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Cablegate: Finalizing the Seismic Agreement

VZCZCXYZ0012
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #6489 3362103
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 012057Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 6124
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA IMMEDIATE 2858

UNCLAS STATE 126489

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL TPHY KTBT KSCI KTIA MO
SUBJECT: FINALIZING THE SEISMIC AGREEMENT

REF: 07 STATE 120858

SUMMARY
------

1. Department requests Embassy Rabat to urge the Moroccan
government to sign the Seismic Agreement (reftel) no later
than December 31, 2008. A later signature could result in
delays that would jeopardize the project's timely completion.
End summary.

OBJECTIVES
----------

2. Department instructs Rabat to pursue the following
objectives:

-- Note that while the GOM has not objected to the draft
agreement since it received it in August 2007, it has not
signed the agreement.

-- Urge the Moroccan government not to tie the
government-to-government agreement to negotiations on leasing
suitable land, and underscore that the land is a prerequisite
to installation, not the signing of the agreement.

-- Press the GOM to sign the agreement no later than December
31, 2008, and note signing after that date could add an
additional year to the projected installation date.


REPORTING DEADLINE
------------------

3. Post should report the GOM's response by front channel no
later than December 10, 2008. POC for this request is
NEA/MAG Morocco desk officer Randall Kaailau.


BACKGROUND
----------

4. Since 2004, the Air Force Technical Applications Center
(AFTAC) has worked with Morocco's Centre National pour la
Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) on a project to
install seismic detection equipment. The agreed draft text
of the government-to-government agreement was sent to Morocco
in August 2007. AFTAC cannot purchase the seismic equipment
until the agreement is signed, and since the seismic
equipment has a 16-18 month lead time for procurement and
delivery, the Director of Nuclear Treaty Monitoring would
like the GOM to sign the agreement by the end of December
2008. If this agreement is not signed this year, the
CNRST/AFTAC project is likely to incur increased costs and
installation could be delayed from 2010 to 2011.
RICE

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