) Forsyth responded that the GNZ is still developing
its position but warned that a no vote would be highly
unlikely. She promised, however, that USG points would
receive full consideration. The GNZ supports the rule of
law, the machinery of the United Nations and the ICJ, and
does not necessarily view ICJ consideration of the case as a
negative, offered Forsyth. She opined that the ICJ is
capable enough to recognize the pitfalls surrounding the
issue, its ramifications beyond Kosovo, and would not paint
itself into a corner. The Charge asked about Serbian
government contacts with the GNZ and possible motivations.
Forsyth responded that the Serb President had written to the
Prime Minister on the subject, and Serbian Ambassador based
in Canberra had approached the New Zealand mission. The
Charge noted that ICJ review of the matter will delay
Kosovo's integration in the international community. Forsyth
responded that the GNZ was aware of the significance of the
issue, but saw that placing the matter with the ICJ offered
the Serbian government a certain amount of political cover.
Rob Little offered that the Serbian position, as explained to
the GNZ, rested on Belgrade's desire to ensure that Kosovo's
unilateral declaration was consistent with UNSCR 1244.
KEEGAN

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