US embassy cable - 06TIRANA586

PM BERISHA ON MONTENEGRO, KOSOVO, MACEDONIA AND A VISIT TO ALBANIA BY PRESIDENT BUSH

Identifier: 06TIRANA586
Wikileaks: View 06TIRANA586 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tirana
Created: 2006-06-02 13:50:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL AL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0025
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTI #0586 1531350
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021350Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY TIRANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4371
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 2919
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 2713
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1134
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1193
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1083
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 5284
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO 0431
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 4111
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 2936
RUFNPKB/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2155
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA 3416
C O N F I D E N T I A L TIRANA 000586 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE (BENEDICT, SAINZ) 
NSC FOR BRAUN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2016 
TAGS: PREL, AL 
SUBJECT: PM BERISHA ON MONTENEGRO, KOSOVO, MACEDONIA AND A 
VISIT TO ALBANIA BY PRESIDENT BUSH 
 
REF: A. TIRANA 585 
     B. TIRANA 573 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Marcie B. Ries for 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  During a June 1 meeting with Ambassador 
focused mainly on Iran (Ref A), Prime Minister Berisha also 
shared his thoughts on Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and made 
a pitch for a visit by President Bush to Albania.  Berisha 
expressed serious concern about upcoming elections in 
Macedonia and possible fallout from that on Kosovo's status. 
He suggested use of prominent Albanians as monitors in those 
elections and pledged to continue to urge moderation on 
Kosovar and Macedonia's ethnic Albanian leaders.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Berisha, noting that 22 percent of Montenegro's 
population were "minorities", said that Montenegrin 
independence was a contribution to stability in the region 
and made the region as a whole "more free."  Belgrade's 
stance was "realistic", but he cautioned that Belgrade would 
likely argue that its good conduct vis a vis Montenegro 
should count as a "concession" in its favor during status 
talks on Kosovo.  Ultimately, however, he believed that such 
a position would be only "temporary and would lose its 
meaning." 
 
3.  (C)  On Kosovo, he said his contacts there seemed less 
rigid in their positions on some issues than they were seven 
months ago.  He said Kosovar leaders now understand the level 
of responsibility they bear in the negotiations and 
afterwards.  Berisha felt the Kosovars would be sensitive to 
messages from Albania and undertook to make a strong pitch 
for "responsibility" and "flexibility" in their status talks 
during his upcoming (June 15) visit to Pristina.  He said he 
would also offer help to the new PISG Ministry of Interior 
and police to fight regional organized crime. 
 
4.  (C)  Berisha felt that the upcoming elections in 
Macedonia were "a serious problem" not only for Macedonia but 
also for Kosovo status progress.  He said he has counseled 
Kosovar leaders and Macedonia's ethnic Albanian leaders 
(Ahmeti and Xhaferi) to strive for free and fair elections. 
He also encouraged Macedonian PM Buckovski to use centralized 
counting of ballots as it "prevents the local militant effect 
and bribing of commissioners."  Berisha also suggested 
that it may be useful to have prominent Albanians, "perhaps 
MPs and others," serve as monitors in the Macedonian 
elections. 
 
5.  (C)  Berisha pledged to remind Kosovar leaders of the 
disastrous consequences of Kosovar activists interfering in 
the Macedonia election.  (see Ref B) 
 
6.  (C)  Berisha made a very strong pitch for a visit by 
President Bush to Albania.  He said he had himself extended 
an invitation directly to the president while at the UNGA in 
September, but since the exchange was so brief we wanted to 
tell the Ambassador that this was a genuine, heart-felt 
invitation.  He said he had instructed Ambassador Sallabanda 
to mention this during his recent credentialing ceremony. 
Noting that no sitting US President had visited since 
Albania's escape from communism 15 years ago, he said that 
there was no one Albanians would welcome more warmly than a 
president of the United States. 
RIES 

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