Cablegate: Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Npt): Bilateral

DE RUEHC #6428/01 3051557
P 311545Z OCT 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 STATE 116428


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2018

REF: 1. STATE 103725

Classified By: Amb. Marguerita D. Ragsdale. 1.5 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: On the margins of the UN General
Assembly,s First Committee meeting in New York, ISN/MNSA
Director Marguerita Ragsdale, joined by Deputy Director Scott
Davis, held informal bilaterals on Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty (NPT) issues October 13-15 with Australia, Brazil,
Canada, China, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa,
Sweden, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Zimbabwean
Chair of the 2009 NPT next Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).
Ambassador Ragsdale reiterated long-standing U.S. NPT
priorities, such as strengthening Treaty compliance, and
expressed U.S. concerns about the increasing politicization
of nonproliferation issues seen at recent PrepComs and the
2008 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General
Conference (GC) that could carry over into upcoming NPT
meetings. Concerns expressed by interlocutors also included
the Middle East, as well as the effect of the U.S.-India
Civil-Nuclear agreement on the NPT; some averred that NPT
Parties should have modest ambitions for the third (2009)
PrepCom, citing the setting of the agenda for the 2010 Review
Conference as the only decision that is essential in 2009.
The Chairman of the PrepCom, Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiki
of Zimbabwe, has very little experience with NPT issues and
is being engaged by many NPT Party representatives, including
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries, in an effort to
acquaint him with relevant issues. In a statement before the
First Committee, the Philippines representative reiterated
his government,s intention, announced in June 2008, to
nominate a candidate for President of the 2010 NPT Review
Conference (RevCon). END SUMMARY


2. (C ) Ambassador Ragsdale began each meeting with an
overview of the U.S. outlook for the remainder of the NPT
review cycle, focusing on the period up to the PrepCom, which
will take place May 4-15 in New York. She noted we do not
expect several key U.S. NPT priorities to change in the
coming year, in particular our focus on the importance of
Treaty compliance, dissuading Parties from withdrawing from
the NPT, international cooperation on the peaceful uses of
nuclear energy, and further explanation of our strong record
of action to achieve the goals of the NPT,s provisions on
nuclear disarmament. Ambassador Ragsdale pointed out that
the recent IAEA GC appeared to confirm an increased
politicization of nuclear nonproliferation issues,
particularly in the Middle East, that we are concerned could
carry over to the 2009 and 2010 NPT meetings. She also
reiterated U.S. views on modifying the procedures for
selection of chairs and presidents of NPT meetings and the
imbalanced scale of assessments for member states, funding
of the expenses of those meetings. Specific comments from
interlocutors are included below, with several expressing
concern about the Treaty and its review process, as well as
eagerness for U.S. leadership and flexibility.


3. (C) Ambassador Ragsdale told Egypt,s UN Permanent
Representative (PermRep), Ambassador Maged Abdulaziz, that
the United States hoped politicization of the IAEA GC could
be avoided next year. Abdulaziz was clear that Egypt,s main
goals are implementing the NPT,s 1995 Resolution on the
Middle East and persuading Israel to join the NPT. He said
that the Resolution was the main reason Egypt accepted the
indefinite extension of the NPT and that some Egyptians are
now asking why their country joined the Treaty, given that
Israel has not joined after many years. He expressed
pessimism about the future of the NPT review process, partly
based on what he described as the U.S. position not to accept
all elements of the 1995 and 2000 RevCon agreed documents.
He opined that the United States is not really affected by
the issues in the 1995 Resolution, which explains why the
U.S. does not view it as a priority. Ragsdale noted the
emphasis the U.S. has placed on the 1995 resolution and
specifically the proposal by ISN Deputy Assistant Secretary

STATE 00116428 002 OF 005

Hayward that Egypt, Israel and possibly other partners
participate in a technical cooperation workshop. Davis
provided further details on the workshop, which would bring
together Egyptian, Israeli, and American scientists to
discuss technical cooperation relevant to building confidence
on regional security (Reftel). Abdulaziz asked figuratively
"what,s in the workshop for me" and added that Cairo has not
decided on the matter. Abdulaziz noted that Egypt will chair
the NAM beginning in July 2009.

4. (C) In her discussions on the 1995 resolution,s call
for a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle
East (MENWFZ), Ragsdale emphasized the U.S. view that
progress in the peace process is needed before forward
movement on such a zone, but that we are very interested in
working with Middle East states and others to reach the goals
of the 1995 Resolution. Swedish PermRep to the Conference on
Disarmament (CD), Magnus Hellgren, averred that negotiations
on a Middle East weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone could
be expected without greater stability in the region, but that
a final settlement of all Arab-Israeli conflicts may not be
necessary before such a zone could be created. The UK,s CD
PermRep, Ambassador John Duncan, suggested that the Egyptians
realize that the 1995 Resolution,s goals and adherence to
the NPT by Israel are not attainable in the foreseeable
future, and yet they are priorities of President Mubarak,
which results in tension and infighting among Egyptian
officials. He added that the Egyptians are their "own worst
enemy" on these issues and do not have a "bottom line" on how
to proceed in addressing them.

