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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06PARIS6789 2006-10-16 05:35:00 SECRET Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

US-FRANCE WMD COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION:

Tags:   KNNP MNUC PTER KFLU FR 
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VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #6789/01 2890535
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 160535Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2202
INFO RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
					  S E C R E T PARIS 006789 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DOE FOR NNSA, DEPUTY U/S FOR COUNTERTERRORISM AOKI; STATE
FOR T, ISN, S/CT, G (AMB LANG), OES/IHA, EUR/WE; HHS FOR
STEIGER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2016
TAGS: KNNP MNUC PTER KFLU FR
SUBJECT: US-FRANCE WMD COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION:
MEETING BETWEEN DOE DEPUTY U/S AOKI AND SGDN OFFICIAL
BERNARD BOUBE

Classified By: ESTH COUNSELOR ROBERT W. DRY FOR REASONS 1.4, (A), (B),
(D), (G)



1. (C) DOE Deputy Undersecretary for Counterterrorism Steven
Aoki paid a courtesy call October 13 on Prefet Bernard Boube,
Director, Protection and Security of the State, at the
General Secretariat for National Defense (SGDN). Discussion
focused on follow-up actions from the April visit to
Washington by a French interagency team led by Boube. Boube
said that at the conclusion of the Washington meetings eight
areas of interest had been identified for further U.S.-French
cooperation on the prevention of WMD terrorism and in related
technical areas. Progress so far has been mixed, with some
areas advancing well, but others lagging behind. He said that
information exchanges on the atmospheric dispersion of
nuclear/biological/chemical agents had taken place, and that
there had also been productive meetings between the French
military health services and their DOD counterparts to
address biological weapons threats. In this area, some 25
topics for cooperation have been identified. There have also
been successful joint workshops on radiation detection
technology, and international exercises under the PSI
framework.



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



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


Protect Transportation Systems - Highest Priority


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



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





2. (S) Boube said his current highest priority was developing
a method to prevent terrorists from bringing explosives into
city subways, trains, and other public transport systems.
While detection of biological or chemical agents remained of
interest, the French were greatly concerned by the bombings
in Madrid and London, and felt that they were potentially the
next target for similar attacks. They have established a
group of experts under SGDN leadership to examine strategies
and technical means to protect this, but frankly are
dissatisfied with the currently available technical equipment
from the point of view of both effectiveness in detection and
operability in a mass transit setting. Boube proposed that we
convene a U.S.-French workshop on conventional explosives
detection for mass transit that could discuss both promising
technical concepts and a methodology for evaluating
operational systems. Aoki responded that the Department of
Homeland Security had the lead responsibility in this area,
but undertook to consult with other Washington agencies to
develop a concept for such a workshop. Boube emphasized that
he did not want a meeting that included representatives of
private companies advocating particular products, but an
interaction between technical experts and government
officials that could produce an honest evaluation of
potential routes to solve this problem.



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


Chem/bio Emergency Response


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





3. (S) A related topic raised by Boube concerned training and
support for emergency response personnel confronted with a
possible chemical or biological device. There were already
bilateral exchanges on nuclear emergency response, but there
was also value in discussing how to diagnose and defuse an
improvised device to disperse chemical or biological agents.
Aoki responded that federal government operations in this
area would primarily fall to the FBI, and again said that he
would discuss the French idea with USG colleagues and respond
through embassy channels.



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


Focus on Avian Influenza


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





4. (C) Boube said France continues to plan intensively for an
avian influenza pandemic and discounted the lack of recent
media stories on the subject. He said that Didier Houssin,
France's interministerial coordinator for avian influenza,
had undertaken a successful visit with HHS and CDC
authorities in the U.S. ESTH Counselor highlighted other
exchanges between France and the U.S. to discuss different
approaches to prevention and management of a pandemic


influenza. Boube said that France is undertaking technical
work associated with reusable masks. The GOF is also engaged
in analysis of acceptability of mask wearing, addressing such
issues as reactions to possible regulations mandating mask
usages for public transportation in a pandemic emergency.
These and other specific items are being tested through local
exercises to gain early experience which would be useful in
managing a crisis. France continued to also be interested in
a careful examination of economic consequences of a crisis,
essentially determining weak links in the economic system,
e.g., transportation or supply systems, food shortages, etc.
"Where do shortages come from in such an emergency," he
asked. The purpose of such studies would be to adapt the
national pandemic influenza plan to provision against such
contingencies. Boube said that France is engaged in
discussions with neighboring countries on road and rail
transportation contingency planning for the purpose of
maintaining open these linkages as long as possible. Boube
is interested in U.S. thinking/methodologies to help better
assess weak points in the economy in advance of a crisis.



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


Containers and the Global Initiative


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





5. (C) Finally, Aoki noted that there was a high level of
concern in the U.S. about the security of container cargo
shipments to the U.S., including the risk that nuclear or
radioactive materials could be introduced into cargo
containers. The Congress had recently passed legislation
calling for a much higher rate of inspection for sea
shipments to the U.S. France already participates in the
Container Security Initiative, but could expect there to be
increasing interest in radiation detection at seaports
serving the U.S. In this context, Boube asked about the
Global Initiative against nuclear terrorism launched at the
G-8 Summit by President's Bush and Putin. Aoki replied that
we saw this as a broad political framework that could give
impetus to a number of specific cooperative implementation
actions. The next step would be to seek agreement by
participants in the initiative to a statement of principles,
analogous to those developed in the PSI process.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm
STAPLETON