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07RIGA64 2007-01-23 13:09:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Riga
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1. (C) PolEconOff delivered reftel points January 23 to
Andris Pelss, Head of Nonproliferation and Arms Control
Division at the MFA, and Sanita Krumina, who works in the
same division. Pelss responded that the GOL shares the USG's
humanitarian concerns and also agrees that cluster munitions
(CM) have military value. He stated that the question is how
to appropriately address the humanitarian side of the
equation without significantly hampering military goals and

2. (C) According to Pelss, there was some confusion within
the GOL as to whether the Latvians had originally been
invited to the Oslo conference on CM. However, Janis
Karklins, Latvia's Ambassador to the UN Mission in Geneva
plans to attend. Pelss added that it was unclear whether
Karklins would attend as a representative of the GOL or
rather in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of
Governmental Experts to the CCW. Pelss noted that it is
important for Amb. Karklins to be present at this event
since, as Chairman of the Group of Governmental Experts to
the CCW, he needs to remain informed of all developments
related to this topic.

3. (C) Pelss was initially non-committal about the Norwegian
effort to develop a new international instrument of
international humanitarian law to address CM. However, when
pressed, he stated that the GOL "considers the CCW framework
the most appropriate venue for discussing these matters."
Pelss twice noted that he "hopes the process will return to
the CCW." He pointed out that there is some value in
discussing the issue of CW and that the balance between
humanitarian concerns and military needs should be addressed.
He added that, while the USG may be highly responsible in
its use of CM, other countries may not be.

4. (C) Per reftel, PolEconOff asked about GOL interests in
and position on CM in relation to the April 18-20 experts
meeting hosted by the ICRC in Montreux. Pelss stated the GOL
has made no decisions on this, but that Amb. Karklins could
be involved in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of
Governmental Experts to the CCW. Also per reftel
instructions, PolEconOff suggested that the USG and GOL
pursue military-to-military discussions on CM. Pelss
responded that the GOL welcomes such discussion and that the
military aspect of this topic is "half if not more than half
of the whole discussion."