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Cablegate: Final Agreement with Ecuador On Status of Forces

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0504/01 1582118
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 062118Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8987
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7586
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 3928
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3055
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUN LIMA 2634
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3595
RUEAHQA/OSAF WASHDC
RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000504

DEPT OF ARMY WASHDC

SIPDIS

L/PM (CDR TOM HEROLD), WHA/AND (JANINE KEIL), DOD/OSD
(LTC DAN MCDONALD), DOD/OSD/WHA (WALTER EARLE)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/06/2014
TAGS: KTIA MARR MOPS PM PREL US EC
SUBJECT: FINAL AGREEMENT WITH ECUADOR ON STATUS OF FORCES
FOR EXERCISES

REF: A. QUITO 48
B. 07 QUITO 2299
C. SECSTATE 3118
D. 07 SECSTATE 132344

Classified By: DCM Jefferson Brown for Reasons 1.4 (b&d)

1. (C) Following the meeting with GOE officials on January
9, 2008, and providing the modified text in draft format as
per Refs A and C, Post has engaged the GOE on numerous
occasions to stress the importance of completion of the
exchange of diplomatic notes. Bureaucratic hurdles, multiple
changes in Ecuadorian civilian and military leadership over
the period, and political tensions in the wake of the March 1
Colombian attack across the Ecuadorian border all conspired
to make this a lengthy and challenging process. However, the
GOE finally responded positively on May 29 with a diplomatic
note dated May 28 (paragraph four). The MFA's dip note
completes the exchange of notes and provides the equivalent
of Administrative and Technical status to military personnel
participating in military exercises in Ecuador through
December 2008.

2. (C) Director of Operations General Patricio Cardenas of
the Ecuadorian Joint Command told the Embassy Military Group
on May 21 that Minister of Defense Ponce's seeing two
USG-funded installations during his visit to the Northern
Border in early May broke the political log jam and convinced
him to support the note. He then used his close relationship
to President Correa to advocate personally, together with
Security Minister Larrea, to complete the exchange of notes.

3. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF EMBASSY'S DIPLOMATIC NOTE OF MAY 12:

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its
compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Ecuador and has the honor to refer to the
Ministry,s dip note #23165-GVM-SSNRF-DGSN, dated May 15,
2008, regarding military cooperation between the Government
of the Republic of Ecuador and the Government of the United
States. The Embassy hereby provides in annex the text that
resulted from our bilateral discussions, in particular the
meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 9,
2008, along with an updated calendar. This text reflects the
amendments as suggested by the Government of Ecuador in
October 2007 and mutually agreed upon by both governments
through a subsequent process of negotiation and consultation
among all interested parties. The Ministry,s affirmative
note in reply shall constitute an agreement between the two
governments which shall enter into force on the date of the
Ministry,s reply.

ARTICLE I: PURPOSE

The parties shall jointly participate in the Exercises
scheduled to take place in Ecuador between January 2008 and
December 31, 2008. In connection with the Exercises, United
States armed forces will deploy to Ecuador to perform
training, medical, engineering, and constructions projects.

ARTICLE II: DEFINITIONS

As used in this agreement, "United States personnel" shall
mean military and civilian personnel of the United States
armed forces temporarily present in Ecuador in connection
with the Exercises.

ARTICLE III: SUBJECT MATTER

The subject matter of the exercises described in this
Agreement, and the schedule for such exercises, shall be
prepared and approved by mutual agreement of both parties,
which shall ensure that the schedule for exercises to be
conducted the following year are approved within the last six
months of the previous year. The schedule of exercises may
be modified thereafter by mutual agreement of the parties, as
necessary.

ARTICLE IV: RESPECT FOR LAW

It shall be the responsibility of the United States personnel
to respect the laws of Ecuador and to abstain from any
activity inconsistent with the spirit of this Agreement.
Authorities of the Government of the United States of America
will take necessary measures to that end.

ARTICLE V: ENTRY AND EXIT

United States personnel may enter and exit Ecuador with
United States Government identification and with collective
or individual travel orders. Passports and visas will not be
required. The Embassy of the United States in Quito will
notify the Government of Ecuador with the appropriate
timeliness the list of names and dates of arrival and/or
departure of the personnel assigned to these exercises.

ARTICLE VI: WEARING UNIFORMS

United States personnel may wear their uniforms while
performing official duties in Ecuador and within the area
assigned for the conduct of the exercises provided under this
Agreement.

