Leaked U.S. embassy cable details American fury with Britain’s insistence on blocking Croatia from joining EU Britain’s insistence on blocking Croatia’s attempt to join the European Union until earlier this year enraged the Americans, who feared it could destabilise Croatia and wreck the accession chances of the rest of former Yugoslavia.
Britain's ambassador in the Croatian capital Zagreb agreed with U.S. objections and encouraged the State Department to lean on the Foreign Office in London to force a U-turn, the American ambassador in Zagreb reported a year ago.
The dispute arose over the issue of Croatia’s co-operation with the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, a key condition for Zagreb’s EU membership bid. Five years of negotiations with Brussels could conclude by next summer, making Croatia the 28th EU country by 2012. The U.S. concluded that the Croats were performing convincingly in seeking to satisfy the demands of the chief prosecutor in The Hague, Serge Brammertz of Belgium. But Britain and the Netherlands blocked the EU negotiations in the crucial area of judicial reform because Brammertz would not give a positive verdict.
The U.S. ambassador in Zagreb, James Foley, proposed “high-level approaches to the U.K.” in November last year. But his British counterpart, David Blunt, said the U.K. was stuck in the war years of the early 1990s.