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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08PARIS362 2008-03-03 06:29:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

FRENCH VIEWS ON SOMALIA AND PIRACY

Tags:   KCRM PBTS PREL UN UNSC IMO XA XW SO FR 
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VZCZCXRO2667
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHFR #0362 0630629
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 030629Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2123
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 1538
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0111
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 2940
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 000362 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E, AF/RSA/ IO/UNP, EEB/TRA/OTP, OES/OA, L

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2018
TAGS: KCRM PBTS PREL UN UNSC IMO XA XW SO FR
SUBJECT: FRENCH VIEWS ON SOMALIA AND PIRACY

REF: STATE 18101

Classified By: CDA Josiah Rosenblatt, 1.4 (b/d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: The French MFA is generally favorable to
the notion of UNSC action on Somalia and piracy (reftel).
However, the French would hope that a UNSC mandate would
contain specifics setting forth clearly the legal basis of
any resulting operation and the responsibilities of, and
limitations placed on, participating countries. The French
would prefer that a UN program not hamper the operation the
French initiated last November to protect WFP vessels from
pirates, a program which Denmark is now udertaking, with the
Dutch scheduled to replace Denmark at the beginning of May


2008. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) We delivered on February 25 reftel demarche on
Somalia and its piracy problem to MFA DAS-equivalent Helene
Le Gal and Somalia desk officer Thierry Caboche. Responding
on February 29, Caboche said that France supported UNSC
engagement on the issue. He noted that France had already
demonstrated an active interest in this subject, referring to
the naval escort and protection France had provided on a
bilateral basis to World Food Program (WFP) ships bound for
Somalia during the November 2007-January 2008 period.
Caboche said that Denmark had taken over this escort duty
from France at the end of January 2008 but that the Danes'
rotation would end at the beginning of May 2008. Caboche
said that the Dutch had indicated that they would undertake
the mission once Denmark's tenure ended. Caboche said that
France had taken care to provide the Danes, and would later
provide the Dutch, the rules of engagement and other
operational guidelines the French had developed, in order to
ensure a smooth transition among the participants.



3. (C) After noting that the Security Council had discussed
this issue informally on February 28, Caboche noted two
French concerns about a UNSC resolution. First, he
emphasized the importance of clearly drafting the resolution
in terms of rules of engagement, the mission's objectives and
its limitations, and the operation's legal basis. "It
shouldn't be a blank check to allow participants to act at
will," he said He noted especially the need for provisions
on how to handle pirates who may be detained as a result of
anti-piracy operations.



4. (C) Caboche's second concern involved the possible
negative impact UN involvement could have on the WFP support
operation the French, Danes, and Dutch were conducting. He
indicated that even if a separate UN operation were
developed, France would continue to support the WFP operation
it had initiated. He said that France would hope that its
WFP support activities would not be subsumed within a broader
UN program. Caboche also said that the GOF would not want to
see its program fall victim to any maneuvering on the part of
Russia, China, and South Africa, all three of which, he
believed, could object to the proposed UNSC role described in
reftel.



5. (U) Minimize considered.

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


ROSENBLATT