5. (C) French CD PermRep Eric Danon said the proceedings
and outcome of the IAEA GC has created tension between Egypt
and France. France, as president of the EU, led EU efforts
to negotiate a mutually acceptable IAEA GC resolution on
safeguards in the Middle East. Danon expressed concern
about possible efforts by Egypt to seek a similar resolution
at the upcoming 2009 NPT PrepCom. Egypt,s role in creating
stalemate at the 2005 RevCon was mentioned by several
interlocutors. South Africa,s United Nations PermRep,
Leslie Gumbi, noted that it is only the security
relationships created by the 1979 Camp David accords that
keeps Egypt in the NPT and offered the view that Egypt could
seek to &scupper8 the 2010 RevCon to express its
displeasure with Israel,s absence from the NPT. He also
urged the United States to state publicly that Israel should
join the NPT. In reply to Ragsdale,s question about the
possibility that Egypt might withdraw from the Treaty, based
on comments to her from Ambassador Abdelaziz, Gumbi said
Cairo may be posturing, but pointed out that few expected
North Korea would withdraw before it actually did so.
Canadian CD Ambassador Marius Grinius suggested to Ragsdale
that Israel,s policy on nuclear matters is driven by its
preference not to rely on others for its security. Many
interlocutors - including those from the NAM - recognized the
disruptive role Iran has played in NPT meetings, primarily to
divert attention from its non-compliance with its
nonproliferation obligations. Abdulaziz suggested that
direct U.S.-Iranian contacts would reduce such Iranian
obstructions, and Gumbi argued that U.S. decisions about
engaging Iran will determine the role Iran plays in the NPT.


6. (C) New Zealand,s CD PermRep, Don McKay, said that the
NPT is at risk of "death by a thousand cuts" and that
polarization is getting worse, largely because
non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) believe that the United
States overemphasizes nonproliferation and treats nuclear
disarmament as "ancillary." Indonesian official Desra
Percaya expressed a similar view and asked the United States
to commit to the 2000 NPT RevCon,s "thirteen practical
steps" to disarmament. McKay strongly urged us not to focus
so much on compliance at the expense of disarmament and
opined that the international reaction to North Korea,s
nuclear weapon test had been muted because the non-nuclear
weapons states (NNWS) perceive that the nuclear weapons
states (NWS) "do not take disarmament seriously."

7. (C) In outlining New Zealand,s perspective, Ambassador
McKay asked why the nuclear-weapon states - especially the
United States, France, and the United Kingdom - are
"allergic" to institutionalizing transparency regarding their
nuclear arsenals. Characterizing the information that the
NWS do offer as "drip feeding," he argued that NWS could get
more credit for what they do, and push China toward greater

STATE 00116428 003 OF 005

transparency in the disarmament realm, if the process is
institutionalized. McKay suggested that all states have a
stake in the issue of the readiness of nuclear forces, and
asked the United States to engage more with Russia on
reducing alert levels, at least as a confidence-building
measure. Finally, he opined that legally-binding negative
security assurances from the NWS to the NNWS would give the
latter more incentive to remain in the NPT, since then they
would have greater confidence that the former would not use
nuclear weapons against them.

8. (C) Both Australian CD PermRep Caroline Millar and
Canadian CD PermRep Marius Grinius praised U.S. disarmament
outreach efforts at the UN, the CD, and NPT meetings.
Swedish CD PermRep Hans Dalgren said that among Sweden,s
priorities are CTBT entry into force (as did Millar), as well
as greater transparency and lower readiness of NWS nuclear
forces. Stating that "words can,t replace deeds," Brazil,s
UN Mission First Secretary Jandyr Ferreira dos Santos asked
how much more transparency NNWS could expect. Ragsdale
stated that the U.S. tries to be as transparent as possible
within the bounds of protecting its national security
information. Brazil,s CD Counsellor Julio Laranjiera argued
that the United States has reinterpreted the outcome of the
1995 and 2000 NPT RevCons. Ragsdale and Davis replied that
it is the U.S. view that final documents reflect the
intentions of Parties, but are not considered legally

9. (C) Millar noted that Australia will serve as CD
President from June - August 2009 and urged the United States
to be more flexible in the next CD session on possible
verification provisions in the proposed Fissile Material
Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). Sweden,s Dahlgren called for similar
flexibility. Millar suggested that, if the CD cannot begin
negotiations on an FMCT, presumably in the near future, at
some point consideration should be given to negotiating the
proposed treaty in another forum, such as the United Nations.
Canada,s Grinius questioned whether U.S. policy on the
importance of verification in denuclearizing North Korea
contradicts the U.S. proposal for an FMCT without
verification provisions. (Ragsdale and Davis pointed out
that the agreements and their contexts are very different.)
Millar also took the opportunity to discuss the
Nonproliferation and Disarmament Commission proposed by
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. She said its purpose
is to reenergize the NPT and that its distinction will be to
bring together prominent individuals from both NPT and
non-NPT states.


