|Wikileaks:||View 05PARIS1087 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PARM PREL ETTC HK PK CM GM FR MTCR|
|Redacted:||This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show unredacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T PARIS 001087 SIPDIS FOR NP/CBM E.O. 12958: DECL: 10 YEARS TAGS: PARM, PREL, ETTC, HK, PK, CM, GM, FR, MTCR SUBJECT: PSI/MTCR: SUSPICIOUS CARGO BOUND FOR SYRIA REF: A. STATE 030198 B. STATE 5766 C. (04) STATE 189403 Classified By: EST Counselor Robert W. Dry for Reasons 1.5 (b), (d), and (h). 1. (S) Based on the request in Ref (A) cable for immediate action, morning of 19 February 2005, EST officer delivered demarche and non-paper regarding a shipment of French-origin equipment to Syria to French Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Point of Contact (POC) David Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear Non-proliferation. This demarche triggered a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) action by the French Government, and French security and customs officials were apprised of the situation and -- we were informed -- immediately began investigating the shipment and the French firm involved. Later the afternoon of 19 February, Bertolotti called EST officer and asked for more specific information regarding the name of vessel carrying the cargo in question as well as information such as the date when the vessel was scheduled to depart port in Athens. In response to Bertolotti's request, EST officer contacted NP Bureau Officer at the Department of State, who provided the date of the vessel's departure, and agreed to initiate a clearance request on 22 February for specifics on the shipment in question. EST officer then called Bertolotti, passed on the additional information provided by the Department, and informed him that he had requested more information, and that the EST office would notify him if/when this was obtained. 2. (S) On morning of 20 February, EST officer received a call from Bertolotti, who informed that he had been in contact with French customs and security services in Athens, and that arrangements between the French and Greek security services had been made for joint action against the suspicious cargo. He thanked EST officer for bringing this case to French government's attention. 3. (S) On morning of 22 February, EST Counselor re-contacted MFA MTCR POC Bertolotti for update of the weekend's investigation. Bertolotti confirmed that the French police attache in Athens had been involved over the weekend in the investigation. A sample of the goods in question were being forwarded to France forthwith for further analysis. However, the seized goods - without the benefit of additional analysis - would appear to be ""sheets of aluminum on cardboard,"" not sensitive items or otherwise controlled by the MTCR regime. 4. (S) Bertolotti said that while he understands the Greek authorities plan to hold the cargo in question, he is unaware under what legal basis or for how long unless more can be determined as to the sensitive nature of the cargo. Meanwhile, the French will conduct an inter-agency meeting during the afternoon of February 22 to discuss possible next steps. Bertolotti requested the U.S. share whatever information available regarding this shipment which might help the French government, as well as the Greek authorities make a clear determination how to proceed. Bertolotti mentioned the French government is indifferent whether the information is shared via diplomatic or intelligence channels. Leach
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