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Cablegate: Joint Russian-U.S. Demarche to Belgium On The

VZCZCXRO6586
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHBS #0881/01 0741542
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151542Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4719
INFO RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0091
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 7850
RUEHAST/USO ALMATY 0342
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0564
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 0001
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1713
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1508
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4000
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1532
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1423
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0358
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1837
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 2339
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2934
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0802

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 000881

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

TAGS: PTER KNNP MCAP PINR PARM PREL BE RS
SUBJECT: Joint Russian-U.S. Demarche to Belgium on the
Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

REF: (A) STATE 21535, (B) 03 STATE 333924

1. Summary: On March 14, Russian Ambassador Vadim Lukov
and Charge d'Affaires Will Imbrie presented to Belgian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Security and
Disarmament Pol De Witte and Director for Non-
Proliferation Werner Bauwens the invitation to join the
Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (Ref A).
Both diplomats underscored the importance of the Global
Initiative to their two nations and their joint goal of
seeing it adopted world-wide. Acknowledging the
"political" importance of a joint demarche, Bauwens voiced
several reservations: the costs, time and energy that
Global Initiative membership might presume; its
"redundancy," lest the Global Initiative be a needless
duplication of already-existing, broader legal commitments
required by UNSCR 1540 and membership in the International
Atomic Energy Agency. He drew a parallel with the "Oslo
process" on cluster munitions, in which Belgium is heavily
engaged, which risks undermining the effectiveness of the
broader Convention on Conventional Weapons. Bauwens asked
if the European Union - specifically the European Council
- had also been asked to join, as the EU already was doing
much to stem nuclear terrorism that should be coordinated
with any new effort.

2. Drawing on instructions from Moscow, Lukov responded
that the Global Initiative represents a group of motivated
nations that can serve as a spearhead to catalyze others
to deal with the pressing question of nuclear terrorism.
Thus, it is more effective than slow, tortuous
negotiations of a lowest, commop
such as at the UN. Hn October 2006,
produced the basic principles of the initiative. Together
with the IAEA, the Global Initiative would enforce
unavoidable punishment of terrorists by strengthening the
legal system and cooperation in technical means to develop
and prevent nuclear terrorism. A plan was also agreed,
Lukov continued, to implement Global Initiative principles
by the original signatory states and others that join.
Belgium, with its reputation in preventing nuclear
diffusion, had an important role to play. It was hoped
that the Government of Belgium would join by notifying
Russia and/or the U.S., before the next Global Initiative
meeting in Kazakhstan in June 2007.


BRUSSELS 00000881 002 OF 003


5. Imbrie underscored the full Russian and U.S. agreement
in the Global Initiative and added that the IAEA is an
observer member of the Global Initiative. Handing over
Ref A points on the Global Initiative, Imbrie remarked
that Belgium should find it easy to endorse the
organization's principles and work plan, which he hoped
Belgium would provide its expertise to help develop.

The Response: Yes, But...
--------------------------

6. Director of Common Security, Defense and Disarmament
Pol De Witte thanked Lukov and Imbrie, noting that the
joint nature of the demarche underscored the political
importance of the initiative. He then turned the floor
over to Director of Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Werner Bauwens.

7. Stating that he was already familiar with content of
the demarche, Bauwens remarked that the Global Initiative
was similar to the approach of the Proliferation Security
Initiative (Ref B), which Belgium had joined as had most
of the European Union. Bauwens suggested that, like PSI,
the Global Initiative might be "embedded" in a larger
existing framework, e.g. UNSCR 1373 or 1540. What was its
"added value"? Further, all EU players including the
European Council should receive the demarche so that
everyone could act together to avoid duplication. The EU
was already doing much to prevent nuclear terrorism.
Could not the Global Initiative be folded into initiatives
that already exist?

8. Belgium's core questions, Bauwens continued, are: Who
does what? Does the Global Initiative not represent a
"turning away" from the legal requirements already imposed
by UNSCRs 1373 and 1540, to which it appears redundant?
What are the organizational details and financial
expectations of membership? PSI imposed a great burden so
Belgium wanted to know from the start expected resource
requirements. Belgium's strong preference, he concluded,
was to avoid any duplication. Nonetheless, he expected
the founding partners could expect "to count us in."

Music to the Ears
-----------------

9. Citing the G-8 as an example, AMB Lukov responded that
"there are two ways to attack" an issue: negotiate in
plenary session, which is slow, painful and reaches the
lowest common denominator, or begin through a small group
of motivated parties that catalyze others to action. This
latter has been the method to fight terrorism, as in
negotiating UNSCR 1540. Pointing out Russia's planned
activities to promote the Global Initiative, he suggested
that Bauwens look closely at the proposed action plan and
see where Belgium might fill in gaps to generate new
knowledge and initiatives. He summed up by stating that
the Global Initiative would welcome the input of Belgium
and Bauwens at its coming meeting in Astana.

10. Imbrie stated that the Global Initiative posed no
contradiction to IAEA efforts of the past seventeen years
but rather, like PSI, was intended to fill gaps created in
the non-proliferation agreements. He stated that, on
specific expectations of membership, Global Initiative
partners might ask Belgium to organize a conference and
actively participate in meetings. Partners would be
expected to fund initiatives they sponsored, but other
costs would be for participation in Global Initiative
events.

The Bottom Line
---------------

11. De Witte asked if the demarche had been sent to all
EU members, suggesting that Belgium could work the topic

BRUSSELS 00000881 003 OF 003


into an all-EU agenda. Imbrie confirmed that all EU
members were being contacted but not the European Council
itself; he would suggest that to the State Department.
Bauwens proposed that the GOB would see to it that the
Global Initiative be put on the agenda of the next Council
working group meeting. Imbrie observed that an approach
to the Council should not delay the decisions of its
individual member nations. Bauwens stated he expected
that even after EU coordination, Belgium would be able to
reply by late April or early May; "We have to go through
the motions of a transparent approach" as an EU member, he
observed.

12. Subsequently, Imbrie learned from EU PSC Ambassador
Dirk Wauters that Belgium had already contacted him
concerning EU coordination and expected that the EU would
support the initiative.
IMBRIE

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