10. (C) The UK,s Duncan took a broad view of the NPT
review process, stating that Parties need to "reenergize the
NPT" and that tensions among them is apparent. He called the
P-5 statement, achieved at the second (2008) PrepCom, forms a
"baseline to raise the game" but said a clearer view is
needed of where the P-5 wants to go on the NPT. Duncan
stated his belief that, in spite of its aggressive new
policies, Russia would not be "mischievous" within the NPT.
Hellgren took note of the 2008 P-5 statement but expressed
concern about the differences in content between the 2008
statement and the statement by the P-5 in 2000, particularly
on the "thirteen steps." China,s CD PermRep Wang Qun
pointed out that the P-5 and NAM have very different
perspectives of the NPT world and that the P-5 need to
collaborate, adding that the group should try to agree on
another statement at the third (2009) PrepCom. (Comment:
Wang displayed a surprising lack of enthusiasm for the P-5
statement at the 2008 PrepCom, indicating at that time only
that "we can live with it." End comment) Wang also said the
United States has the leading role in the NPT, especially
given the importance of negotiations with Russia on nuclear
weapons reductions. Japan,s CD PermRep Ambassador Sumio
Tarui suggested that the P-5 should focus in 2009 on
addressing the outstanding Middle East issue.


11. (C) Duncan pointed out that NPT Parties focus more on
civil nuclear energy by "pulling together" various proposals
for multilateral measures to ensure reliable access to
nuclear fuel. His deputy, Fiona Paterson, said she expects
that Iran will focus on asserting its rights to peaceful uses
in NPT meetings as part of its effort to divert attention
from its noncompliance. Japan,s Tarui cited peaceful uses

STATE 00116428 004 OF 005

as an issue on which NPT Parties might be able to reach
consensus in upcoming meetings. Sweden,s Dahlgren described
his country,s NPT priorities as centered on multilateral
fuel cycle efforts and acceptance of the IAEA Additional
Protocol as the nuclear "safeguards standard." Brazil,s CD
PermRep Luiz Filipe de Macedo was cautious about multilateral
fuel cycle proposals and said Brazil,s reaction to them is
influenced by his countries plans for joint facilities with
Argentina. Indonesia,s Percaya offered the perspective,
which is widespread among NAM states, that such proposals
would restrict their ultimate access to nuclear energy.
China,s Wang said the nuclear "have-nots" are not happy with
the several multilateral fuel cycle proposals that have been
put forward, because of the view that they are discriminatory.

12. (C) Some interlocutors, including Egypt,s Abdelaziz,
expressed concerns about the implications of the U.S.-India
nuclear cooperation agreement. Abdelaziz envisioned a
similar request from Israel to the U.S. for cooperation and
technology exchange. Tarui said that, as a result of the
agreement, some now see the world in a new era he
characterized as "beyond the NPT." Zimbabwe,s Chidyausiki
opined that the agreement is a problem for the NPT and that
China might now accept nuclear cooperation with Iran in its
wake. Macedo said he expects unspecified consequences of the
India deal for the NPT, and Percaya said Indonesia "regrets"
the agreement. Ragsdale replied that it would strengthen the
nonproliferation regime overall and is a recognition that
India has acted responsibly as a possessor of nuclear
technology and weapons.


13. (C) The question of achievable objectives for the 2009
PrepCom was prominent in the discussions between Ambassador
Ragsdale and her interlocutors, with a spectrum of views
about how much can be expected in May. Tarui said getting
the necessary procedural decisions (agenda and timetable) is
a priority for Japan. Chidyausiki and China,s Wang
suggested modest ambitions and argued that the PrepCom will
be fortunate to agree on an agenda for the RevCon. (COMMENT:
This is an important, matter given that a stalemate over the
agenda at the 2005 RevCon resulted in Parties losing over two
weeks of valuable discussion time in the four week event.
The prospect of another such debacle is much dreaded by NPT
players. END COMMENT) McKay and Hellgren also said they
believe it could be difficult in the 2009 PrepCom to get
agreement on an agenda for the 2010 RevCon. Gumbi pointed
out that the agenda in 2005 was not "exhausted" and could
form the basis for discussion in 2010. His South African
colleague Johann Kellerman agreed that the 2005 agenda could
be used in 2010, because it is the "practical" solution.
China,s Wang was less optimistic that the 2005 agenda could
be accepted for 2010. Percaya did not want Parties to get
their expectations for the 2009 PrepCom too high but was
optimistic about getting agreement on the agenda (as was
Wang). Jandyr Ferreira dos Santos made perhaps the most
sensible comment on the agenda question: "Delegations will
raise what they want to raise, regardless of the agenda."

