US embassy cable - 02ROME1821

ITALY/ALBANIA - GOI CONDITIONS AID PLEDGE TO GOA: "HELP US TO HELP YOU"

Identifier: 02ROME1821
Wikileaks: View 02ROME1821 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-04-11 15:21:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: AL EAID ENRG IT PREL EUN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 001821 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE AND EUR/WE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2012 
TAGS: AL, EAID, ENRG, IT, PREL, EUN 
SUBJECT: ITALY/ALBANIA - GOI CONDITIONS AID PLEDGE TO GOA: 
"HELP US TO HELP YOU" 
 
REF: ROME 1393 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: POL MC TOM COUNTRYMAN.  REASON:1.5 (B)(D). 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01821  111613Z 
 
 1.  (U)  ACTION REQUEST.  SEE PARA 5. 
 
2.  (C)  ON APRIL 9, BALKAN OFFICE HEAD MAURIZIO MASSARI AND 
MFA UNDER SECRETARY ROBERTO ANTONIONE HAD "EXTREMELY 
PRODUCTIVE AND ENCOURAGING" MEETINGS IN TIRANA WITH PRIME 
MINISTER MAJKO, FOREIGN MINISTER DADE, AND ECONOMIC MINISTER 
MEKSI.  MASSARI TOLD POLOFF APRIL 10 THAT THE GOI AND GOA 
RENEWED A PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION, AND THE GOI PLEDGED 202 
MILLION EUROS IN AID THROUGH 2004 FOR, INTER ALIA, 
INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT, ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT, AND 
AGRICULTURE.  MOST SIGNIFICANT, SAID MASSARI, WAS 30 MILLION 
EUROS EARMARKED FOR ENERGY, FOLLOWING UP ON A PLEDGE BY PM 
BERLUSCONI TO PM MAJKO DURING THE LATTER'S VISIT TO ROME LAST 
MONTH (REFTEL).  THE FUNDS WERE TO BE USED TO PURCHASE 
ELECTRICITY TO "KEEP THE LIGHTS ON" FOR THE SHORT TERM, BUT 
ALSO TO BUILD A VIABLE ENERGY GENERATION INFRASTRUCTURE FOR 
LONG TERM ENERGY PRODUCTION.  "WE WERE VERY FRANK" WITH THE 
ALBANIANS, SAID MASSARI.  THE GOI EXPECTS THE GOA TO PLAN FOR 
THE FUTURE.  HE SAID THAT ANTONIONE REMINDED THE ALBANIANS 
THAT THE CAUSE OF THEIR ENERGY PROBLEMS WAS "NOT ONLY THE 
WEATHER."  THE GOI WANTS TO SEE ITS AID GO TO PROJECTS THAT 
WILL "CORRECT PAST MISTAKES." 
 
3.  (C)  THE GOA IS HEARING A SIMILAR MESSAGE FROM THE EU 
REGARDING OPENING STABILIZATION AND ASSOCIATION (SAA) 
NEGOTIATIONS, SAID MASSARI.  THE GOI'S VIEW IS THAT THE 
NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD START BEFORE JUNE.  HOWEVER, ANTONIONE 
REMINDED THE GOA THAT THERE ARE MANY SKEPTICS, IN THE EU AND 
OSCE, WHO QUESTION THE GOA'S ABILITY AND COMMITMENT TO 
CHANGE, THEREFORE RAPID PROGRESS ON NEEDED REFORMS WAS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  01821  111613Z 
CRITICAL.  MASSARI SAID THE MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED AND 
ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL THEIR INTERLOCUTORS. 
 
4.  (C)  MASSARI REPEATED THE GOI'S VIEW (REFTEL) THAT THE IC 
SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE GOA REFORMS TO DATE, SUCH AS OVERALL 
RELATIVE POLITICAL STABILITY, COOPERATION WITH THE GOI IN 
FIGHTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, AND A RECENT BIPARTISAN 
PARLIAMENTARY DECISION TO IMPLEMENT ODIHR ELECTORAL SYSTEM 
REFORMS RECOMMENDATIONS.  POTENTIAL INVESTORS NEED A SIGNAL 
FROM THE IC THAT ALBANIA IS MAKING PROGRESS.  WE HAVE TO 
CONTINUE TO PRESSURE THE GOI TO DO MUCH MORE TO COMBAT 
ORGANIZED CRIME AND REFORM THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, AND IN THE 
GOI'S VIEW STARTING THE SAA NEGOTIATIONS COULD BE PART OF 
THOSE MEANS.  THE NEGOTIATIONS CAN LAST AS LONG AS NECESSARY, 
AND SERVE AS ANOTHER TOOL TO INFLUENCE GOI ACTIONS. 
 
5.  (C)  MASSARI'S VIEW IS THAT IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO NOT 
ACKNOWLEDGE THE GOI'S PROGRESS THUS FAR, AND COULD MAKE IT 
HARDER FOR THE MAJKO GOVERNMENT TO CONVINCE THE ALBANIAN 
PEOPLE THAT ECONOMIC REFORMS, SOMETIMES PAINFUL IN THE SHORT 
TERM, MUST BE ENACTED FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY'S LONG TERM 
STABILITY.  HE SINGLED OUT THE BRITISH AS AMONG THE MOST 
SKEPTICAL OF ITALY'S EU PARTNERS REGARDING ALBANIA'S 
COMMITMENT TO CHANGE, AND WONDERED IF THE U.S. COULD "PUT IN 
A GOOD WORD" WITH THE BRITS.  HE ALSO REPEATED HIS REQUEST 
FOR A "POSITIVE" U.S. STATEMENT AT THE APRIL 17 FRIENDS OF 
ALBANIA MEETING IN VIENNA.  ACTION REQUEST:  POST WOULD LIKE 
TO GIVE A HEADS-UP TO MASSARI ON THE GENERAL TONE OF OUR 
INTERVENTION IN VIENNA. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  01821  111613Z 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 2002ROME01821 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


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