30 Nov 10

Bosnian Serb Leader 'Supported Ahtisaari Plan'

According to US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik voiced his support for the Ahtisaari plan for the supervised independence of Kosovo.

Jutarnji List, Tanjug, B92

Reports in Croatian media today suggest that Dodik - then prime minister of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina - also told American diplomats that "Kosovo's recognition would follow after such a decision by the UN Security Council".

The cable, from May 2007, has not yet been released on the Web site of Wikileaks, the whistleblowers' organisation that obtained over 250,000 US embassy cables from 1966 to 2010 and is gradually releasing them to the public.

The Ahtisaari plan was drafted by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari as a means to carry out Kosovo's supervised independence. Officials in Pristina based their 2008 unilateral declaration of independence on the document, though the plan was never adopted by the Security Council and was rejected by Belgrade.

The cable in question concerns U.S. State Department official Daniel Fried, who, according to documents published, told Croatian officials that Dodik supported the Ahtisaari plan.

In public, Dodik has been vehemently opposed to Kosovo's independence, threatening that it could justify the breakaway of Bosnia's predominantly Serb region, Republika Srpska. Dodik is currently the president of the region.

The cable from the US embassy in Zagreb, parts of which were published by Croatian daily Jutarnji List, also illustrates relations in the region.

The dispatch notes that former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader warned that if Croats moved out of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republika Srpska separated, the remainder of the country would constitute for a "small Islamic state in Europe", while then president Stjepan Mesic agreed with this assessment.

But Fried told them that a third entity was "out of the question" in Bosnia, and that Croats in Bosnia "should come to the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo for help".

Sanader also reportedly told Fried he was concerned about increasing Russian investment in Bosnia, and called former Bosniak member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Haris Silajdzic, an old-fashioned politician who is mentally stuck in the 1990s and expects the international community to solve Bosnia's problems.

According to the report, the two former Croatian leaders referred to then Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica as a "nationalist" because of his position on Kosovo, but they praised Serbian President Boris Tadic, who they said "shared their way of thinking".

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