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Cablegate: Meeting of Maliat Parties at Icao

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTREAL 000543

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION ICAO

DEPT FOR IO/T, EB/TRA/OTP/AVP
DOT FOR OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AVIATION
FAA FOR AIA-100

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ATRN ICAO
SUBJECT: MEETING OF MALIAT PARTIES AT ICAO


THIS IS A CORRECTED VERSION OF MONTREAL 463 (NOTAL) ADDING
INFO ADDRESSEES THAT WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE CABEL AS
BACKGROUND.

1. SUMMARY: AT A BRIEF LUNCHTIME MEETING ON THE SIDES OF
THE ICAO 5TH WORLDWIDE AIR TRANSPORT CONFERENCE,
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT ON
LIBERALIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT (MALIAT)
MEMBER COUNTRIES MET TO DISCUSS WAYS TO INCREASE THE
AGREEMENT'S MEMBERSHIP. CURRENT PROSPECTS ARE SLIM, THE
GROUP AGREED, WITH TONGA THE ONLY LIKELY CANDIDATE.
PURSUIT, THEREFORE, OF A CARGO-ONLY ACCESSION OPTION WAS
AGREED TO BE DESIRABLE, AND THE U.S. COMMITTED TO PROVIDE TO
THE PARTNER COUNTRIES TEXT OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE MALIAT
THAT WOULD ALLOW SUCH ACCESSION. IN DISCUSSION OF
TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS, PARTIES AGREED THAT SUCH
ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE OF LIMITED DURATION LEADING TO FULL
MEMBERSHIP, AND ARE MOST PRACTICALLY PURSUED ON AN AD HOC,
BILATERAL BASIS. END SUMMARY.

CURRENT PROSPECTS FEW
---------------------

2. AT A MEETING HELD ON THE SIDELINES OF THE INTERNATIONAL
CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION'S (ICAO) 5TH WORLDWIDE AIR
TRANSPORT CONFERENCE IN MONTREAL, THE MEMBERS OF THE
MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT ON LIBERALIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL
AIR TRANSPORT (MALIAT) REVIEWED THEIR OUTREACH TO VARIOUS
POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR ACCESSION TO THE MALIAT. SOME
CANDIDATES - U.A.E., OMAN, SRI LANKA, THE COOK ISLANDS, AND
TONGA WERE MENTIONED - BUT OF THIS GROUP, IT APPEARED THAT
ONLY TONGA HAD EXPRESSED SERIOUS INTEREST. NOTE: IN A
SEPARATE DISCUSSION WITH THE U.S. HEAD OF DELEGATION, THE
CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE FROM TONGA, WHO WAS ALSO THE CHAIRMAN
OF THE ICAO MEETING, INDICATED THAT HIS COUNTRY WOULD BE
TAKING A SERIOUS LOOK AT MALIAT MEMBERSHIP. END NOTE.

3. AS THE GROUP BRAINSTORMED, CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO
POTENTIAL CANDIDATES IN CENTRAL AMERICA. PERU AND CHILE,
HOWEVER, NOTED THAT THEY HAVE FEW OPEN SKIES AGREEMENTS IN
THIS REGION AND THAT MOST CENTRAL AMERICAN NATIONS ARE
AFRAID OF THEIR NEIGHBORS TO THE SOUTH, PARTICULARLY CHILE.
THEY ARE THEREFORE UNLIKELY TO GIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION TO
MALIAT ACCESSION.

CARGO-ONLY PROSPECTS MORE PROMISING
-----------------------------------

4. THE LIST OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES GREW LONGER WHEN
DISCUSSION OF A CARGO-ONLY ACCESSION WAS RAISED. ALL
MEMBERS SUPPORTED IN PRINCIPLE THE CONCEPT OF AMENDING THE
MALIAT TO ALLOW SUCH ACCESSION, AND ALL EXPRESSED INTEREST
IN REVIEWING AMENDMENT LANGUAGE PROMISED BY THE UNITED
STATES. THE U.S. EXPLAINED THAT THE USG INTERNALLY HAD BEEN
WRESTLING WITH WHETHER TO INCLUDE BELLY CARGO IN THE
AMENDMENT, AND HAD FINALLY DECIDED TO DO SO. THERE WAS SOME
DISCUSSION OF THE RELATIVE MERITS OF THIS APPROACH, AND ALSO
OF THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING CLEAR HOW A CARGO-ONLY MALIAT
WOULD APPLY IN PARALLEL TO PASSENGER BILATERALS, BUT MOST
WISHED TO RESERVE COMMENT UNTIL SEEING THE U.S. DRAFT.

