US embassy cable - 00THEHAGUE1754

POLICY CHANGE TO CIRCULAR 175 AUTHORITY AUTHORIZING LONGER-TERM STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT

Identifier: 00THEHAGUE1754
Wikileaks: View 00THEHAGUE1754 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy The Hague
Created: 2000-06-14 05:42:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: MARR PREL SNAR KTIA NL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 001754 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: MARR, PREL, SNAR, KTIA, NL 
SUBJECT:  POLICY CHANGE TO CIRCULAR 175 AUTHORITY 
AUTHORIZING LONGER-TERM STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT 
 
REF: SECSTATE 71266 
 
 
1. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST ANY PRE-RATIFICATION 
NEGOTIATIONS AS OUTLINED IN REFTEL.  OF THE CATEGORIES 
OFFERED IN REFTEL, PARAGRAPH 8, WE CHOOSE CATEGORY D: NOT 
FEASIBLE AT THIS TIME.  AFTER THE CURRENT FOL AGREEMENT IS 
RATIFIED, HOWEVER, WE WOULD RECOMMEND CATEGORY B: FEASIBLE 
WITH SOME CHALLENGES.  THESE CHALLENGES, WHILE FEW IN 
NUMBER, WOULD NEVERTHELESS BE SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES TO A 
MORE EXTENSIVE AGREEMENT. 
 
 
2. THE LANGUAGE PROPOSED IN REFTEL REGARDING AN EXPANDED, 
LONGER-TERM STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT (SOFA) COVERING 
PERSONNEL STATIONED IN ARUBA AND THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES 
RESEMBLES OUR OPENING PROPOSAL FOR THE SOFA-LIKE FORWARD 
OPERATING LOCATION (FOL) AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING OUR PRESENCE 
IN ARUBA AND CURACAO.  WE BELIEVE THAT THE DUTCH RESPONSE TO 
THE REFTEL PROPOSAL WILL MIRROR THAT GIVEN TO THE FOL 
OPENING PROPOSAL.  THIS RESPONSE FEATURED OBJECTIONS TO THE 
LEVEL OF PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROPOSED FOR PERSONNEL 
AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH SUCH OPERATIONS 
WOULD INVOLVE PART OF THE KINGDOM NOT UNDER DIRECT DUTCH 
CONTROL.  THERE WAS ALSO CONSIDERABLE UNEASE ABOUT THESE 
LOCATIONS BEING USED TO INTERVENE MILITARILY IN THE AFFAIRS 
OF ANOTHER COUNTRY.  ALTHOUGH THE NETHERLANDS IS A MILITARY 
ALLY, THE DUTCH ARE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE ABOUT MILITARY 
AGREEMENTS WITH THE U.S. IN THE CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICA. 
THIS SENSITIVITY IS EVEN GREATER AFTER A YEAR OF SOMETIMES 
TENSE NEGOTIATION OVER THE FOL AGREEMENT. 
 
 
3.  AFTER EXTENSIVE NEGOTIATIONS SURROUNDING THESE ISSUES, 
THE FOL AGREEMENT IS CURRENTLY AWAITING RATIFICATION BY THE 
DUTCH LEGISLATURE.  IT IS, HOWEVER, BEING PROVISIONALLY 
APPLIED IN THE CARIBBEAN WITH THE OPTIMISTIC EXPECTATION 
THAT IT WILL BE RATIFIED, BUT WE DO NOT EXPECT THIS TO OCCUR 
IN THE NEAR FUTURE.  IF THE PROPOSAL IN REFTEL WERE RAISED 
WITH THE GON BEFORE RATIFICATION OF THE FOL AGREEMENT, THE 
FOL AGREEMENT ITSELF MIGHT NOT BE RATIFIED BY THE GON DUE TO 
THE RESURFACING OF THE OBJECTIONS ITEMIZED ABOVE.  THIS 
WOULD JEOPARDIZE THE ENTIRE OPERATION IN THE CARIBBEAN. 
 
 
4. THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS CONSISTS OF THREE 
COUNTRIES: THE NETHERLANDS, THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, AND 
ARUBA.  ALTHOUGH THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES AND ARUBA ARE SELF- 
GOVERNING, THE NETHERLANDS RESERVES POWER OVER FOREIGN AND 
DEFENSE POLICY. THEREFORE, ANY AUTHORIZATION AS PROPOSED IN 
REFTEL WOULD REQUIRE THE AGREEMENT OF ALL THREE GOVERNMENTS. 
 
 
5. THIS RESPONSE WAS COORDINATED WITH CONGEN CURACAO AS 
REQUESTED IN REFTEL AND APPLIES TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE 
DUTCH ANTILLES AND ARUBA. 
 
 
SCHNEIDER 

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