ARTICLE VII: LICENSING

Ecuadorian authorities shall accept as valid, without a
driving test or fee, a driving permit or license issued by
the appropriate United States authority to United States
personnel for the operation of military of official vehicles.
Vehicles owned by the United States need not be registered,
but shall have appropriate identification markings.

The Government of Ecuador shall accept as valid medical
credentials and licenses issued to United States health care
personnel by appropriate United States authorities.

ARTICLE VIII: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

United States personnel in Ecuador shall enjoy freedom of
movement within the area where the exercises take place and
such freedom of movement as is necessary to exercise the
right to undertake those activities deemed necessary for the
performance of their duties. United States personnel
transiting outside the area designated for the conduct of the
exercises shall be subject to the laws of Ecuador in
accordance with their status, which is equivalent to that
provided to the administrative and technical staff of the
United States Embassy, provided under Article IX of this
Agreement.

ARTICLE IX: STATUS OF PERSONNEL

The Government of Ecuador shall accord to United States
personnel in Ecuador in connection with these Exercises,
status equivalent to that provided to the administrative and
technical staff of the United States Embassy in accordance
with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April
18, 1961 (the Convention). Consistent with this Convention,
United States personnel shall be subject to the civil and
administrative jurisdiction of Ecuador for acts committed
outside the course of their duties.

Notwithstanding this article, if it becomes necessary for
Ecuadorian authorities to detain temporarily any United
States personnel, the Ecuadorian authorities shall
immediately notify the Embassy of the United States of
America in Ecuador, and coordinate for their return to the
appropriate United States authorities. The provisions of

this paragraph notwithstanding, United States personnel shall
be subject to the civil and administrative jurisdiction of
Ecuador, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding
paragraph.

Ecuadorian authorities and United States military police
investigators shall cooperate in the investigation of any
crimes believed to be committed by or against United States
personnel.

ARTICLE X: CLAIMS

Both Parties shall waive any and all claims against each
other for damage, loss, or destruction of the other's
property arising from activities to which this Agreement
applies. With respect to claims against the United States
other than contractual claims and those waived or otherwise
addressed in this Article, the Government of the United
States of America shall pay just, fair, and reasonable
compensation in settlement of meritorious claims arising out
of the acts or omissions of United States personnel, or which
are otherwise incident to the Exercise activities of the
United States armed forces. These claims shall be
expeditiously processed and settled by United States
authorities in accordance with United States laws, in
coordination with the appropriate Ecuadorian authorities.

The Government of Ecuador shall provide lands and facilities
for the successful performance of operations relating to the
agreed exercises; it shall also pay just, fair, and
reasonable compensation in settlement of meritorious claims
arising from the use, by the armed forces of Ecuador and of
the United States, of lands or other properties, including
facilities provided for such purpose by the Government of
Ecuador.

The costs associated with resolving claims as set forth in
this Agreement shall be borne by the party responsible,
except those stipulated in the preceding paragraph.

The Government of Ecuador shall accept full responsibility
for, and shall hold the United States Government harmless
from, any claims arising from the use of projects
constructed, in whole or in part, during these Exercises,
provided such projects have been previously approved by the
Government of Ecuador.

ARTICLE XI: IMPORT AND EXPORT

United States Government property imported into or acquired
in Ecuador by or on behalf of the United States armed forces
in connection with these Exercises, shall be free of all
Ecuadorian inspections, duties, taxes, and other charges.
Title to such property shall remain with the Government of
the United States of America, which may remove such property
from Ecuador at any time, free from export duties, taxes, or
other charges that would otherwise be assessed upon such
property after importation into, or acquisition in, Ecuador.
Such property may be removed from Ecuador, or disposed of
therein, provided that disposition of such property in
Ecuador to persons or entities not entitled to exemption from
applicable taxes or duties shall be subject to payment of
such taxes and duties by such person or entities.

Personal property of United States personnel may be imported
into and used in Ecuador free of all inspection, duties,
taxes, and other charges during the period of the owner,s
service in Ecuador. Such property shall normally be exported
or transferred to other United States personnel. The
transfer of such property to persons or entities in Ecuador
who are not exempt from importation duties and restrictions
can be made only under terms and conditions, including
payment of applicable duties and taxes, imposed by the
Government of Ecuador. The exportation of such property and

of property acquired in Ecuador by United States personnel
for personal use shall be free of all Ecuadorian duties,
taxes, and other charges.