5. THE CANDIDATES FOR FULL ACCESSION LISTED ABOVE WERE
VIEWED AS MORE LIKELY CANDIDATES FOR A CARGO-ONLY ACCESSION.
OTHER POTENTIAL CANDIDATES INCLUDED PAKISTAN, WITH WHOM THE
U.S. HAS OPEN SKIES, THAILAND, WHICH HAS EXPRESSED INTEREST
IN ESTABLISHING A REGIONAL CARGO HUB, AND AUSTRALIA, WHICH
HAS NO SIGNIFICANT CARGO CARRIERS OF ITS OWN AND WITH WHOM
MOST MALIAT MEMBERS ALREADY HAVE CARGO OPEN SKIES. IN
ADDITION, CHILE AND PERU NOTED THAT THEY BOTH HAVE OPEN
CARGO AGREEMENTS WITH ARGENTINA, AS DOES THE UNITED STATES.
TAIWAN, DUE TO ITS UNIQUE POLITICAL STATUS, WAS ALSO
MENTIONED AS A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE.

6. IT WAS ALSO CONCLUDED THAT BEFORE A FINAL APPROVAL OF ANY
CARGO-ONLY AMENDMENT, THAT AMENDMENT SHOULD BE SHARED WITH
POTENTIAL PARTNERS TO ENSURE THAT IT MIGHT BE ATTRACTIVE TO
THEM. SOME MEMBERS EXPRESSED A DISINCLINATION TO AMEND THE
MALIAT WITHOUT THE HIGH PROBABILITY OF AN ACCESSION
CANDIDATE.

TRANSITIONAL AGREEMENTS
-----------------------

7. IT WAS GENERALLY AGREED THAT ANY TRANSITIONAL MEASURES
SHOULD BE JUST THAT - LEADING ULTIMATELY TO FULL MEMBERSHIP
- AND THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO PERMANENT "LEVELS" OR
"CATEGORIES" OF MEMBERSHIP WITHIN THE MALIAT (OTHER THAN THE
CARGO-ONLY OPTION DISCUSSED ABOVE). FOR THAT REASON, IT WAS
LARGELY FELT THAT TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE ON AN
AD HOC, BILATERAL BASIS WHERE THE SPECIFIC CONCERNS OF A
POTENTIAL ENTRANT COULD BE ADDRESSED.

PERU AND CHILE
--------------

8. THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION OF THE CURRENT THREAT BY PERU TO
WITHDRAW FROM THE MALIAT. BOTH DELEGATIONS WERE RELATIVELY
SILENT DURING THE MEETING, ALTHOUGH CHILE'S REMARKS ON THE
UNDESIRABILITY OF TRANSITIONS SEEMED AIMED AT THEIR PERUVIAN
COUNTERPARTS. DURING THE CONFERENCE, U.S. DELEGATION
MEMBERS SPOKE SEPARATELY WITH PERU AND CHILE ABOUT THEIR
RELATIONSHIP IN THE MALIAT, AND BOTH EXPRESSED THE HOPE THAT
THE U.S. WOULD INVOLVE ITSELF IN HELPING THEM TO RESOLVE
THEIR DIFFERENCES. FOR ITS SIDE, CHILE WAS CONCERNED THAT
ANY SEPARATE, TRANSITIONAL AGREEMENT WITH PERU BE OPEN TO
THE SCRUTINY OF OTHER MALIAT MEMBERS, SO THAT PERU FEELS
GREATER PRESSURE TO MAKE THE EVENTUAL TRANSITION TO FULL
MEMBERSHIP. PERU FOR ITS PART EXPRESSED SOME CONCERN ABOUT
WHETHER THE APPROVAL OF OTHER MALIAT MEMBERS WAS REQUIRED
BEFORE ANY AD HOC BILATERAL AGREEMENTS COULD HAVE FORCE. IN
BOTH CASES, U.S. DELEGATION MEMBERS MADE CLEAR THAT, WHILE
THE U.S. WAS HAPPY TO OFFER ASSISTANCE, ANY SOLUTION LIES
WITH PERU AND CHILE TO RESOLVE BILATERALLY.
PRICE KANTER

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