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2003-10-09 15:14:00
Embassy Rome
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L  ROME 004637 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/2013


1. (C) SUMMARY. U/S Bolton discussed Article 98, PSI, North
Korea and Iran with senior Italian officials from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President's office and Prime
Minister Berlusconi's office during meetings on October 2 in
Rome. The Italians agreed to review language recently
negotiated with Colombia on Article 98 scope of coverage that
might break the impasse between the US and EU, and offered to
raise both PSI and Iran's nuclear weapons program with
Russian officials, including President Putin, during November
meetings in Rome and Moscow. They also agreed to continue to
use Italy's influence to press Iran to comply with the IAEA
and sign and implement the Additional Protocol. On North
Korea, the Italians see a role for the EU once the key
parties reach a general understanding. Italy is willing to
work constructively with the US during the remainder of its
EU Presidency to help move North Korea toward the negotiating



2. (C) U/S Bolton discussed North Korea's weapons program in
his meetings with MFA Director General Giancarlo Aragona, MFA
U/S Margherita Boniver, Berlusconi's Diplomatic Advisor
Giovanni Castellaneta and President Ciampi's Diplomatic
Advisor Antonio Puri Purini. Aragona asked U/S Bolton to
clarify the impact of the recent Presidential Determination
that allows the release of the last tranche of FY03 funding
for KEDO, adding that the EU is focused primarily on KEDO
because of its financial commitment to the program. Italy
favors suspending the KEDO program rather than a more lasting
interruption or termination, according to Aragona. U/S Bolton
explained that the $3.72 million allotment was limited to
administrative expenses only and that the proposed FY04
budget includes no KEDO funding. The Presidential
Determination, which in effect allows the program to continue
for another 12 months, reflected the strong preference
expressed by South Korea and Japan to suspend (rather than
terminate) the program in order to avoid disputes with
contractors, he said.

3. (C) On six-party talks with DPRK, the EU is willing to
play a role in keeping North Korea at the negotiating table,
Aragona said, but it would be premature to get more involved
until the key parties reach a general understanding. The
Chinese reportedly told Japanese officials that they don't
expect more six-party talks in 2003, something they had not
conveyed during September meetings with President Bush, U/S
Bolton said. However, the Chinese are not likely to let the
next round of talks slip too far, he added. The IAEA will
continue to have a big role but the five nuclear states

should also be involved. The USG is looking carefully at
what would meet North Korean concerns other than a statement
on assurances by the President, and is working with South
Korea and Japan on a verification regime, he said. Aragona
offered the EU's help, should that be of use, during the
remaining three months of the Italian Presidency.

4. (C) In a later meeting, U/S Boniver agreed that the EU
role would remain limited until there was some movement by
North Korea. She noted that the Chinese take their role as
facilitators very seriously, in part because of the threat of
refugee flows from North Korea into China. One explanation
for the 150,000 troops North Korea recently moved into the
border region is to prevent refugees from crossing into
China, U/S Bolton replied. The USG is focusing on
interdiction efforts to reduce the flow of hard currency to
North Korea and reduce the DPRK's ability to further
strengthen its nuclear weapons program.


5. (C) Aragona noted that Italy opposes naming countries of
proliferation concern, which he said was likely to be a
sensitive issue at the October 9/10 meeting in London on the
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Apart from
potential political problems, naming countries would limit
PSI's impact, he said. U/S Bolton countered that naming
countries will bolster PSI, although the same impact may
result from conducting actual interdictions that will
demonstrate how PSI will work. A key point will be how to
associate other participating governments with the core 11
now involved in PSI, he said. Some countries may not

understand that they can subscribe to the principles of PSI
and help with interdictions without formally joining the
initiative. U/S Bolton noted that Putin and President Bush
briefly discussed PSI at Camp David and that Russia is still
forming a position. Aragona said he would mention PSI during
his upcoming trip to Moscow.



6. (C) The EU position on Iran's nuclear weapons program, and
nonproliferation in general, has toughened in recent months,
Aragona said, although there is still concern about upsetting
the political balance and strengthening hardliners. He asked
U/S Bolton for an update on Iran and the IAEA, particularly
since Italy is now on the IAEA Board of Governors (BOG).
Iran continues to obfuscate its intentions, U/S Bolton said,
and the prospect of UNSC involvement has not changed Iran's
behavior. The USG wants the matter to be referred to the
UNSC by the end of 2003 to make it clear that the
international community takes this seriously; Russia and
China, however, continue to resist. Iran's noncompliance
undermines the IAEA and the NPT, he added. Aragona said EU
Ministers had a good discussion on Iran and the tripartite
initiative at their September 29 meeting in Brussels. He
agreed that an international response will be necessary if
Iran fails to respond by the October 31 deadline. If
Germany, the UK and France decide to send another letter
urging Khatami to comply, they should send it soon, he and
U/S Bolton agreed, so that Iran has to respond well before
the end of October or the November BOG meeting. USG
willingness to take some positive action if Iran signs the
Additional Protocol would help in the BOG debate, Aragona
added. U/S Bolton stressed that the USG standard is the
Evian Leaders' Statement, which provides that Iran must sign
and also immediately begin implementing the Additional
Protocol without conditions.

7. (C) Berlusconi's Diplomatic Advisor Giovanni Castellaneta
told U/S Bolton in a later meeting that the Prime Minister
may be able to raise Iran's actions with Putin while he is in
Rome November 5-6 to sign two Global Partnership agreements.
He also offered to use Italy's relations with Iran to press
them to comply. U/S Bolton noted that Putin and President
Bush had discussed Iran during their recent Camp David
meetings. Putin had repeated that Russia does not want Iran
to have nuclear weapons, and said Russia would not supply
fuel until the question of Iran's nuclear weapons program is
resolved. It would increase the pressure on Iran
considerably if Russia would acknowledge publicly Iran's
efforts to build a nuclear weapons program, he emphasized.



8. (C) Colombia and the USG recently negotiated Article 98
language that might provide a way around the US-EU impasse on
scope of coverage, U/S Bolton reported at all of his meetings
with Italian officials. He pointed out that 30 of the 68
countries that have now entered into Article 98 agreements
with the USG are also party to the Rome Treaty creating the
International Criminal Court (ICC), a fact that bolsters the
argument that there can be more than one legal interpretation
of Article 98. Aragona agreed to study the Colombia
agreement's language but said that he has seen no shift in
the EU position on Article 98's scope of coverage. Europe
has a completely different philosophy about the ICC, he
explained, which has considerable public and parliamentary
support. In later meetings, Castellaneta and President
Ciampi's Diplomatic Advisor Puri Purini also doubted that
there would be much change in the EU position. Castellaneta
added that Italy is open to finding an acceptable solution.
Puri Purini, who was less familiar with the issue, stressed
that Italy's efforts to work constructively with the US had
to remain within the framework of maintaining a consistent EU



9. (C) Puri Purini told U/S Bolton that a major theme of
President Ciampi's November trip to Washington and New York
will be European unification and its impact on the
transatlantic partnership. Strengthening EU institutions and
integration will make the EU a better partner in solving
global problems, he said. The idea that a stronger EU is
needed to create a new balance of power is obsolete; the
western world balances on two pillars, he stated. Puri

Purini also raised the EU Intergovernmental Conference (IGC)
(which opened in Rome on October 4). Noting that "failure is
not an option", he told U/S Bolton that Italy is working hard
to have a draft of the Constitutional Treaty approved by the
end of 2003.

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

2003ROME04637 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL