US embassy cable - 05PARIS1762 (original version)

PSI: FRANCARE REMAINS NONCOMMITTAL; SHRINKING LEGAL OPTIONS (S) (original version)

Identifier: 05PARIS1762
Wikileaks: View 05PARIS1762 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Paris
Created: 2005-03-16 16:16:00
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 001762 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR NP/CBM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 15 YEARS 
TAGS: PARM, PREL, ETTC, HK, PK, CM, GM, FR, MTCR 
SUBJECT: PSI: FRANCARE REMAINS NONCOMMITTAL; SHRINKING 
LEGAL OPTIONS (S) 
 
REF: A. PARIS 1731 
     B. PARIS 01311 
     C. STATE 34422 
     D. STATE 30198 
     E. PARIS 1087 
     F. ATHENS 517 
     G. ATHENS 553 
 
Classified By: EST COUNSELOR ROBERT W. DRY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B), (D), AN 
D (H). 
 
1.  (S)  On 16 March 2005, EST officer met with David 
Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear 
Nonproliferation regarding cargo of currently embargoed goods 
held in Piraeus port consigned to a Syrian entity. 
Bertolotti described the 14 March meeting between French 
officials and the manager of Francare, purpose of which was 
to convince the manager to terminate 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.  Bertolotti said that the manager 
of Francare had remained noncommittal to the French 
authorities' request that he take action to retrieve the 
Syria bound goods.  Francare's manager asserted that the 
goods had already been sold to the customer, and that the 
transaction had not broken any French/European Union laws. 
The manager also noted that his volume of business with the 
U.S. is low, and that any possible action taken by the U.S. 
Government barring Francare from doing business with U.S. 
companies would not have a significant impact on the 
company's profits.  Francare's manager expressed some concern 
that the company's reputation might be damaged if he did not 
comply with the French government's request, insisting that 
for this reason only was he still considering the possibility 
of taking back the goods. 
 
2.  (S)  Bertolotti informed EST officer that French 
authorities would again visit with Francare's manager at the 
end of the week, and at the meeting planned to ask for 
Francare's final answer to their request.  Bertolotti 
commented that the issue of ownership, however, remained an 
open question, and that French legal experts had now focused 
on the bill of lading, and specifically whether the transport 
company still had rights to the goods based on this document. 
 Bertolotti hoped to have more information on this point to 
pass to EST officer following an interagency meeting this 
afternoon. 
Leach 

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