130016 11/14/2007 16:32 07STATE156113 Secretary of State UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXRO6137 PP RUEHAST RUEHDBU RUEHMJ DE RUEHC #6113/01 3181654 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 141632Z NOV 07 FM SECSTATE WASHDC TO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 9247 RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1974 RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1987 RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 8712 RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA PRIORITY 8164 RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 8323 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 1648 RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 3825 RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY 5460 RUEHBD/AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN PRIORITY 6922 RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 1500 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0590 RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 3019 RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 1794 RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA PRIORITY 6556 RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 8198 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 7666 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST PRIORITY 2317 RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 2639 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 9523 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 8188 RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 2370 RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 7571 RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 2984 RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 8440 RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 8432 RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY 6705 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 9199 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0788 RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 2175 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 4453 RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON PRIORITY 4809 RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY 4163 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3236 RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA PRIORITY 8952 RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG PRIORITY 4208 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 7303 RUEHMJ/AMEMBASSY MAJURO PRIORITY 6005 RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA PRIORITY 3516 RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 4264 RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY PRIORITY 2019 RUEHBE/AMEMBASSY BELMOPAN PRIORITY 1356 UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 16 STATE 156113
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KNNP, MNUC, GR, PARM, PREL SUBJECT: PSI OPERATIONAL EXPERTS GROUP MEETING IN RHODES, GREECE (OCTOBER 2-4, 2007)
1. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Operational Experts Group (OEG) meeting took place in Rhodes, Greece on October 2-4, 2007. Information contained in this cable is provided for Posts' information and is not to be passed to non-OEG participant governments. A follow-on cable will provide a non-paper to pass to host nation governments of all PSI-endorsing states to keep them abreast of developments in the PSI OEG.
2. Meeting Summary: Greece hosted the fifteenth Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Operational Experts Group (OEG) meeting in Rhodes on October 2-4, 2007. All twenty participants in the OEG attended (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States). The main foci of this OEG were discussions on maritime, ground, and air interdiction; United Nations Security Council Resolutions; disposition and liability; a Model National Response Plan; intelligence as evidence; the 2005 Protocols to the Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea Convention (SUA); national updates from OEG participants; outreach efforts; and PSI exercises. Three break-out sessions were conducted on the legal, law enforcement, and intelligence areas related to PSI. Items proposed by the U.S. included a plan to assist non-OEG PSI partners on how to implement PSI, the development of a set of operational and organizational case studies, and the development of a WMD Commodity Technical Reference Manual. For further detail, see Chairman's Statement in para 25.
3. Delegation: The U.S. delegation was led by Richard Douglas, OSD Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics, Counterproliferation, and Global Threats. The delegation included representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy and General Counsel), the Department of State (ISN), the Joint Staff (J5, J3), U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, U. S. Strategic Command Center for Combating WMD, the Department of Homeland Security (Customs and Border Protection and General Counsel), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Energy, the National Counterproliferation Center (DNI), the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Naval War College, and the
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U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.
4. Greece Deputy Minister Mr. Ioannis Plakiotakis opened the plenary session of the PSI OEG on October 2, 2007. The remainder of the OEG was chaired by Mr. Dionyssios Kyvetos of the Greek MFA.
5. Maritime Interdiction: For the first time at a PSI OEG, the issues of bunkering, chokepoints and hubs were the subject of a panel discussion. Presentations from representatives of the UK, the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan and the United States highlighted opportunities and challenges for PSI at these nodes along shipping transport routes.
6. Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea Convention (SUA): Greece, Norway, the UK, France and the United States provided national status updates on the SUA ratification process. Greece expects ratification by mid-2008. Norway, which signed the Protocols, expects ratification in late 2009 or early 2010. Norway noted that additional amendments to their domestic penal code will be required. France reported that they are working on changes to their domestic criminal code. The recent presidential election in France delayed the ratification process slightly, but it is expected in the beginning of 2008. The UK, which signed the Protocols in January 2007, is incorporating them into domestic legislation. The UK legislation will be publicly available once it is officially transmitted to Parliament for consideration. Mr. Gary Sharp (Associate Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs, Department of Defense) delivered the U.S. presentation, which relayed that: 1) implementing legislation was with the White House awaiting transmittal to Senate (subsequent to the U.S. presentation, the U.S. delegation learned that the White House transmitted the bill to the Senate later on October 1, 2007); 2) the U.S. will circulate the document once it becomes available. Russia commented that the dual-use definition used in the SUA Protocols needed additional clarification. The SUA Protocols are currently under review by the Russian Ministry of Transportation.
