Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALGIERS2264
2005-11-09 15:25:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Algiers
Cable title:  

ALGERIAN MOD AGREES TO COOPERATE ON BLUE LANTERN

Tags:  PREL MARR AG 
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C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 002264 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2020
TAGS: PREL MARR AG
SUBJECT: ALGERIAN MOD AGREES TO COOPERATE ON BLUE LANTERN

Classified By: Ambassador Richard W. Erdman: reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 002264

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2020
TAGS: PREL MARR AG
SUBJECT: ALGERIAN MOD AGREES TO COOPERATE ON BLUE LANTERN

Classified By: Ambassador Richard W. Erdman: reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (SBU) On November 8 the Ministry of National Defense sent
DATT a letter whose bottom line, after four paragraphs of
venting over the freeze on license authorizations, was that
the Ministry has agreed to provide &certifications of
receipt for all materials of American origin.8 Prefatory
language in the letter notes the Ministry,s regret and
surprise at the &Department of State,s8 decision to freeze
export license authorizations for Algeria. The Ministry, the
letter plaintively continues, does not understand the reasons
for such a decision, in view of the political will of each
side, our excellent political and economic relations and, in
particular, the development of U.S.-Algerian military
cooperation in recent years. Nor does the Ministry
understand why such a freeze should extend to contracts with
non-American firms working with U.S. firms.


2. (SBU) The letter also criticizes the September
cancellation of a joint DSCA/State visit, implying the issue
might have been resolved earlier had the delegation come.
&If the question of a certificate of final use is the
principal reason for this decision, it is appropriate to
point out that the Ministry of National Defense was prepared
to receive a delegation of American experts to discuss this
question. The visit was unfortunately cancelled by the U.S.
on the eve of the departure of this team for Algiers.8 In
any case, the letter contends disingenuously, &Algeria has
never responded negatively to the American requests on this
subject. On the contrary, it informed the Defense Attache
that the request was being studied and evaluated in terms of
Algerian law and regulations.8

COMMENT - RECOMMENDATION
--------------


3. (C) The Defense Ministry,s letter is welcome news,
despite the swipes at the Department and the self-serving
interpretation of the leadup to our freezing the export
license authorizations. Admitting honest error and backing
down is not exactly a part of this proud nation,s culture,
so if a little venting is the price to pay for getting this
issue to come out right, so be it. In this regard, we know
that President Bouteflika was briefed on this issue by
presidential Chief of Staff Belkheir following the latter,s
conversations with the Ambassador, and there are some
indications Bouteflika may have engaged on this issue, making
clear to the military he did not agree with their stance and
wanted this problem resolved. In any case, assuming the
promised certification letter is satisfactory, we should take
the high road and be as forward-leaning as possible in our
response, treating the Blue Lantern issue as a temporary
misunderstanding, moving quickly to lift the authorization
freeze, and making clear that putting this issue behind us
will open doors for expanded cooperation. More specifically,
we recommend that we:

-- reschedule as early as possible (early December?) the
visit of the DSCA/State team that was cancelled in September
in order to encourage better communication, clear up any
residual misunderstandings, build good will, and brief on
systems Algeria has expressed interest in.

-- take advantage of such a visit to have an initial
discussion of when we might schedule the session of the Joint
Military Dialogue.

-- have DOD A/S Rodman, in his capacity as the head of the
U.S. JMD delegation, send a warm letter to Minister-Delegate
Guenaizia, welcoming the positive decision as a step that
will open doors to greater cooperation and noting that he
looks forward to visiting Algeria for the next JMD

-- take advantage of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gaid-Salah
mid-November visit to General Jones to reinforce our positive
reaction to the Ministry,s decision to cooperate on Blue
Lantern.
ERDMAN