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Cablegate: Action Request: Support for Montenegro's And

VZCZCXRO0972
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHC #7044/01 2881505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151445Z OCT 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE 4046
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 4044
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS IMMEDIATE 1412
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE IMMEDIATE 7577
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA IMMEDIATE 6863
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO IMMEDIATE 2387
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB IMMEDIATE 3384
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 2638
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 2281
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 0396
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 1960
RUEHPS/AMEMBASSY PRISTINA IMMEDIATE 6588
INFO NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0624
RUEHPOD/AMEMBASSY PODGORICA IMMEDIATE 2366

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 107044

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL GR RO TU SR UP SI MW IT BU HR
SUBJECT: ACTION REQUEST: SUPPORT FOR MONTENEGRO'S AND
SERBIA'S MEMBERSHIP IN SEDM

REF: 08 STATE 114399

STATE 00107044 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This is an action request cable. Please see
paragraphs 4-5.

2. (SBU) BACKGROUND: In previous Southeastern Europe Defense
Ministerial (SEDM) membership discussions, the U.S. objected
to Serbian membership in SEDM without a firm commitment by
the Government of Serbia to not/not block its neighbors from
membership in the future, particularly Kosovo (reftel), while
other SEDM member countries have supported Serbia's
membership. After careful review, the Department now
requests that Posts convey to host governments on an urgent
basis that the U.S. will no longer oppose Serbian membership
into SEDM, and is ready to join consensus to admit Serbia at
the October 20-21 ministerial hosted by Bulgaria in Sofia.
The SEDM Secretariat in Bulgaria will also undertake to
convey to SEDM member countries that we support Montenegro's
and Serbia's joining SEDM immediately. However, we have a
very short timeframe to inform SEDM members and to confirm
support for Montenegro and Serbia to join at the next
ministerial October 20-21. Posts are therefore requested to
inform appropriate host government officials October 16 if at
all possible and report back the same day. Department
apologizes for the deadline, but formally bringing on board
all members in time for the ministerial requires immediate
action. Serbian integration into regional organizations will
reinforce gains made toward creating a stable and peaceful
Western Balkans; we also want to recognize progress by Serbia
in defense reform, and encourage further concrete steps.

3. (SBU) Both Montenegro and Serbia applied to join SEDM in
2008. Italy and Romania strongly objected to Montenegrin
admission into SEDM without Serbia. U.S. policy on
Montenegrin membership in SEDM remains the same: We strongly
believe that Montenegro should be admitted to SEDM
immediately. Despite Romanian and Italian efforts to link
the two, Montenegro has met the requirements for membership
and its participation in SEDM should not be tied to Serbia.
Serbia has recently reaffirmed its desire to participate in
SEDM. As part of our efforts to reiterate our unwavering
support for Kosovo, the U.S. delegation to SEDM will press
for robust "open door" language in the joint communiqu. We
will also assure the Kosovo government of our steadfast
commitment to Kosovo's integration into regional and
international structures. Separately, we will hold a
dialogue with the Serbian government on our expectations for
their participation in SEDM.

4. (U) ACTION ALL 12 SEDM MEMBER COUNTRY POSTS: Department
requests that posts deliver the following points on October
16 and report back the same day:

-- The inclusion of Serbia into SEDM would help moderate
Serbian policy over time. Increased regional participation
would continue to move Serbia on a positive trajectory with
its neighbors in the region.

-- The U.S. has advocated for an open door policy for SEDM.
Increased regional participation in SEDM and in Euro-Atlantic
institutions will continue the positive momentum and
stability witnessed over the past few years. Continued
strong regional growth and stability will be less likely
without the involvement of Serbia.

-- U.S. agreement to join consensus on Serbian membership
should result in the lifting of any objections to
Montenegro's SEDM membership request. The U.S. believes
Montenegro has met all requirements for SEDM membership and
we strongly support Montenegro's inclusion along with Serbia.

-- The U.S. will continue to track closely Serbian government
actions and statements to verify that Serbia intends to be a

STATE 00107044 002.2 OF 002


constructive actor in the region.

-- The U.S. strongly supports Kosovo's inclusion in SEDM and
other regional political-military institutions, when ready.
The U.S. Government's support for Kosovo and its integration
into regional and international organizations is unwavering.

5. (U) In addition to drawing from paragraph 4 points,
Embassies Pristina and Tirana are requested to convey the
following post-specific points:

Pristina specific points:

-- The U.S. fully supports Kosovo's continuing and future
participation in regional organizations, including the
participation of security institutions such as the Kosovo
Security Force (KSF) when ready.

-- The U.S. will continue to stress to Serbia the importance
of constructive engagement in regional organizations, and we
will link Serbia's behavior in this regard to the Serbian
government's other Euro-Atlantic objectives.

Tirana specific points:

-- The GOA's participation in regional consensus building is
important. We believe Serbia's SEDM membership is consistent
with our goal of promoting its integration into Euro-Atlantic
institutions, which we believe will further moderate Serbia's
actions. We urge the GOA to join us in support.

6. (U) Please report responses the same day. Posts may
contact EUR/SCE Croatia/Regional Pol-Mil Desk Officer Cathy
Westley at (westleyc@state.gov, 202-647-4987) with questions.

7. (U) Department appreciates posts' support in advancing
this important issue under such a tight deadline.
CLINTON

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