|Wikileaks:||View 05PARIS1517 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PARM PREL ETTC HK PK CM GM FR MTCR|
|Redacted:||This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001517 SIPDIS FOR NP/CBM E.O. 12958: DECL: 15 YEARS TAGS: PARM, PREL, ETTC, HK, PK, CM, GM, FR, MTCR SUBJECT: PSI: FORMAL FRENCH RESPONSE TO U.S. DEMARCHES ON PSI CASE INVOLVING SUSPICIOUS CARGO BOUND FOR SYRIA; POSSIBILITY THAT GOODS WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE ON TO SYRIA REF: A. PARIS 01311 B. STATE 34422 C. STATE 30198 D. PARIS 1087 E. ATHENS 517 F. ATHENS 553 Classified By: EST COUNSELOR ROBERT W. DRY FOR REASONS 1.5 (B), (D), AN D (H). 1. (S) On 04 March 2005, EST officer met with David Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation, who provided a non-paper representing the Government of France's (GOF) formal response to the Embassy demarches presented on 19 February and 01 March. The French non-paper outlined the GOF actions to date regarding the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) case involving a shipment of dual-use aluminum laminates to the Syrian company Syronics, and included information previously reported Reftel A. The French non-paper included the results of a 03 March meeting among several GOF agencies actively involved in the PSI case. Bertolotti also presented EST officer with a verbal briefing on the current legal considerations in this case and likely GOF actions from this point onward. The full text of the French response was submitted to the Department via secure fax. 2. (S) In the written response and subsequent verbal briefing from Bertolotti, EST officer learned that as of 02 March, the GOF had agreed to apply 'catch-all' provisions to all future shipments by the French company Francare to Syria, and have begun a formal investigation of the shipment currently in port at Piraeus, Greece. Bertolotti stressed, however, that the consideration of whether 'catch-all' can apply to the current shipment is an open question, and French customs and security officials are consulting with Greek counterparts to determine under what authority they have held the cargo beyond the 10 day limit allowed by European Union (EU) law ce 1334/2000. Bertolotti added that the GOF hoped that there was a provision in Greek national law that would allow the impounding of the cargo beyond the 10 day limit, but that he was currently not aware that such a provision existed. Bertolotti also informed EST officer that French authorities were trying to ascertain whether or not the shipment was re-exported into Greece, in which case there would a legal justification under EU law for holding the shipment beyond the 10 days allowed. 3. (S) Bertolotti further advised (and as reflected in the French non-paper) that the French have concluded that the shipment cannot be held on the basis of a false documentation claim to customs authorities given that the material is not regulated by EU dual use law ce 1334/2000, and that Francare provided both an accurate description of the goods (13 containers of aluminum sheets) as well as their destination (Syronics) on the shipping documents. 4. (S) Following examinations of the aluminum laminates by the relevant French laboratories, the French findings were analogous to the general conclusions reached by the U.S. regarding the materials in the shipment and their likely application in electronic circuitry boards. The results of the laboratory analysis are that the laminates correspond to the A-M1 type of aluminum laminates, and that they correspond to the products TSA-12 and TSA-93 from the U.S. company Tristar Laminates Inc. Bertolotti added that these laminates were not necessarily specific to those used in circuitry boards for ballistic missile systems, and could be used in civilian electronic systems also. 5. (S) Bertolotti highlighted the request contained in the non-paper for the U.S. government to provide more concrete information regarding our conclusion that the goods are destined for use by Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) as part of Syria's ballistic missile program. He further remarked that, while not explicitly stated in the non-paper, if in the continued consultations with Greek authorities the French determine that the Greeks have no legal basis for holding the goods, and if the U.S. government is unable to provide additional, concrete information confirming that the material is intended for use in Syria's ballistic missile program, the French position will be that the goods be released for shipment to Syria without further delay. 6. (S) At the close of the meeting, Bertolotti told EST officer that he hoped to be able to provide another update during the week of 07 March. Leach
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