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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03THEHAGUE3155
2003-12-22 12:01:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (CWC): OPCW READY TO

Tags:  PARM PREL KNNP LY CWC 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003155 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR T, AC, AC/CB, NP/CBM, VC/CCB, L/ACV, IO/S
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISP
JOINT STAFF FOR DD, PMA-1 FOR WTC
COMMERCE FOR BIS (GOLDMAN)
NSC FOR CHUPA
WINPAC FOR LIEPMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2013
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP LY CWC
SUBJECT: CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (CWC): OPCW READY TO
ACT ON LIBYA'S AGREEMENT TO ABANDON CW

REF: STATE 345870 (NOTAL)

Classified By: Pete Ito, U.S. Delegation to the OPCW. Reasons: 1.5 (B,
D)

This is CWC-137-03.



1. (C) SUMMARY: USDel briefed the OPCW Chief of Staff and
Director for Verification December 22 on Libya's agreement to
abandon its chemical weapons, and conveyed U.S. readiness to
provide more detailed information in the near future. The
OPCW officials welcomed the offer and congratulated the U.S.
for the success at bringing Libya around. They said the
Libyans had not yet contacted the OPCW but that the
organization is "ready and willing " to help the GOL prepare
for accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The first
step would be a preparatory visit to Tripoli by members of
various offices of the organization's Technical Secretariat
to explain to the Libyans their obligations and work on their
initial declaration of chemical weapons and facilities. They
anticipated that the OPCW had adequate resources for this
effort, but that it would be more taxing on personnel than on
finances in the long run. END SUMMARY



2. (C) USDel met with OPCW Chief of Staff Rafael Grossi and
Director for Verification Horst Reeps December 22 to brief
them on Libya's agreement with the U.S. and UK to abandon its
weapons of mass destruction and allow international
verification of the process (REF). We conveyed the offer of
an in-depth briefing by USG officials for the OPCW in the
near future. Grossi thanked us for the information and
welcomed the offer of a detailed briefing. On behalf of, and
on instructions from, Director General Pfirter (who is away
from The Hague), he congratulated the U.S. for the success of
its "long, silent, persistent" efforts at bringing Libya
around, and said that the OPCW would issue a press release
the same day welcoming the agreement. He added (in
confidence) that UK Foreign Minister Straw had attempted to
contact the DG over the weekend on this matter, but had been
unable to reach the DG for technical reasons.



3. (C) Asked how soon the OPCW would be prepared to respond
to an invitation to visit or a request for assistance from
the Libyan government, Reeps said the Libyans had not yet
contacted the Organization, but that the OPCW was "ready and
willing to play our part" in helping the GOL prepare for
accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). He was
ready "to sacrifice Christmas" if need be, but guessed that
it would take at least several weeks before the stage was set
for inspections. The first step, Reeps said, would be a
preparatory visit to Tripoli by representatives of the
Industry Verification Branch, Chemical Demilitarization
Branch, Policy Review Branch, Declarations Branch, and Legal
Office to explain to the Libyans their obligations and assist
in preparing their initial declaration. The Organization was
preparing for a Technical Assistance Visit (TAV) along these
lines in anticipation of an invitation from the GOL. He said
the Technical Secretariat would take the lead, but welcomed a
full briefing by the USG as part of that effort.



4. (C) Grossi said that while there was a "clear political
linkage" with the IAEA's activities with Libya and Pfirter
would be in touch with IAEA DG El-Baradei in the coming days,
the two organizations' processes "cannot be compared."
Libya, he pointed out, was in violation of the NPT, but was
not a signatory to the CWC. The OPCW would be "starting from
scratch" with a TAV to "explore what is there" and put the
pieces in place for initial inspections. Asked if the OPCW
could support inspections "if they were invited tomorrow,"
Reeps responded, "of course." But he and Grossi both
re-iterated that conditions did not appear to be quite ready
for that step -- which Reeps guessed might be one month away.




5. (C) In response to queries about how great a strain
additional inspections and assistance activity would pose for
the Organization, Reeps was relatively sanguine. In the
short run, he said 8-10 officials could be mobilized for the
TAV. In the longer run, there would be a greater strain on
personnel (mainly inspectors) than on financial resources.
Ironically, he added, delays in the U.S. CW destruction
program would free up some resources for Libya, though not
sufficiently to prevent some strain. There would have to be
some re-allocation of industry inspections, which had been
planned through the first quarter of 2004. (Note: Reeps'
comments are part of his now-familiar lament over what he
regards as the adverse impact of DG Pfirter's method of
implementing the tenure policy at the organization. He has
consistently stated that reductions in his branch will
degrade his ability to conduct inspections. End Note.)



6. (C) The meeting with concluded with further discussion
of scheduling a briefing for selected OPCW officials by the
U.S. Grossi reported that Deputy DG Hawtin would return to
The Hague during the first week of January, and DG Pfirter
about a week later. Reeps added that he would be there
during this period, and "we are prepared."



7. (U) Ito sends.
RUSSEL