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Cablegate: Gi: France Supports Kazakhstan Exercise; Remains

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #0974 1421526
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211526Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3108

UNCLAS PARIS 000974

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/PRA FOR NATE YOUNG; ISN/WND FOR MEGAN DIETER AND MARY
CULBRETH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER KGIV PARM PREL
SUBJECT: GI: FRANCE SUPPORTS KAZAKHSTAN EXERCISE; REMAINS
UNSURE ABOUT GIIP TALLINN MEETING PARTICIPATION; AND
WELCOMES NEW GI MEMBERS

REF: A. DIETER-YOUNG EMAIL OF MAY 16

B. CULBRETH-ESPINOZA EMAIL OF MAY 9
C. STATE 38571

1. (SBU) Embassy Paris' Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism (GI) POC was asked by the Russian Embassy to join
in a demarche to the French MFA on the upcoming GI exercise
activity in Kazakhstan in early June. Embassy poloff
accepted the meeting per guidance in reftel A. French GI
action officer Thomas Guibert welcomed the news of the
Kazakhstan exercise and applauded Astana's initiative,
particularly since the exercise appears to move into a new
technical area of great interest to France: nuclear site
protection. Guibert noted that during the April 15 EPG in
Paris, the GOF had also encouraged non-Western GI member
states to take a more active role in this Initiative in order
to highlight the importance of its international membership.
Poloff emphasized that Western attendance at the Kazakh
exercise was critical in order to encourage other non-Western
states to also host GI events. Guibert agreed to push
strongly for French attendance.

GIIP
----

2. (SBU) Poloff also took the opportunity to reinforce the
U.S. request for French participation at the June 2-4 Global
Initiative Information Portal (GIIP) meeting in Tallinn,
Estonia (refs B and C). Guibert stressed France's strong
interest in the GIIP, but noted that the GOF is having
difficulties finding available officials for the meeting.

FRANCE-HOSTED EXERCISES?
------------------------

3. (SBU) Guibert told us that France continues to consider
the possibility of hosting an exercise within the framework
of the EPG but is waiting for the results of the two Madrid
exercises before making a full commitment. The GOF wants to
have a better understanding of the scope of the exercises
before beginning its own planning. More practically
speaking, France is the EU President from July 1-December 31,
2008, and is already facing significant demands on its
limited resources.

NEW GI MEMBERS
--------------

4. (SBU) Russian poloff announced the membership of three new
countries in the GI: Ireland, Malta, and the UAE. Guibert
noted that the additions not only open up the GI to an
important Middle East partner, but also mean that all EU
countries are now members-- something France has long sought
in order to seek EU funding for the GI.

Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm

STAPLETON

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