7. Technical Verification Capabilities and Flag State Consent matrices: Singapore distributed an updated version of the matrices and offered to continue making updates as new information was submitted by OEG countries.
8. UNSCRs on Iran and DPRK: Greece opened the discussion by commenting that UNSCR updates are provided as information to OEG partners, acknowledging that UNSCR provisions comprise a part of the international legal framework that the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles complements. Russia,
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repeating a concern voiced at the Auckland OEG, suggested that the OEG focus on sharing ideas on the implementation aspects of UNSCRs rather than risk duplicating the efforts of relevant UNSC committees. Interventions by Portugal, Australia, and the United States offered additional insights on the challenges of and considerations regarding implementation of relevant UNSCRs.
9. DPRK Shipping / Marine Cartography Initiative: France presented the latest version of its project to map primary shipping routes to and from DPRK. The resulting network revealed opportunities for PSI partners to coordinate counterproliferation efforts with non-PSI countries. France recommended the following next steps that OEG partners: 1) exchange views on DPRK visits to OEG/PSI ports; 2) continue to gather information for the project; and 3) consider ways to incorporate the Initiative into PSI outreach efforts. The U.S thanked France for the excellent project. Poland recommended that OEG countries work closely with countries that own ships carrying the DPRK flag.
10. Disposition and Liability: Greece moderated a panel discussion on the legal aspects of disposition and liability. The UK, U.S. and Australia presented their views on the issues. Highlights included: 1) a question posed by Australia as to whether and when sovereign immunity could be waived in the cases where WMD-related materials were shipped on state-owned vessels and aircraft; 2) an inquiry from an OEG delegate about the number and type of actual cases that had been brought before judges, implying that there would be learning value for future OEG discussions on the topic if factual data were available; 3) a statement by Poland on the importance of understanding and resolving the disposition and liability issues before an actual interdiction, which prompted the observation that the lack of such an understanding can lead to a critical hesitation to act; and 4) an offer by the UK to lead the development of a questionnaire that would attempt to break down the logical layers of questions raised by the issues of disposition and liability.
11. Use of Intelligence as Evidence: The UK coordinated a presentation and debate between UK intelligence and law experts, illustrating the overlaps and tensions between the approaches taken by these two professional communities. The presentation underscored the importance of parallel case construction in achieving the dual ends of protecting intelligence sources and prosecuting claims. The U.S. intervened to emphasize that the primary objective of PSI is to stop proliferation in the first place; making a case for legal prosecution should come later. An additional point was made to recognize the differences between PSI partners on the
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use of intelligence in a court of law.
12. Exercises: An informal session on Exercises was held on October 2 before the official opening of the OEG. Highlights not covered in the Chairman,s statement include: 1) additional detail provided by France about Exercise "Guistir" in Djibouti, which will focus on Red Sea and Magreb countries, many of which, according to the French, are skeptical of Western initiatives but are also concerned with proliferation issues; 2) a comment made in response to Dr. Drew Winner's presentation on the Newport Game from June 2007 that there may be value in re-running certain games or exercises on a periodic basis for the benefit of newcomers to the PSI community.
13. Ground and Air Interdiction: Julia Mathews (Customs and Border Protection, DHS) delivered a presentation on the US Layered Enforcement Strategy. Australia updated the OEG on the deliberations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council on the issue of considering an amendment that would criminalize the transport of dangerous materials on aircraft. Australia strongly encouraged OEG partners to consider the transport offense proposals in advance of the November 2007 ICAO Council meeting, noting that such an amendment would be consistent with the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. Australia stated that, without strong support from OEG countries, the amendment would likely not be pursued further. In response to Australia,s presentation, Canada stated that its internal issues had mostly been resolved and that it was in a position to support an amendment in a manner analogous to the SUA Protocols. Russia stated that it could not support an amendment due to the outstanding technical issues that needed to be resolved. New Zealand lent its support to the amendment, emphasizing the importance of covering the "air gap" in the existing legal framework. UK stated its support.
14. Proliferation Finance: Canada provided an update on recent Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meetings in Ottawa and Rome. Delegations agreed to continue including FATF updates in forthcoming OEGs; hence, the UK confirmed that a FATF update will be part of the UK-hosted OEG meeting in February 2008.
