wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09UNVIEVIENNA122 2009-03-25 07:07:00 CONFIDENTIAL UNVIE
Cable title:  

LIBYA/NUCLEAR MEDICINE CENTER: PRESSING ALI

Tags:   IAEA KNNP AORC LY 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO9043
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHUNV #0122/01 0840707
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 250707Z MAR 09
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9201
INFO RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0045
RHEBAAA/DOE WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 UNVIE VIENNA 000122 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2024
TAGS: IAEA KNNP AORC LY
SUBJECT: LIBYA/NUCLEAR MEDICINE CENTER: PRESSING ALI
GASHUT ON THE MARGINS OF IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING

Classified By: AMBASSADOR GREGORY L. SCHULTE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D
)



1. (C) Summary: On the margins of the March IAEA Board of
Governors meeting, MsnOff and ISN/RA (Jody Daniel) discussed
the status of the U.S.-Libyan nuclear medicine center project
with Ali Gashut (who was representing Libya at the Board
meeting) and Libyan MsnOff Salah El-Mesallati. MsnOff and
Daniel used the opportunity to inquire about the status of
the U.S.-Libyan partnership to establish a nuclear medicine
center in Libya. MsnOff and Daniel noted that the U.S. is
eager to move forward on the project, but Libyan approval of
the jointly developed strategic plan is required before we
can proceed to the next stage. While evading a direct
response to the inquiry and falling back on well-worn Libyan
talking points, Gashut noted his frustration that the project
was moving slowly and claimed that, while many positive
developments had flowed from Libya's decision to forego WMD,
Libya had yet to receive any "tangible benefits" that "the
people can see." Comment: We understand that claims from
Libyan officials that Libya has not been fairly compensated
for giving up its WMD programs have been heard elsewhere,
often to open new avenues of assistance. In this case,
however, Gashut was pressuring to expedite and maximize U.S.
funding for a project that is already being implemented. End
comment and summary.



2. (C) On March 3, 2009, MsnOff and Daniel met with Ali
Gashut and Salah El-Mesallati on the margins of the IAEA
Board of Governors meeting to discuss a variety of issues
related to the Board. U.S. reps used the opportunity to
inquire about the status of the U.S.-Libyan partnership to
establish a regional nuclear medicine center (NMC) in Libya,
and began by reiterating U.S. support for the project and
noting planned nuclear medicine training for Libyans at
Massachusetts General Hospital. They also reinforced that
the USG is eager to move forward with the
architectural/engineering designs for the facility as soon as
possible, but that this cannot happen until the U.S.-Libyan
Strategic Plan for the project is formally approved by the
GOL. They stated their understanding that the Strategic Plan
had already passed the technical review at the expert-level
in Libya and was awaiting final approval from the General
Peoples' Committee for Health and, if necessary, the Libyan
Cabinet. (Note: The Strategic Plan, drafted by RCG
Healthcare Consulting in consultation with Libyan experts,
was presented to Libya in November 2008.) They stressed that
getting final GOL approval on the Strategic Plan will set in
motion the "tangibles," beginning with the architectural and
engineering designs for the facility.



3. (C) Gashut responded by claiming that the NMC project
was moving too slowly. He said that a site had already been
selected and that the Libyan people were eager to see
something on the ground, and claimed that the U.S. and Libya
have been doing much "talking," but with little action.
Gashut recalled that he had met with IAEA experts on this
project and developed a plan in 2006 but that the new
Strategic Plan was not finalized until late 2008. MsnOff
responded by reviewing the history, noting that the original
Libyan proposal for the NMC consisted of "a single page," and
reminding Gashut that the IAEA process--instigated by the
U.S.--was indeed successful in moving the project forward,
but that even the IAEA officials involved considered the IAEA
document as the beginning of a serious planning effort, not
the final endpoint. MsnOff reiterated that it was the U.S.
intention to support a world-class center, and that took time
and planning. Daniel noted that their understanding was that
the Strategic Plan had not been finalized since it still
required formal GOL approval. They added that the lack of a
finalized Strategic Plan is precisely what has precluded
moving forward with implementing the project.



4. (C) Gashut also expressed concern about the level of
U.S. funding for the project and said that he had conveyed
his concerns in January to the U.S. project coordinator.
Reiterating points that had earlier been conveyed to the GOL,
Msnoff and Daniel said the USG remains committed to the
project, but due to the budget process the USG cannot
guarantee the level of funding at this time as neither the
2009 nor 2010 budget had then been approved by Congress. At
the end of the discussion, MsnOff and Daniel agreed to relay
Libyan concerns back to Washington and Gashut agreed to look
into the status of GOL review of the Strategic Plan.



5. (C) Comment: As is the norm with Libyan officials on
this topic, there was the usual dose of grumbling about a
lack of fair compensation for Libya. programs. Mission
assumes, however, that Gashut remains personally and
professionally vested in realizing tangible aspects of the
nuclear medicine project at the earliest possible date.

UNVIE VIEN 00000122 002 OF 002


Gashut presented himself as if he did not understand that GOL
approval of the Strategic Plan is preventing the project from
moving forward. The project coordinator in Washington and
Embassy Tripoli may want to reiterate the message with the
GOL that approval on the Strategic Plan will set in motion
the "tangibles," beginning with the architectural design.



6. (U) Tripoli minimize considered.
SCHULTE