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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Report- October 16, 2009

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DE RUEHVB #0620 2920551
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADC860B4 WSC2502-695)
P 190551Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9587
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

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TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY REPORT- OCTOBER 16, 2009

1. (U) AMBASSADOR FOR WAR CRIMES ISSUES VISITS ZAGREB:
Ambassador Stephen Rapp visited Zagreb on October 11-13 and
met with the Minister of Justice, Minister of the Interior,
and Chief State Prosecutor, among others. The focus of the
visit was on Croatia's cooperation with ICTY and the newly
announced task force, led by police investigators and chaired
by the Director of the Criminal Police Vitomir Bijelic, to
conduct a follow-up investigation into missing documents
requested by ICTY for the Gotovina case. Ambassador Rapp
also discussed ICTY cooperation and its impact on Croatia's
EU accession at a lunch with several EU ambassadors.
Additional details to follow SEPTEL. (CZIMMER)

2. (SBU) CROATIANS WARMING TO KOSOR IN FIRST 100 DAYS:
Recent polling shows that Prime Minister Kosor exceeded the
expectations of more than 1/3 of those polled in her first
100 days. Another third said she fully met their
expectations in leading the government. More than 56% of
respondents said Kosor performed better than her predecessor,
Ivo Sanader. Local media speculated that, since Kosor is now
more popular than her party, the Croatian Democratic Union
(HDZ), and several of her ministers, Kosor will soon move to
reshuffle her government. For her part, Kosor has insisted
that she is focused on negotiating the 2010 budget with her
current team. HDZ General Secretary Branko Bacic, in a
recent conversation with PolOff, echoed these sentiments,
saying that, while Kosor was fully empowered to make a change
at her discretion if ministers were not performing, the main
priority was negotiating next year's budget. Bacic,
however, did not rule out the possibility of a cabinet
reshuffle in the future, presumbably after the government
finalizes the 2010 budget. (DMEGES)

3. (U) CROATIA'S PARTICIPATION IN KFOR CONTINUES:
On October 12 the Ministry of Defense announced that it had
sent a fresh deployment of 20 troops to replace those already
serving with two helicopters in KFOR. The Croatian Air
Force,s participation in KFOR is the first time they have
been deployed outside of Croatia. The troops and helicopters
are located at Camp Bondsteel. (PDAMICO)

4. (U) CROATIAN PEACEKEEPERS TRAINED TO OPERATE IN URBAN
AREAS:
From October 12-16, US instructors trained 30 representatives
of the Croatian military on how to conduct military
operations in urban areas. The Croatian soldiers attending
the course will directly utilize the techniques gained in
this realistic training when deployed as part of Croatia's
on-going peacekeeping contributions. The event was funded by
the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative (GPOI) program.
(PDAMICO)
FOLEY

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