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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PARIS1731
2005-03-15 17:15:00
SECRET
Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

PSI: UPDATE FROM THE FRENCH MFA ON THE STATUS OF THE SYRIA BOUND CARGO IN PIRAEUS

Tags:   PARM  PREL  ETTC  HK  PK  CM  GM  FR  MTCR 
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						S E C R E T PARIS 001731 

SIPDIS

FOR NP/CBM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 15 YEARS
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC HK PK CM GM FR MTCR

SUBJECT: PSI: UPDATE FROM THE FRENCH MFA ON THE STATUS OF THE SYRIA BOUND CARGO IN PIRAEUS
REF: A. PARIS 01311


B. STATE 34422

C. STATE 30198

D. PARIS 1087

E. ATHENS 517

F. ATHENS 553
Classified By: EST COUNSELOR ROBERT W. DRY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B), (D), AN D (H).

S E C R E T PARIS 001731

SIPDIS

FOR NP/CBM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 15 YEARS
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC HK PK CM GM FR MTCR

SUBJECT: PSI: UPDATE FROM THE FRENCH MFA ON THE STATUS OF THE SYRIA BOUND CARGO IN PIRAEUS
REF: A. PARIS 01311


B. STATE 34422

C. STATE 30198

D. PARIS 1087

E. ATHENS 517

F. ATHENS 553
Classified By: EST COUNSELOR ROBERT W. DRY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B), (D), AN D (H).


1. (S) On 15 March 2005, EST officer was contacted by David Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation, who provided a readout of the 15 March demarche by the French Embassy in Athens delivered to Greek MFA Director of Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) matters, Mr. Orphanides. In the demarche, the French formally asked the Greeks to further consider the legal questions and available options regarding the Syria bound cargo in port at Piraeus, to determine if a legal basis could be identified that would allow the Greeks to impound the shipment. Orphanides agreed to instruct Greek customs officials to hold the goods until at least 22 March while the MFA considered the legal aspects of the case. He also promised the French that he would provide a formal Greek MFA response within one week's time to the request for a full analysis of the legal options available.


2. (S) Bertolotti remarked to EST officer that this demarche had provided the U.S. and France at least one more week to explore their options. Bertolotti also noted that he hoped to soon be able to brief EST officer on the results of the 14 March meeting between French officials and the manager of Francare, purpose of which was to convince the manager to stop the shipment either by evoking Francare's legal ownership of the goods, or by requesting that the transporter contracted by Francare return the goods to the company.
Leach