ARTICLE XII: PUBLIC UTILITIES

The United States armed forces and United States personnel
may use water, electricity, and other public utilities and
facilities on terms and conditions, including rates or
charges, no less favorable than those available to the
Ecuadorian armed forces in like circumstances, unless
otherwise agreed. The Government of Ecuador shall, upon
request, assist United States authorities in obtaining water,
electricity, and other public utilities and facilities.

Ecuadorian authorities shall permit the United States armed
forces to use radio communications for the conduct of the
official duties of United States personnel. The Government
of Ecuador shall notify the United States armed forces of the
radio frequencies for local and international official
communication to be used for this purpose. Ecuadorian
authorities shall permit United States personnel to use
United States armed forces organic communication systems for
their official duties.

ARTICLE XIII: USE OF TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES

Vehicles, vessels, and aircraft operated by the United States
armed forces shall not be subject to the payment of landing
or port fees, pilotage, navigation or over flight charges, or
tolls or other use charges, including light and harbor dues,
while in Ecuador. Aircraft operated by or for the United
Status armed forces shall observe local air traffic control
regulations while in Ecuador. Vessels owned or operated by
the United States armed forces shall not be subject to
compulsory pilotage at Ecuadorian ports.

ARTICLE XIV: SECURITY

The parties shall cooperate in taking such steps as may be
necessary to ensure the security of United States personnel
and property in Ecuador pursuant to this Agreement.

Security personnel from the United States who are
participating in these exercises shall have the right to
carry arms and ammunition while performing official duties
and while within the area where the exercises are being
conducted. No other United States personnel may carry arms
during their stay in Ecuadorian territory, except when the
nature of the exercise so requires, in which case the
Ecuadorian authorities shall authorize United States
personnel to carry arms and ammunition within the area where
the exercises are being conducted and for purposes of
transporting them from the point of debarkation to the
exercise area and back to the point of embarkation. United
States authorities will submit a list of the weapons to be
brought into Ecuador for these purposes, including a general
description of the arms, to Ecuadorian military authorities
for approval. Under no circumstances shall any type of arms
other than those that have been approved by the Ecuadorian
authorities be permitted, nor shall any other United States
personnel, other than those authorized, be permitted to carry
arms or ammunition.

ARTICLE XV: IMPLEMENTATION

Arrangements to implement this Agreement shall be entered
into by appropriate authorities of the Parties as required.

Any differences regarding the interpretation or application
of this Agreement shall be resolved by consultation between
the Parties.

The Embassy avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs the assurances of its highest and
most distinguished consideration.

END EMBASSY'S DIPLOMATIC NOTE OF MAY 15

4. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF ECUADORIAN MFA'S DIPLOMATIC NOTE OF
MAY 28:

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS, COMMERCE AND INTEGRATION
presents its compliments to the Honorable Embassy of the
United Status of America and has the honor to acknowledge
receipt if the Embassy's note No. POL 036/2008, dated May 15
2008, which states the following:

&The Embassy of the United States of America presents its
compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Ecuador and has the honor to refer to the
Ministry,s dip note #23165-GVM-SSNRF-DGSN, dated May 12,
2008, regarding military cooperation between the Government
of the Republic of Ecuador and the Government of the United
States. The Embassy hereby provides in annex the text that
resulted from our bilateral discussions, in particular the
meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 9,
2008, along with an updated calendar. This text reflects the
amendments as suggested by the Government of Ecuador in
October 2007 and mutually agreed upon by both governments
through a subsequent process of negotiation and consultation
among all interested parties. The Ministry,s affirmative
note in reply shall constitute an agreement between the two
governments which shall enter into force on the date of the
Ministry,s reply.

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS, COMMERCE AND INTEGRATION
taking note of the attached document and updated calendar has
the pleasure to confirm acceptance of them, and hence the
Embassy's diplomatic note and this response constitute an
agreement between the two countries, which will be effective
from this date.

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS, COMMERCE AND INTEGRATION
avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Honorable
Embassy of the United States the assurances of its highest
and most distinguished consideration.

END TEXT OF ECUADORIAN MFA'S DIPLOMATIC NOTE OF MAY 28
Jewell

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