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Cablegate: Spain Plans to Destroy Its Cluster Munitions

VZCZCXRO0519
RR RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHMD #0780 2000652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180652Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5092
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3497

UNCLAS MADRID 000780

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PM/WRA (WILLIAMS AND BAKER)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL MOPS KPOA NATO SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN PLANS TO DESTROY ITS CLUSTER MUNITIONS
ARSENAL

REF: SECSTATE 73257

1. (SBU) Poloffs on July 9 delivered REFTEL demarche to
senior officials in the Ministry of Defense (Brigadier
General Munoz Castresana in the office of the Secretary
General for Defense Policy) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(Deputy Director General for Arms Control Ignacio Sanchez),
and shared with them our new policy on cluster munitions.
The demarche came just as Spanish Defense Minister Carme
Chacon announced in Congress that Spain planned to accelerate
its compliance with the terms agreed to at the May 30 Dublin
meeting of the Oslo Process on conventional weapons and
destroy its cluster munitions arsenal "in the near future."
Defense Minister Chacon reiterated this policy change during
her July 17 appearance before the Congressional Defense
Commission. Nearly 5,000 units reportedly are to be
destroyed beginning later this month and this step would make
Spain the first country to prohibit cluster munitions and
destroy its arsenal. Post understands the Spanish Chief of
Defense was not consulted on his government's decision before
it was announced. The Spanish Air Force has in the past used
these types of munitions for aircraft runway denial and is
the branch of military service most likely to be affected.
Aguirre

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