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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06MUSCAT905 2006-06-06 13:41:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
Cable title:  

PORT, BORDER SECURITY A TOP OMANI PRIORITY

Tags:   ETTC KSTC ASEC PREL KHLS EWWT MU 
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					  UNCLAS MUSCAT 000905 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/ARP, ISN/ECC (K. CROUCH AND V. PSAROS)
STATE ALSO FOR DS/IP/NEA, DS/IP/ITA, AND DS/DSS/OSAC
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FOR M. DEITER
AMMAN FOR J. IRVINE
ABU DHABI FOR ICE ATTACHE
COGARD FOR M. BEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KSTC ASEC PREL KHLS EWWT MU
SUBJECT: PORT, BORDER SECURITY A TOP OMANI PRIORITY

REF: SECSTATE 90052



1. (SBU) In the wake of recent security incidents on ships
that have visited the Port of Salalah, an Omani
transportation official says there will soon be significant
improvements in port and border security. Oman also
continues to mull the creation of a new Homeland
Security-type ministry. The official expressed strong
interest in EXBS and related programming. End summary



2. (SBU) In a June 6 meeting, the Embassy's primary liaison
for border security and programming at the Ministry of
Transportation and Communications (MoTC) assured PolOff that
securing Oman's ports and land borders is a top priority for
Sultan Qaboos. In addition to a current proposal to develop
an independent Homeland Security-like ministry, MoTC
officials are consulting with the Sultan's senior-ranking
British military advisor, General A. Whitley, to discuss
avenues to enhance port security; coordinate and oversee
international security agreements, such as the Department of
Homeland Security's Container Security Initiative and the
Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative; as well as to
strengthen the capacity of the Royal Oman Police Customs.



3. (SBU) Aware of intensified scrutiny on the Port of Salalah
since the recent report of suspicious incidents on two
commercial vessels (one a U.S. merchant ship, the other bound
for a U.S. port) whose last port of call was the Port of
Salalah, MoTC officials are in the process of conducting
thorough security assessments of the port and land border
crossings. The MoTC is also anxious to correct an apparent
ongoing problem with ROP Custom's lack of training on VACIS
scanning machines recently purchased from U.S. firm SAIC.
(Note: SAIC officials are arriving in Muscat the week of June
12 to "resell" the Omanis on the VACIS equipment and discuss
needed training and personnel issues for manning the
machines. End Note.) According to an MoTC official, "big
improvements" to security and screening procedures are
expected within the month.



--------------------------


COMMENT


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4. (U) When discussing the upcoming visit of the State EXBS
Programming Officer, the Ministry contact informed PolOff
that the MoTC seeks increased training opportunities for ROP
Customs officers and is interested in proposed border control
patrol vehicles. With regards to planned FY 06 programming,
the contact said that the Transshipment Conference in July
(reftel) and the Seaport Interdiction Training will be
well-received and attended.
GRAPPO