US embassy cable - 05PARIS1731 (original version)

PSI: UPDATE FROM THE FRENCH MFA ON THE STATUS OF THE SYRIA BOUND CARGO IN PIRAEUS (original version)

Identifier: 05PARIS1731
Wikileaks: View 05PARIS1731 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Paris
Created: 2005-03-15 17:15:00
Classification: SECRET
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 PARIS 001731 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR NP/CBM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 15 YEARS 
TAGS: PARM, PREL, ETTC, HK, PK, CM, GM, FR, MTCR 
SUBJECT: PSI: UPDATE FROM THE FRENCH MFA ON THE STATUS OF 
THE SYRIA BOUND CARGO IN PIRAEUS 
 
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 1.4 (B), (D), AN 
D (H). 
 
1.  (S)  On 15 March 2005, EST officer was contacted by David 
Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear 
Nonproliferation, who provided a readout of the 15 March 
demarche by the French Embassy in Athens delivered to  Greek 
MFA Director of Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) 
matters, Mr. Orphanides.  In the demarche, the French 
formally asked the Greeks to further consider the legal 
questions and available options regarding the Syria bound 
cargo in port at Piraeus, to determine if a legal basis could 
be identified that would allow the Greeks to impound the 
shipment.  Orphanides agreed to instruct Greek customs 
officials to hold the goods until at least 22 March while the 
MFA considered the legal aspects of the case.  He also 
promised the French that he would provide a formal Greek MFA 
response within one week's time to the request for a full 
analysis of the legal options available. 
 
2.  (S)  Bertolotti remarked to EST officer that this 
demarche had provided the U.S. and France at least one more 
week to explore their options.  Bertolotti also noted that he 
hoped to soon be able to brief EST officer on the results of 
the 14 March meeting between French officials and the manager 
of Francare, purpose of which was to convince the manager to 
stop the shipment either by evoking Francare's legal 
ownership of the goods, or by requesting that the transporter 
contracted by Francare return the goods to the company. 
Leach 

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