84088 11/2/2006 15:24 06THEHAGUE2361 Embassy The Hague CONFIDENTIAL 06STATE179829 VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHTC #2361 3061524 ZNY CCCAA ZZH O 021524Z NOV 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7292 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0642 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 1137 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 0111 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0433 RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY 0100 RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE PRIORITY 0443 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0105 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0499 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4185 RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0572 C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 002361
STATE FOR EUR/SCE, EUR/UBI
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016 TAGS: AL, PBTS, PREL, NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: DUTCH AGREE KOSOVO NOT A PRECEDENT FOR OTHER SEPARATIST MOVEMENTS
REF: STATE 179829
Classified By: A/DCM Andrew Schofer, reasons 1.4 (b,d)
1. (C) Summary: MFA Head of the Western Balkans Division Cees Roels said the GONL is in "complete agreement" with the USG argument explaining why an independent Kosovo does not set a precedent for separatist movements in "frozen conflicts." He said Kosovo is a "special case," while a gradual independence process should be stressed to Moscow. Roels discussed reftel points with polmiloff on November 2. End summary.
2. (C) Roels agreed that an argument based on the history of Yugoslavia, Milosovic's destructive role in the region, the displacement of Kosovo's civilian population, and international intervention through NATO and UNSCR 1244 presented a compelling case why Kosovo is a "special case" and should not be viewed as a precedent for separatist movements in "frozen conflicts." He said the EU also concurs with this approach, and labelled Russia as the obvious main obstacle. He suggested Russia's position is complicated: making the case that Kosovo sets a precedent would clearly help Russia in some frozen conflicts, but could work against Moscow in others.
3. (C) Anticipating a situation with no consensus or compromise, Roels said the GONL is making the case in Brussels for a gradual Kosovo independence process. For example, Kosovo may not be given immediate UN membership, but would be granted access to international financial institutions. He suggested this gradual approach be stressed to Moscow. Meanwhile, the Dutch are examining the transition from UN to EU stewardship, including questions of executive power, the prevention of violence though a viable EU force, and the type of incentive/assistance package to offer to Kosovo.
Changes in Dutch Balkans Team
4. (SBU) Roels replaced Klaas van der Tempel as MFA Head of the Western Balkans Division in August 2006. Deputy Head Ard van der Vorst also is new, and will take the lead on Kosovo issues (replacing Sebastiaan Messerschmidt, who has been assigned to Afghanistan). Prior to this position, Roels was the Dutch DCM in Islamabad, and earlier served in India. He appears pragmatic, commenting that the "constructive" USG approach makes more sense than pursuing the argument through international law -- a highly unusual comment from a Dutch diplomat, given the supremacy of international law in Dutch foreign policy. Roels intends to visit Pristina at the end of November.