15. Outreach: New Zealand provided a briefing on the Asia-Pacific Outreach Forum held in March 2007 following the last OEG. Australia reported that Indonesia, Malaysia, and China declined the invitation, although China expressed some curiosity about PSI. Australia distributed CDs of presentations that were part of the Outreach Forum, suggesting that delegations may find the presentations useful in future outreach activities. Australia continued with an
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update on general PSI outreach in Asia-Pacific: 1) it remains important to see another major Asia-Pacific country endorse; 2) the Thailand tabletop organized in July 2007 demonstrated the importance of addressing PSI from a whole-of-government perspective; 3) Australia called on OEG partners to help fill the gap in the PSI exercise calendar between Japan's Pacific Shield exercise in October 2007 and New Zealand,s Exercise Maru in September 2008. Poland provided an update on its May 2007 outreach event in the Gulf region, noting that there was widespread participation from the region, including high-level representation. Poland observed that there were some misperceptions about PSI, but that the region was ripe for additional outreach, with an emphasis on exercises. Mr. Steven Schleien (Director of Transnational Threats, OSD) delivered a presentation on the need to conduct in-depth outreach activities with non-OEG PSI partners. The UK stated that it would include the issue of regional outreach at the next OEG in February 2008.
16. Industry Outreach: The Netherlands, Portugal, and Denmark provided updates on recent industry outreach activities. It was not determined whether or when there would be a subsequent event with industry.
17. National Updates: Greece delivered a presentation on combating illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials. The U.S. provided the following updates: 1) Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro and Liechtenstein had formally endorsed the PSI Principles since the Auckland OEG in March 2007, bringing the total number of PSI endorsees as of October 2007 to eighty-six; 2) the recent "Panamax" exercise, in which several PSI partners participated, is a good example of how PSI scenarios can be built into existing mil-mil exercises; 3) recent counterproliferation talks with the United Arab Emirates revealed that UAE passed a new export control law; and 4) the US hosted two counterproliferation conferences in Monterey in the summer 2007 that were well-attended by PSI partners. No additional countries provided updates.
18. Capacity Building / Technical Assistance: New Zealand presented the latest version of the PSI Model National Response Plan and requested final comments from OEG partners by November 1, 2007. Argentina reported that it had not seen the draft plan and therefore would not be in a position to comment. New Zealand commented that the draft plan had been distributed to all OEG partners at the Auckland OEG, so Argentina should have had ample opportunity to review the document. Nineteen countries agreed to put their names on the plan. Vicky Bruch (Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories) presented the final version of the WMD/Missile Commodity Technical Reference
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Manual and distributed CD and hard copies to all OEG delegations. This manual catalogues controlled equipment and commodities (based on UNSCR 1718 lists, export control regime lists, and other WMD handbooks and would assist anyone who reviews shipping documentation or export licenses to make assessments on the controllability of an export (industry, law enforcement officials, licensing review officials, etc.).
19. Intelligence Breakout Group: See para 25.
20. Legal Breakout Group: See para 25.
21. Law Enforcement Breakout Group: See para 25.
22. UK OEG: The UK announced that it would host the next OEG meeting in London on February 4-6, 2008. Further details are forthcoming.
23. PSI 5-Year Anniversary: The U.S. announced that it will host a meeting in May/June 2008 to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of PSI. All PSI partners will be invited. Further details are forthcoming.
24. Bilateral Meetings: The U.S. conducted bilateral meetings with ten countries: Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Canada, France, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Japan, and the UK. Highlights are below:
(a) Greece - DASD Rich Douglas emphasized the importance of completing a U.S. - Greece PSI shipboarding agreement. The Greek legal representative from the MFA stated that the latest version of the agreement was being reviewed by the Union of Greek Shipowners. Negotiations are stalled on the issue of liability and compensation. DASD Rich Douglas pursued the subject during post-OEG meetings in Athens where Ambassador Xydas of the Greek MFA recommended that Washington send an interagency team to Athens as a final effort to bring the negotiations to completion.
(b) Argentina - While Argentina's decision to send Ambassador Elsa Kelly from the MFA to the OEG was a step in the right direction, there are still questions about Argentina,s commitment to PSI. During the bilateral meeting, Ambassador Kelly focused almost exclusively on the status of the international legal frameworks, such as the Law of the Sea Convention and SUA Protocols, and she expressed her frustration with what she perceived as the U.S. practice of negotiating treaties but never ratifying them. During the plenary, the Argentine delegation seemed ill-prepared to discuss other substantive issues in the OEG, likely due to their limited levels of participation at the most recent OEG
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(c) Japan - A productive bilateral meeting was held with Japan. On the issue of cluster munitions, Japan agrees with the U.S. that a mandate should come out of the upcoming Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting to be held in early November 2007.
