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Cablegate: Kosovo Recognition: Holding Bangladesh's Feet To

VZCZCXRO0320
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHKA #0832 2370809
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250809Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9357
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0001
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2160
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0209
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0066
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0504
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0179
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS DHAKA 000832

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INSB AND EUR/SCE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KVIR PGOV PINR BG
SUBJECT: KOSOVO RECOGNITION: HOLDING BANGLADESH'S FEET TO
THE FIRE

REF: DHAKA 831 NOTAL

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Post continues to press the Government of
Bangladesh (GOB) to recognize Kosovo's independence. Despite
repeated private and public pressure, however, the GOB
continues to defer its decision, likely for fear of
alienating Russia. We recommend that this issue feature
prominently in the Bangladesh Foreign Minister's upcoming
visit to Washington and that we urge U.S. partner capitals to
weigh in with the GOB.

Kosovo Not Forgotten
--------------------

2. (SBU) The Ambassador took advantage of an August 20 call
on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni (reftel) to reiterate U.S.
urging that the GOB recognize Kosovo's independence. Moni
deflected the Ambassador's request for an explanation of the
GOB's dithering, saying only that she would work with her
colleagues in the GOB to "try to come to a decision."

U.S. Kosovo Support Known
-------------------------

3. (U) Speaking to the media following his meeting with
Moni, the Ambassador emphasized the arguments in favor of
recognizing Kosovo. His statement on Kosovo garnered
widespread coverage in media reports of his meeting with
Moni. In the past, such statements have generated subsequent
editorials urging the GOB to recognize Kosovo.

Foreign Secretary Speaks Out Against Recognition
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (U) On August 22, in his first press conference since
taking office, Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said "at this
moment, we don't feel the need to recognize Kosovo," in
response to a question from a reporter. Although Quayes went
on to say that the GOB was deliberately not making a decision
regarding Kosovo to avoid alienating either the U.S. or
Russia, local media reported his comments as a rebuke to the
Ambassador,s arguments in favor of recognition.

GOB Undecided on Kosovo?
------------------------

5. (SBU) In the wake of the extensive coverage given to
Quayes' remarks, Polcouns contacted an adviser to the Prime
Minister, who indicated that Quayes' comments should not be
taken as a GOB decision against recognizing Kosovo and that
the GOB continued to weigh the decision.

Comment: GOB Trying to Duck the Decision
-----------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Some observers have explained Quayes' reluctance
to recognize Kosovo "at this moment" as indicative of the
Foreign Secretary's affinity for Moscow, his most recent
overseas posting. Quayes' subsequent statement,
however--that the GOB is trying to avoid angering either the
U.S. or Russia (and thereby scotch potential energy
cooperation with Moscow) on Kosovo--is likely more accurate.
We will continue to make the case that Bangladesh should
recognize Kosovo's independence and little to lose from doing
so. We recommend that Kosovo recognition feature prominently
in the Foreign Minister's mid-September visit to Washington.
The U.S. should also encourage our allies and partners to
weigh in with the GOB on Kosovo recognition.
MORIARTY

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