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Cablegate: Psi: Vietnam Participates in Outreach Forum

VZCZCXRO6010
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #0763 1150729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250729Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5210
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2937
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 000763

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP VM
SUBJECT: PSI: VIETNAM PARTICIPATES IN OUTREACH FORUM


1. (SBU) On April 25, Poloff met with MFA International
Organizations Department officer Nguyen Thi Van Anh to obtain a
readout on her attendance at the PSI Outreach Forum held in Auckland
on March 29. (Note: Anh had been traveling until only recently.
End Note.) The focus of the forum was to provide information on the
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and clarification of what
membership in it entails. Anh said the forum covered operational,
legal, capacity-building and intelligence-sharing issues, as well as
the risk of WMD in the Asia-Pacific region and the contribution of
PSI to regional and global security. The half-day format did not
allow time to explore these issues in detail, she noted.

2. (SBU) Forum topics of particular interest were the challenges PSI
implementation poses for a developing country, such as the ability
to mobilize resources quickly when called upon to interdict and the
lack of sufficient technical capability in the form of equipment and
analytical laboratories. Although the information presented at the
forum "was not new," Anh valued the opportunity to see how various
countries assess PSI from their different perspectives. She did not
indicate any new Vietnamese thinking on issues that the GVN says
hinder its PSI endorsement, such as questions about the initiative's
compliance with the requirements of domestic and international law.
Concerning next steps, she observed that countries have different
concerns related to PSI participation and questioned whether there
is one approach that could apply to all prospective PSI
participants.

3. (SBU) According to Jeremy Clarke-Watson, the New Zealand Embassy
DCM in Hanoi, Anh was reportedly an active participant at the forum,
asking a number of questions mainly about the implications for
developing countries of compliance with PSI. She was apparently the
only participant from Southeast Asia to speak or ask anything.

4. (SBU) Comment: Sending a representative to this PSI event was a
first for the GVN. While there has been no change as yet in GVN
policy with regard to PSI, the GVN often states that it remains
committed to nonproliferation cooperation on a case-by-case basis.
This approach was confirmed in the November 2006 Presidential Joint
Statement in which Presidents Bush and Triet "pledged to increase
cooperation to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
and related technology and materials in accordance with
international and national laws and each country's capacities," a
line that MFA interlocutors have noted was drawn from PSI's
Statement of Interdiction Principles. End comment.

MARINE

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