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Cablegate: Lisbon-Madrid Joint Country Team

VZCZCXRO9940
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0405/01 1021304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111304Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4591
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3384
RUEHPD/AMCONSUL PONTA DELGADA 0004

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000405

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT BMGT PO SP
SUBJECT: LISBON-MADRID JOINT COUNTRY TEAM

MADRID 00000405 001.2 OF 002


1. This is a joint message from Embassies Lisbon and Madrid.

2. SUMMARY: On March 25, the Country Teams of Embassies
Lisbon and Madrid met to discuss law enforcement issues,
counter-terrorism, common multilateral challenges, military
cooperation strategy, and cost savings measures, as well as
commercial and public diplomacy practices. The meeting
established areas where we can work together and share best
practices already being used successfully in the neighboring
country. In particular, participants used the opportunity to
identify immigration patterns and to discuss the impact on
counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts worldwide.
Embassy Madrid also offered an overview on radicalization
trends in Spain, which have not yet affected Portugal but
could potentially become a problem in coming years.
Ambassadors Aguirre and Stephenson praised the event and
suggested a second joint meeting in two to three years. END
SUMMARY.

3. As part of our continuing efforts to put in place "best
practices" in Embassy management, Embassies Madrid and Lisbon
initiated a joint Country Team to coordinate Mission
Strategic Plans, share tactics and learn each other's
approaches to mutual challenges. We offer an outline of the
program and a summary of the resulting initiatives and/or
action items to spark similar programs at other Missions. As
a result of the day of intensive coordination between the two
missions, we expect to realize significant cost-savings and
enhanced effectiveness in our operations.

4. The agenda was based on MSP mission statements. Embassy
Lisbon's country team traveled to Madrid for an all day
session courtesy of Ambassador Stephenson's offer of air
transportation for his staff. Madrid is one hour ahead of
Lisbon, so sessions ran from 1000 to 1830, including thematic
breakout sessions during working lunches. Topics included
regional security coordination, Amcit outreach, multi-lateral
issue coordination, energy, planning for the new Barcelona
Law Enforcement Hub, counter-narcotics and drug interdiction,
counter-terrorism, U.S. product export in the Iberian market,
military
training coordination, public diplomacy initiatives, energy
conservation, and cost-saving measures.

5. Section chiefs from each country team served as "lead
discussants" to frame issues for each agenda item and
facilitate discussion, then tracked action items formulated
during the joint sessions. Some of the initiatives under
consideration include:

SECURITY:

-- Joint Emergency Action Plan Exercise is tentatively
scheduled for June 2008;

-- RSOs will notify counterparts when convening an EAC and
share EAC meeting results with counterparts;

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

-- More frequent visits by DEA & ICE to supplement ongoing
ORA & LEGATT visits, along with additional coordination to
ensure potential value added is exploited and overlapping
activities avoided;

-- Another "Operation All Inclusive" to promote
international cooperation among law enforcement agencies
working on counter-narcotics issues as a follow-up to the
2007 operation;

-- ICE Madrid proposed expansion of its current pilot "Bulk
Cash" detection program to detect unreported cash courier
operations departing Madrid en route to the United States via
Portuguese airports;

-- Embassy Lisbon to participate in Embassy Madrid,s weekly
Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism Working Group meetings
via DVC;

OUTREACH:

-- Explore whether there are opportunities for collaboration
on volunteer projects linked to public diplomacy and citizen
outreach, e.g. Lisbon's Habitat for Humanity volunteer
project;

-- Coordinate with agencies with regional responsibilities,
e.g. ICE, DEA, on press outreach to schedule backgrounders
and interviews with Lisbon press;

MADRID 00000405 002.2 OF 002

-- Cross train in public diplomacy and send Lisbon's
Cultural specialist to Madrid for consultations with Madrid's
Cultural Attache;

-- Consider diplomatic exchange program for Embassy Madrid
to have diplomats work in the Foreign Ministry (already
operational in Lisbon through the Bilateral Commission);

DEFENSE:

-- Coordinate military training components (internal USG,
bilateral and multilateral), particularly for interdiction
activities and AFRICOM;

COST-SAVING AND EFFICIENCY:

-- Explore bulk pricing and combined orders for Embassy
purchases, e.g. compact
fluorescent light bulbs for Green Embassy initiative;

-- If residential furniture leasing program is approved by
Department and Madrid's pilot program achieves expected cost
savings, consider extending contract to Embassy Lisbon, an
unfurnished post;

-- League of Green Embassies: both posts to continue to
share energy efficiency and recycling strategies;

-- Request EUR support to encourage OBO funding for "green"
initiatives that require upfront investment for long-term
savings;

ENERGY:

-- Explore addition of a Madrid stop in the Fall 2008
Renewable Energy Trade Mission under development by USCS
Portugal, as well as tie-in with Madrid AmCham September
29-30 energy event;

COMMERCIAL:

-- Work with select U.S. Export Assistance Centers to
organize a multi-city U.S. visit for the Senior Commercial
Officers to promote Iberian market opportunities to U.S.
exporters (Winter 2008);

-- Coordinate preparation of Iberian market research reports
with focus on Energy, ICT, Medical Equipment, Pollution
Control Equipment and Travel/Tourism Infrastructure;

-- Joint advocacy for biotech initiatives in the EU since
Spain and Portugal are two of only seven EU countries that
allow biotech products;

-- Explore joint participation in the February 2009 Mobil
World Congress Exhibition in Barcelona and EuroSun 2008 in
Lisbon;

CONSULAR:

-- Resume joint consular conference initiative and possibly
initiate consular exchange program in 2009;

-- Extend Madrid program to enter names of sexual predators
and pedophiles into consular CLASS listings;

-- Continue use of U.S. state victim's programs to assist
Amcits in the Iberian Peninsula (may include funding for
Amcits to travel and testify at trials);

6. Given staff rotation through our missions, our intent is
to repeat the process every two or three years if possible.
Apart from the specific initiatives resulting from the joint
country team, the opportunity to forge working relationships
with counterparts was invaluable and is expected to have
intangible benefits as well. We welcome suggestions from the
Department and other posts regarding
how to implement the proposals or enhance the program in the
future.
AGUIRRE

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