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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06SANTIAGO241 2006-02-03 14:42:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Santiago
Cable title:  

FOREIGN MINISTRY ACCEPTS PROPOSAL FOR MILITARY

Tags:   MARR PREL MASS MOPS CI 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTIAGO 000241 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016
TAGS: MARR PREL MASS MOPS CI
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTRY ACCEPTS PROPOSAL FOR MILITARY
EXERCISES UNDER TEMPORARY SOFA FROM MARCH THROUGH JUNE 2006

REF: A. STATE 16125

B. SANTIAGO 166

C. SANTIAGO 091

D. 05 STATE 225438

E. 05 SANTIAGO 2226

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Emi L. Yamauchi for reasons 1.4(
b) and (d).



1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph five.



2. (C) On February 1, Post received a diplomatic note from
the Foreign Ministry granting the regime of privileges and
immunities for administrative and technical personnel of
diplomatic missions established by the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations of 1961 to U.S. personnel temporarily in
Chile on military programs from March through June of 2006
(paragraph 3 contains an informal translation). The note
does not state U.S. personnel must be accredited to the
Embassy. The Foreign Ministry subsequently has provided oral
assurances these personnel will be permitted to wear uniforms
and carry weapons as required by their orders, and be allowed
to enter Chile with military identification.



3. (U) Below is the Embassy's informal translation of the
Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Note Number 886, dated January
27, 2006:


Republic of Chile
Ministry of Foreign Relations

NO. 00886

The Ministry of Foreign Relations - Special Policy
Directorate - presents its compliments to the Honorable
Embassy of the United States of America and has the honor to
refer to its Note No. 331 of December 13, 2005, regarding the
status of members of the armed forces of the United States
and civilian personnel of the United States Department of
Defense who may be temporarily present in Chile in connection
with military activities during the year 2006.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Relations agrees to
grant to the above-mentioned personnel, for the period of
military activities to take place from March through June
(inclusive), 2006, the regime of privileges and immunities
established by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
of 1961 for administrative and technical personnel of
Diplomatic Missions.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations - Special Policy
Directorate - avails itself of this opportunity to renew to
the Honorable Embassy of the United States of America the
assurances of its highest and most distinguished
consideration.

Santiago, January 27, 2006.

End Text



4. (C) Comment: The Foreign Ministry's note does not make
reference to the GOC's proposal to conclude a Memorandum of
Defense Cooperation with the U.S. or its intention to
introduce a bill in Congress to grant the executive branch
the right to conclude long-term Status of Forces Agreements
(SOFAs) (reftels b-c). Foreign Ministry Special Policies
Director Luis Winter recently reiterated to poloff the GOC's
desire to submit a SOFA-authority bill, but explained the
current Foreign Ministry could not commit to doing so in
writing (e.g. in the diplomatic note). Ambassador Winter
expressed confidence the incoming government would agree with
the need to empower the executive branch to enter into SOFAs
with other countries. Post believes the Foreign Ministry's
note, together with the Embassy's December 13, 2005 note
(Ref. D), is sufficient to constitute an agreement to proceed
with military exercises beginning in March 2006. End
Comment.



5. (C) Action request: Post recommends the Department provide
the Chilean government a formal response to its proposal to
enter into a long-term SOFA with the U.S. as conveyed to the
Ambassador by the Foreign Ministry (Ref C, Paragraph 9, sub
3.10). We understand the proposal contains little detail.
However, the Lagos Administration's proposals are the first
concrete sign that Chile is interested in pursuing a
long-term SOFA. We believe it is in our interest to keep the
discussions going through the transition from the Lagos to
the Bachelet Administration. A formal response to the GOC's

proposal would be useful in this regard.
KELLY