14. (C) According to agreement among NPT Parties in 2000,
the third PrepCom is meant to produce substantive
recommendations to the RevCon. However, considerable
pessimism was expressed by interlocutors about prospects that
it would do so in 2009 (the third PrepCom in 2004 did not
agree on recommendations). Citing Egypt,s actions in 2004-5
as an example, Percaya pointed out that some delegations do
not want a positive outcome unless they can prevail on
certain positions. Gumbi said he believed recommendations
would be hard to achieve and involve lots of "wrangling,"
especially because PrepCom chairs "have little control" over
proceedings. Kellerman suggested that the process will be
harder than in 2000, because more Parties will want to have a
say in the outcome. He offered the view that recommendations
are not a precondition to PrepCom success (Chang agreed), and
that perhaps a short declaration of principles could be made
instead. Tarui expressed hope for a similar outcome but said
expecting too much would give Iran and possibly Syria more
opportunity to "disturb" the PrepCom. McKay,s deputy,
Charlotte Darlow, averred that Parties could have agreed on a
final document in 2005 if they had not lost so much time in
the agenda fight. Tarui and Hellgren both commented that a
Chairman,s summary (not adopted by consensus) in lieu of a
final document would have no value.

15. (C) Concerns about the unlikelihood of recommendations

STATE 00116428 005 OF 005

coming out of next year,s PrepCom, combined with the chance
that the U.S. elections would create ambiguity in U.S.
policy, led at least three interlocutors to suggest that a
fourth PrepCom, probably in fall 2009, should be considered.
Chidyausiki, Hellgren, and Millar raised the possibility.
Millar said there is a sense among some that the third
PrepCom is too soon after the U.S. elections, adding that a
fourth PrepCom took place before the 1995 RevCon and worked
well. Tarui said he does not like the idea, and Ragsdale
strongly resisted the notion of parties banking on such an
outcome partly on grounds of cost (the U.S. would bear the
largest share) and also on grounds that there would be no
guarantee of a more productive outcome than in the 3rd

16. (C) The selection of Chidyausiki of Zimbabwe as PrepCom
Chairman has provoked considerable efforts by various NPT
Parties and groups of Parties, including the NAM, to promote
regional issues and concerns in their consultations with him.
The UK,s Paterson said she expected the Mason Group
(Western countries) to meet with him (subsequently the
meeting took place on October 22). She also indicated that
many NAM countries seem to realize they made a mistake in
choosing Chidyausiki. While affable and capable, they viewed
him as lacking in experience on NPT matters. Percaya said
Indonesia is unhappy with Chidyausiki,s selection but has
arranged for him to participate, with Indonesia, in NPT
"training" at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in
Monterey, CA. Gumbi said that, as a fellow African state,
South Africa has a special obligation to support the

17. (C) Canada,s Grinius told us he hosted an October 10
meeting at the Canadian Mission in New York to begin
interactions between representatives of a few
non-nuclear-weapon-state NPT Parties and Chidyausiki.
(Participants included Canada, Brazil, Egypt, Honduras,
Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Norway.) The
meeting seems to have resulted from prodding from UN High
Representative for Disarmament Sergio Duarte, from a concern
about Chidyausiki,s ability to manage the PrepCom, and from
a desire by these states to develop a working relationship
with the latter in advance of the PrepCom. Grinius said the
group will probably meet at least one more time before the
next PrepCom.

18. (C) On October 13, the Philippines announced in the
UNFC plenary that it would nominate Libran Cabactulan,
currently its Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, as
President of the 2010 RevCon. This is the first nomination
of which we are aware, but in accordance with NPT review
cycle practice, the president will come from an Asian NAM
country. None of our interlocutors knew anything about
Cabactulan. Ragsdale indicated that the United States
believes that the procedure for choosing the leaders of NPT
meetings should be modified to make it more open to choices
from all NPT Parties and that the scale of assessment should
be modified to reflect current economic circumstances. Few
interlocutors commented on these points, although Wang may
have seen the latter as suggesting an increased assessment
for China. He pointedly noted that he would report
Ragsdale,s having raised the point to Beijing.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC