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Cablegate: Nato Sofa Status for Usafricom Civilians: Germany

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #0090 0182021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 182021Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0273
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RHMFIUU/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHRL/USDAO BERLIN GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BERLIN 000090

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO GM AF
SUBJECT: NATO SOFA STATUS FOR USAFRICOM CIVILIANS: GERMANY
PROPOSES 100-PERSON LIMIT ON NON-DOD CIVILIANS

REF: STATE 167990

1. (U) This cable contains an action request. See para 4.

2. (SBU) Pol-mil chief provided the U.S. diplomatic note in
reftel to the director of the MFA Office on the Legal
Framework for the Stationing of Foreign Military Forces
(Referat 503), Onno Hueckmann, on December 20. On January
10, a legal advisor from Referat 503, Philipp Reszat, called
and advised post that while his office had its doubts about
the applicability of the NATO SOFA to a U.S. geographic
military command operating where NATO is not active, it was
willing to compromise and offer the requested NATO SOFA
status for up to 100 non-DOD U.S. government civilian
employees occupying positions at USAFRICOM. Reszat noted
that 100 non-DOD U.S. government civilians were what the MFA
understood to be the upper limit of what USAFRICOM expected
to have in its employ for the foreseeable future. If such a
cap were acceptable to the United States, he suggested that
the U.S. change the wording of the original diplomatic note
accordingly and re-submit it to MFA. Reszat agreed that the
addition of the 100-person cap to the diplomatic note would
not prejudice the ability of the United States to seek an
increase in the limit at some later date, if that proved
necessary.

3. (SBU) To accommodate Germany's request for a 100-person
limit on non-DOD U.S. government civilian employees in
USAFRICOM, post suggests the following change to the first
sentence of the second paragraph of the reftel diplomatic
note. MFA has tentatively agreed to this wording:

"The Embassy proposes that the Federal Foreign Office shall
treat all non-Department of Defense U.S. government civilian
employees who occupy positions at USAFRICOM, up to a maximum
of 100 personnel, as members of the 'civilian component' of
the United States' force..."

4. (U) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests authorization to
re-submit the U.S. diplomatic note in reftel to MFA,
incorporating the change outlined in para 3.
TIMKEN JR

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