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Cablegate: Morocco Seeks Crisis Management and Seaport Security

VZCZCXYZ0019
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #0262 0850850
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250850Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8300
INFO RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 3974
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3553
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4964
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 3693

UNCLAS RABAT 000262

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, ISN/ECC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC PREL KSTC MO
SUBJECT: MOROCCO SEEKS CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND SEAPORT SECURITY
CONSULTATIONS

REF: 03/19/08 - KUHN-JIMENEZ E-MAIL

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (U) This is an action message. Please see para 8.

2. (SBU) On March 24, Econoff met with Nouredine Moujahid, Chief of
Staff for International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior, to
discuss new dates for a consultation visit to Washington by Moroccan
border security officials. Moujahid proposed that the visit occur
from April 5-12, but that it be split into two, with two separate
agendas, both headed by Governor Khalid Zerouali, the Interior
Ministry's Director for Migration and Border Security Issues. The
first delegation would like to focus on crisis management, with
visits to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the
National Targeting Center. The second delegation would focus on
seaport security and requests a visit to the Port of Baltimore.

3. (SBU) Moujahid said Morocco was interested in establishing a
national command facility that could respond to both natural
disasters and terrorist/security incidents. He requested a tailored
program for 6 officials 7-9 April that would include consultations
with senior FEMA officials and a visit to the National Targeting
Center. The delegation would arrive on Saturday and Sunday, 5-6
April, and depart 10 April. Moujahid named only 5 members of the
delegation.

4. (SBU) Delegation Members:
Governeur-Director Khalid Zerouali, MOI.
Colonel Mohamed Benziane, Office of Civil Protection, MOI.
Mohamed Manchoud, Chief of Budget Division, MOI.
Mohamed Youssef Safouane, MOI.
Sec-Gen Mohamed Assila, Crisis Management Division, MOI.

5. (SBU) A second 5-member team would arrive on 9 April with a
focus on export/import control and port security. Governeur
Zerouali would remain in Washington to head this delegation, with
the other names to follow. This group desires a visit to the Port
of Baltimore and consultations on issues related to the Export
Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program. Moujahid asked
if USG funding, specifically hotel accommodation, was available to
help with the costs of both visits.

6. (SBU) Econoff told Moujahid he would forward all the requests to
Washington, reminded him that the original 26-28 February
consultations involved no USG funding, and recommended he notify and
coordinate the visit with the Moroccan Embassy in Washington as
well.

7. (SBU) Comment: Zerouali, who is responsible for the security of
Morocco's land, sea, and air frontiers is apparently being groomed
for higher positions. He received both A/S McNerney and Amb Swing
(IOM) during their recent visits to Morocco. He speaks fluent
English and has repeatedly expressed his desire for U.S. assistance
in the improvement of Morocco's crisis response capability,
export/import controls, and border security. We realize that
arranging the proposed visit on such short notice is difficult, but
believe it would pay dividends in further reinforcing bilateral
cooperation with key players on critical security issues, including
development of a dual-use national control list. It would also
facilitate Moroccan support for the EXBS Transshipment Conference in
Tangier May 20-22, and improve Morocco's ability to supervise
commerce through its new transshipment port, a strong USG interest
given the future likelihood of a direct Tangier Med-East Coast
shipping line. End Comment.

8. (U) Action request: Embassy Rabat requests Washington agencies
offer the Moroccans a program generally in accordance with their
proposed dates and activities, without offering USG funding
assistance.

RILEY

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