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2003-08-29 10:08:00
Embassy Rome
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						S E C R E T  ROME 003926 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/26/2013

REF: STATE 246558


1. (S) Summary. U/S Bolton discussed the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI), North Korea, Iran and the Global
Partnership with MFA DG for Political Affairs Giancarlo
Aragona and other Italian MFA officials on August 27.
Aragona underlined Italy's strong commitment to PSI, and
agreed that the Statement of Interdiction Principles should
be made public in order to foster transparency and inclusion.
He observed that the European Council has exclusive
competency in some areas crucial to PSI, and agreed to
develop proposals to address that factor. Italy backs US
views on urging a clear and unified IAEA stance on Iranian
noncompliance, and took on board our request for Berlusconi
to raise the issue with Putin when he visits the PM this
weekend. End summary.

2. (C) Aragona was accompanied by MFA Coordinator for
Disarmament and International Security Policy Catalano and by
MFA Director for Arms Control and Disarmament Formica.
Aragona opened by noting with satisfaction that the EU's
position on many nonproliferation issues has moved towards
the USG position since Italy took the EU Presidency; progress
that hasn't been easy to induce given the different interests
and approaches within the EU. U/S Bolton agreed that a good
foundation has been laid for the next four months, during
which the US, EU and other allies will face some hard choices
on WMD and nonproliferation issues.


3. (S) Aragona stressed Italy's commitment to PSI, and
pointed to the upcoming air exercise in the Mediterranean as
evidence of Italy's support. Adopting the Statement of
Interdiction Principles will be a key objective of the
September 4 meeting in Paris, he noted. The European
Commission's participation in the initiative will also need
to be resolved, Aragona said, as well as the role of the
European Council Secretariat. The question goes beyond the
outreach debate of which countries to include when and how,
he explained. The EC in particular, and the Secretariat, may
have an important role in how the initiative is implemented
when actual interdictions begin because the initiative
overlaps with some sectors that are within the EC's exclusive
competency. Including an EC representative in the Italian
delegation works while Italy holds the EU Presidency but will
not be a solution when Ireland, a non-PSI member, takes the
reins in January, he noted. U/S Bolton suggested that the
September 4 meeting would be an opportune time to find a
practical arrangement that would address the issue and
encouraged Italy to propose solutions. Aragona said he would
discuss options with the French hosts of the meeting.

4. (S) U/S Bolton told Aragona that an experts drafting group

will meet on September 3 (in addition to the military experts
and intel group meetings) to finalize the Statement of
Interdiction Principles to the extent possible before the
plenary meeting on September 4. The objective is to publish
the Statement following the meeting in order to move forward
with diplomatic efforts to gain support for PSI beyond the 11
participating countries, he said. Once the Statement is
published, appropriate overtures can be made to China, Russia
and other interested countries to explain the initiative and
allay any suspicions or concerns about the purpose and intent
behind it. This approach would open the initiative to
comment from a broad array, including from those countries
that agree to support the PSI principles without
participating in the core group. The PSI core countries
could then meet again, probably in October, to review
reactions to the initiative and to agree on how to formalize
affiliation. Aragona agreed that outreach to China and
Russia in particular would be important. It would not be
constructive to create a secretive atmosphere around the PSI.
He offered to raise the issue with appropriate officials
during his upcoming visit to Moscow on September 10.

5. (S) Aragona questioned whether emphasizing "tate and
non-state actors of proliferation concern" in the PSI
principles unduly limits the scope of the initiative, given
that the goal is to interdict illegal trade from any source.
U/S Bolton explained that ultimately this formulation was the
most precise way to address the issue without inadvertently
targeting legitimate transfers. For the short term, less

specificity leaves more room for the concept to evolve. It
will be easier to develop effective PSI mechanisms based on
the upcoming exercises and input from other countries once
the PSI principles are published, he noted.



6. (S) The USG hopes the IAEA Board will proceed at the next
Board meeting with a resolution that refers Iran's
noncompliance and failure to cooperate to the UN Security
Council, U/S Bolton said. The NPT is under assault and the
IAEA needs help in protecting it from Iran's lack of
cooperation. Referring the matter to the UNSC sends a strong
and much-needed message to Iran -- and to other states of
concern such as Libya and Syria -- from the international
community. Aragona agreed that international pressure has
worked when applied. As EU President, Italy has demarched
IAEA Board members that a clear message needs to come from
the next Board meeting. U/S Bolton said it would be
extremely important and helpful if Prime Minister Berlusconi
could raise Iran's noncompliance with President Putin when
they meet on August 29 and urge the Russians to hold firm
until Iran proved willing to cooperate with the IAEA. (In a
follow-up conversation with Embassy's A/Political MC, Arms
Control Director Formica promised that these points would be
in Berlusconi's briefing memo for the Putin visit.)



7. (S) Heading into the multiparty talks this week, the USG
position has not changed, U/S Bolton told Aragona: we seek
the complete, irreversible, and verifiable dismantlement of
North Korea's nuclear program. We may be prepared to discuss
a freeze but only if it is verifiable and a step toward
complete dismantlement, he added. It may be that the most
the meetings produce is an agreement to meet again, possibly
in October. Aragona noted that the EU has taken a firm line
on the topic. Both Italy, as EU President, and Javier Solana
have made it clear that the EU is ready to play a
constructive role whenever it would be useful.



8. (C) Aragona also raised the Global Partnership initiative
with U/S Bolton. He noted that President Putin will be in
Rome for a state visit in early November, followed by the
EU-Russia Summit. Italy is looking for ways to advance the
program in order to finalize the chemical and nuclear
framework agreements for the visit. While Italy has one
concrete project in the chemical field getting underway, the
nuclear initiatives are not as far along, Aragona said. U/S
Bolton said the liability issue continues to be a serious
stumbling block, particularly in the Russian MFA and Finance
Ministry, and must be resolved before new projects begin.
Russia wants to shift liability to the US (or other
participants), in part because sovereign immunity is not well
developed within Russia's court system. This approach will
not work because it is inconsistent with USG practice in
every other country, U/S Bolton explained.

9. (U) U/S Bolton has cleared this message.

2003ROME03926 - Classification: SECRET