Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALGIERS1013
2005-05-21 15:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Algiers
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR RAISES EXERCISE-SPECIFIC SOFA WITH

Tags:  MARR MOPS PREL AG SOFA 
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C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 001013 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2015
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL AG SOFA
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RAISES EXERCISE-SPECIFIC SOFA WITH
FOREIGN MINISTER BEDJAOUI FOR FLINTLOCK '05

REF: STATE 85939

Classified By: Ambassador Richard W. Erdman, Reason 1.4 (b) (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 001013

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2015
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL AG SOFA
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RAISES EXERCISE-SPECIFIC SOFA WITH
FOREIGN MINISTER BEDJAOUI FOR FLINTLOCK '05

REF: STATE 85939

Classified By: Ambassador Richard W. Erdman, Reason 1.4 (b) (d)


1. (C) During Ambassador's May 21 call on newly appointed
Foreign Minister Mohammed Bedjaoui (other issues reported
septel),Ambassador noted the June 6-18 Flintlock '05 special
forces exercise, adding that the exercise would provide an
opportunity to advance counterterrorism capabilities in the
Trans-Saharan region. Ambassador reviewed reftel talking
points and other background on the Flintlock exercise,
underscoring the importance of SOFA protections and
confirming that while we would welcome a general SOFA
agreement, we were now proposing only a SOFA for the June
Flintlock exercise. Ambassador gave Bedjaoui a copy of our
proposed draft exchange of notes based on the exercise SOFA.
Ambassador observed that the U.S. routinely exchanges such
notes with many countries, even Russia, and that the proposed
texts contained standard language. SOFAs are necessary for
us because they set the terms for the deployment of U.S.
troops on other countries' soil and the legal protections
they provide for our troops.


2. (C) Bedjaoui, a former Minister of Justice and Supreme
Court justice, said that MOD Secretary General Senhadji had
briefed him on Senhadji's recent visit to Washington (for the
inaugural meeting of the Joint Military Dialogue),including
the U.S. desire to conclude an exercise SOFA. After
confirming that our proposed draft would only pertain to the
Flintlock '05 exercise, Bedjaoui mused that one way to handle
such a short-fuse issue might be to consider the U.S. troops
participating in the exercise as attaches to the U.S. Embassy
"if they are not too numerous." (Note: there are less than
a dozen U.S. special forces expected for the Algerian portion
of the exercise.) Ambassador said that the proposed exchange
of notes would essentially have the effect of extending
Vienna-like protections for technical and administrative
personnel to U.S. military personnel participating in the
exercise. Bedjaoui said he had heard that his predecessor,
Abdelaziz Belkhadem, had discussed a similar proposal by
former Ambassador Sanderson, but in the end the exercise did
not take place. Bedjaoui concluded that he would review the
draft carefully and "positively" and get back to Ambassador.


3. (C) Comment: Bedjaoui appeared favorably disposed toward
the idea of an exercise-specific SOFA. During the earlier
portion of the conversation, he told Ambassador that he was
"delighted" to see the excellent relations that now exist
between Algeria and the U.S. He also recalled positive
memories from his childhood of U.S. servicemen landing in
Algeria as part of the preparations for the Allied effort to
invade Italy.
ERDMAN