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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO248
2007-04-13 15:07:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

WELCOME TO NATO FOR STEVEN RUSHEN MAY 6-12

Tags:   ECON  OTRA  POL  EU  BE 
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VZCZCXYZ0016
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNO #0248 1031507
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131507Z APR 07
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0737
						UNCLAS USNATO 000248 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON OTRA POL EU BE
SUBJECT: WELCOME TO NATO FOR STEVEN RUSHEN MAY 6-12

REF: STATE 047171



1. Mission welcomes INR Analyst, Mr. Steven Rushen to NATO
for meetings on May 9-11. Control officer for the visit is
USNATO Political Officer, Beverli DeWalt, work
tel:(32)2-724-3239, fax: (32)2-724-3421. Administrative
support is provided by Lucia Krul (32) 2-724-3233.



2. Hotel reservations have been confirmed at the Metropole,
Place de Brouckere, 31 Brussels 1000. Tel: 02 217 2300.
Confirmation number for Mr. Rushen is 27803 arriving on May 6
and departing on May 12, per email request.



3. The primary mode of transportation for visitors to
Brussels is metered taxis, which are plentiful and reliable.
However, fares, which can be vouchered, are quite expensive.
The bus, tram and metro system are excellent.



4. NATO visitor passes have been arranged and can be picked
up at the front gate. Visitors should then proceed directly
to the U.S. Mission, near the NATO "F-wing" entrance. For
security reasons, all visitors, even those with green NATO
badges, must present two pieces of identification or their
blue State Department-issued badge to the Marine Guard before
being admitted into the U.S. Mission. Visitors must also
leave cell phones and other electronic equipment with the
Marine Guard. Mission appreciates your cooperation.



5. Computer and Electronics Usage: Inter-agency security
standards prohibit the introduction or use of non-USG owned
computer hardware and software at all USG diplomatic
facilities. Cell phones, palm pilots, radios and other
convenience electronics are prohibited in all secure areas of
the Mission. Travelers who anticipate having special needs
in terms of either access or computer usage should contact
the RSO office before arriving at post.



6. Regarding money, there is a branch of the ING Bank at
NATO which has an ATM that accepts U.S. bank/credit union
cards on the "PLUS" system. Numerous downtown banks also
have ATM machines. Traveler's checks can be exchanged in
most banks. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, there is a
cashier at USNATO to which TDY visitors with travel orders
have access.



7. Threat Assessment: A worldwide caution regarding the
threat of transnational terrorism was issued by the
Department of State. (Please consult the Department's
website for text: HTTP:HTravel.State.Gov.) In light of this
caution and the events of September 11, 2001, all visitors
are encouraged to assess their security posture, and be alert
to their surroundings. All visitors should exercise caution
while traveling abroad as U.S. citizens and facilities are
often the target of groups demonstrating opposition to the
U.S. foreign policy.



8. Belgium remains a relatively safe country but as a result
of the war in Iraq, and sentiments expressed by its citizens
against the war, American visitors are advised to exercise
caution and avoid anti-American demonstrations. Also, it is
prudent not to wear clothes or carry articles with logos and
emblems associated with the United States at this time. By
taking reasonable precautions, visitors should enjoy an
uneventful stay. However, purse snatching and pick-pocketing
are occurring more frequently. In Brussels, pick-pocketing
and purse snatching are more prevalent in the metro system
(subway, bus, tram) and at Brussels' three major train
stations: Gare du Nord (North Station), Gare Central
(Central Station), and especially Gare du Midi (South
Station). Extra caution should be used at the Gare Centrale
Station. Victims have been asked for assistance by someone
who appeared lost and anxious to catch their train. As the
victim responds to the request, a third person appears and
steals laptop computers, and other related travel items.
According to the police, this is a new strategy by criminal
gangs operating at Central Station. Apparently they prefer
platforms 3 and 4, used by trains going to the airport and
obviously carrying the best category of potential victims.
Valuables should never be left unattended in vehicles and car
doors should always be kept locked when driving. Carry only
a minimum amount of cash, credit cards and ID. Expensive
jewelry, financial records, address books and other personal
effects should be left at home or stored in a safe place
during your visit.



9. Emergency numbers for the Police and Medical Assistance
are 101 and 100 respectively, and for cellular phones
(locally) 112. Visitors to Belgium requiring additional
information should contact the Brussels Regional Security
Office at 32-2-508-2370 (if dialing locally, 02-508-2370).



10. Please advise if further assistance is needed.
OLSON