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Cablegate: Cook Islands Country Clearance for Pacific Regional

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWL #0157 0512336
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 202336Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0572
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3901

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000157

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/ANP - DAN RICCI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA SENV CW NZ
SUBJECT: COOK ISLANDS COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR PACIFIC REGIONAL
ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER JOE MURPHY, FEBRUARY 23 - MARCH 3, 2007

REF: SUVA 114

1. (SBU) Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to Pacific
Regional Environmental Officer Joe Murphy, to travel to Rarotonga,
Cook Islands, from February 23 - March 3, 2007. The purpose of this
visit is to participate in the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change Experts' Meeting on Adaptation for Small Island Developing
States, February 26 - 28, and to meet with Cook Islands
environmental and fisheries officials March 1 - 2.

2. (SBU) Embassy point of contact is Political Officer Tod Duran.
Contact details are as follows:

Office: 644-462-6043
Fax: 644-472-3537
Cell: 027-451-2538
E-mail: DuranTE@state.gov

Security Assessment
-------------------

3. (SBU) The Cook Islands is a Parliamentary democracy in free
association with New Zealand, on which they rely for defense and
assistance in meeting low-level security threats. The Embassy is
not aware of any specific threats to U.S. facilities or personnel at
this time in the Cook Islands. However, in light of the worldwide
security alert all visitors should heighten their security awareness
and report any unusual incidents to the Regional Security Office at
the Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand (telephone (64)(4)462-6000,
24 hours/day).

4. (SBU) Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the
U.S. and the 2002 and 2005 terrorist bombings in Bali, there has
been concern that terrorists might seek to take advantage of the low
level of security maintained in small island states such as the Cook
Islands in order to target tourists in previously safe destinations.
New Zealand has worked with the Cook Islands to improve airport
security in response to this possibility.

5. (U) As a result of recent military action in Iraq, there is a
potential for retaliatory actions to be taken against U.S. citizens
and interests throughout the world. Public demonstrations carry the
potential for precipitating violence directed at American citizens.

6. (SBU) U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a
heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their dependents
and/or personnel. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend
public services from time to time for security reasons. In those
instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to
provide emergency services to American citizens. Monitor the local
news and maintain contact with the nearest American Embassy or U.S.
Consulate.

7. (U) Crime: Appropriate common sense precautions should be
taken, especially at night, to avoid becoming a target of
opportunity.

8. (U) Weather: Severe cyclones present a threat during the
hurricane season; however, this is generally only from November to
March.

McCormick

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