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08BUENOSAIRES1282 2008-09-15 13:32:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Buenos Aires
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1. (C) Pursuant to reftel, ESTCouns and ESTOff met with
Executive Director of the Argentine National Commission on
Aerospace Activities (CONAE) Dr. Conrado Varotto and CONAE
Secretary General Felix Menicocci on 10 September 2008, to
firm up plans for bilateral discussions on the status of the
Argentine space launch vehicle (SLV) program. The meeting
took place in Varotto's Buenos Aires offices and resulted in
full agreement by both parties to move forward with all U.S.

2. (C) ESTCouns suggested that the first event, a one-time
""state of play"" briefing by Government of Argentina (GOA)
officials to U.S. entities, occur in the January-February
2009 time frame. The first briefing would be followed by an
expert level meeting in Buenos Aires in the May-July 2009
timeframe, with subsequent expert-level meetings occurring
approximately every six months alternately in Washington D.C.
and Buenos Aires. Varotto agreed to the suggested dates and
schedule of meetings. ESTCouns emphasized that the bilateral
meetings would be in addition to the GOA informing their
Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC) partner countries of the status
of their SLV program. Varotto acknowledged that the
bilateral meetings would supplement the GOA's regular
presentations to HCOC or Missile Technology Control Regime
(MTCR) countries.

3. (C) The meeting concluded with statements of a shared
commitment to full cooperation and transparency. Varotto
stressed the close working relationship between CONAE and the
Embassy, and restated his request that the USG consider CONAE
as the lead GOA agency for all matters related to the SLV
program. He reiterated that CONAE's leadership acts with the
MFA's authority at the highest level. ESTCouns acknowledged
that this is what he had been told by the MFA's Directorate
for International Security and Nuclear Affairs (DIGAN) but
noted that he would continue to keep DIGAN apraised of
developments as a courtesy.