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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PARIS1762
2005-03-16 16:16:00
SECRET
Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

PSI: FRANCARE REMAINS NONCOMMITTAL; SHRINKING LEGAL OPTIONS (S)

Tags:   PARM  PREL  ETTC  HK  PK  CM  GM  FR  MTCR 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T PARIS 001762 

SIPDIS

FOR NP/CBM

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

SUBJECT: PSI: FRANCARE REMAINS NONCOMMITTAL; SHRINKING LEGAL OPTIONS (S)
REF: A. PARIS 1731

B. PARIS 01311

C. STATE 34422

D. STATE 30198

E. PARIS 1087

F. ATHENS 517

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



1. (S) On 16 March 2005, EST officer met with David Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director of Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation regarding cargo of currently embargoed goods held in Piraeus port consigned to a Syrian entity.
Bertolotti described the 14 March meeting between French officials and the manager of Francare, purpose of which was to convince the manager to terminate 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. Bertolotti said that the manager of Francare had remained noncommittal to the French authorities' request that he take action to retrieve the Syria bound goods. Francare's manager asserted that the goods had already been sold to the customer, and that the transaction had not broken any French/European Union laws.
The manager also noted that his volume of business with the U.S. is low, and that any possible action taken by the U.S. Government barring Francare from doing business with U.S. companies would not have a significant impact on the company's profits. Francare's manager expressed some concern that the company's reputation might be damaged if he did not comply with the French government's request, insisting that for this reason only was he still considering the possibility of taking back the goods.



2. (S) Bertolotti informed EST officer that French authorities would again visit with Francare's manager at the end of the week, and at the meeting planned to ask for Francare's final answer to their request. Bertolotti commented that the issue of ownership, however, remained an open question, and that French legal experts had now focused on the bill of lading, and specifically whether the transport company still had rights to the goods based on this document.
Bertolotti hoped to have more information on this point to pass to EST officer following an interagency meeting this afternoon.
Leach "

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