25. (U) Begin Chairman's Statement: PROLIFERATION SECURITY INITIATIVE OPERATIONAL EXPERTS GROUP MEETING RHODES, GREECE October 2-4, 2007
1. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Operational Experts Group (OEG) met in Rhodes, Greece from October 2nd to 4th, 2007. Experts from twenty countries participated : Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
2. Mr. Ioannis Plakiotakis, Deputy Minister of Defence of Greece, welcomed PSI Operational Experts to Rhodes and stressed Greece,s commitment to the PSI principles, as well as the significance of our common endeavours to counter proliferation of WMD. In this context, he referred to the extensive dialogue and understanding which has been established between PSI countries, creating channels and modes of co-operation in order to increase the effectiveness of our efforts.
3. PSI Operational Experts focused for the first time on "Bunkering, maritime choke points and hubs" in a panel discussion. Representatives from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and Japan highlighted the relevance of these issues to the PSI. The United Kingdom gave an overview of transshipment centres and chokepoints and referred to potential targets and vulnerabilities, while noting that few chokepoints coincide with transshipment centres. The Netherlands presented opportunities and challenges for the Initiative at choke points and hubs and during bunkering in port, on the roads or on the high seas. Among the challenges mentioned were the limited capacity of PSI countries in relation to shipping density, the right of transit passage and the willingness of coastal states to cooperate. The United States focused on
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bunkering and highlighted the difficulties involved in controlling these kind of activities, given the different modes by which they can take place, namely by a broker, a trader or by direct arrangement between shipping companies and suppliers. Singapore shared its experience as a major bunkering and maritime hub and provided a case study of the security regulations and measures that were currently in place for vessels bunkering within Singapore's port limits, as well as goods within Singapore's Free Trade Zone. Japan focused on the importance of ad hoc cooperation at choke points in tackling proliferation loopholes, especially between non-PSI coastal states and provided partners with two recent cases of proliferation concern. Finally, the need to enhance outreach activities in parallel with ad hoc cooperation was stressed.
4. From the discussion that followed, particular concerns were expressed about certain aspects of maritime trade, such as the opportunities and challenges posed by changes in ownership or flag state of vessels, and the potential vulnerabilities which may arise from bunkering activities.
5. PSI Operational Experts then discussed the state-of-play of the ratification of the 2005 Protocols to the "Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) at Sea against the Safety of Maritime Navigation". Greece made a presentation on the legislative measures which will have to be taken with respect to the ratification procedure. Subsequently, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, France provided updates and referred to domestic issues that still need to be addressed for the conclusion of this process. Russia expressed the opinion that the dual-use goods definition contained in the SUA amendments was too wide and therefore open to subjective interpretation.
6. Singapore distributed the latest versions of the matrices related to "Technical Verification Capabilities" and "Flag State Consent" and reiterated its intention to continue to update this information. For this purpose, partners were invited to submit the necessary inputs to Singapore.
United Nations Security Council Resolutions
7. Greece underlined that the discussion of UNSCRs at OEG meetings would serve to highlight that PSI partners are committed to the Paris Interdiction principles in a manner consistent with national legislation and relevant international law and legal frameworks, including the provisions of UNSCRs. Greece made a brief presentation on the new elements of UNSCR 1747, followed by measures it has taken to ensure its full implementation. Portugal, which currently holds the EU Presidency, referred to the 2004 EU Council
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Statement, which stressed the importance and relevance of PSI counter-proliferation efforts, and presented the way in which the EU is implementing UNSCRs 1737 and 1747. In the discussion that followed, Russia expressed concern about duplication of efforts with relevant UNSC Committees and suggested the OEG should focus on exchanging UNSCRs implementation experiences which relate directly to the PSI. With respect to UNSCR 1737, Australia referred to the difficulties in implementing sanctions on dual-use goods under OP4c, arising mainly from ambiguity of the information and underlined the importance of timely exchange of information. The United States, referring to the informal open-ended meeting on technical details associated with the implementation of nuclear transfer-related aspects of UNSCR 1737, which was co-chaired in Vienna by the United States and the United Kingdom, informed partners that a summary of the discussions will be distributed at the NSG meeting in November.
8. France by providing an update on its DPRK Marine Cartography Initiative, as a case for coordination with other non-proliferation fora, underlined its significance for -- U.S. Visit
4. (C) Following a planned visit to New York for the close of Slovakia,s tenure on the Security Council, Kubis would like to spend two days in Washington (December 19-20) to meet with USG officials and Members of Congress, particularly Representative Lantos. He told the Ambassador that he understands it would be difficult to see the Secretary, but made a point of mentioning a possible meeting
SIPDIS with Under Secretary Burns. Ambassador Kacer has not yet made any formal meeting requests, he added. Kubis expressed his irritation at Lantos for having leaked to the press his letter to PM Fico regarding Slovak-Hungarian relations before the Prime Minister had seen it, and Kubis would like to express his displeasure to Lantos in person.