Cablegate: Exbs: September 11 Meeting with Turkey On Exbs

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





E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2013

REF: STATE 251735

Sensitive but Unclassified.

1. (SBU) Summary: An interagency team led by NP/ECC
Director van Son met with Turkish MFA and the Turkish
interagency on September 11 to negotiate the proposed EXBS
legal agreement so that planned EXBS assistance programs can
commence. The Turkish and U.S. teams concentrated their
discussions on the most difficult articles for Turkey to
accept, i.e. status of personnel, claims, inspections and
audits, and taxes. The Turks made clear that any framework
legal agreement involving their interagency must be approved
by the Turkish Parliament, and that if these four articles as
proposed initially by the U.S. were included, the agreement
would not be approved by the Turkish Parliament. The U.S.
team noted that the United States needed a legally binding
agreement and an exemption from Turkish taxation, but
indicated that it might be willing to drop the article on
status of personnel given the nature of the proposed
assistance and the short time U.S. personnel would be in
Turkey. The U.S. team also agreed to reexamine the language
in the article on inspections and audits, but insisted on
acceptance of the principle of allowing the U.S. to examine
the end use of any assistance provided in order to ensure it
was being used in accordance with purpose for which it was
provided. Turkey accepted the U.S. requirement for the
article on taxation and agreed in principle that an audit
provision would be helpful, but with revised language in the
latter. Turkey agreed that the proper format would be a
legally binding agreement as opposed to a non-binding MOU.
The U.S. team promised to forward a revised text of the legal
agreement ASAP based on the discussions. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The participants of the meeting on the U.S. side
were: Paul van Son (Head of Delegation), Director of the
Office of Export Control Cooperation in the Bureau of
Nonproliferation (NP/ECC); Mariju Bofill (NP/ECC); Alice
Kottmyer (L), Erik Deschler (DOE/SLD); and Pam Tremont
(Embassy Pol/Mil). The participants on the Turkish side
were: Bulent Tulun (Head of Delegation), Minister
Plenipotentiary, Deputy General Director for Arms Control,
Disarmament, and OSCE, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Bulent
Meric, Head of Department, Deputy General Directorate for
Arms Control, Disarmament and OSCE, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs; Aykut Kumbaroglu, First Secretary, Deputy General
Directorate for Arms, Control, Disarmament and OSCE, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs; Recep Guven, Head of Department, General
Directorate for Security, Ministry of Interior; Ali Riza
Oktay, Head of Department, and Miss Gulay Tanriyapisi,
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade; Mehmet Guzel, Head of
Department, and Baris Demirel, Undersecretariat for Customs;
and Hayri Akbiyik and Ufuk Yavuz, Turkish Atomic Energy

3. (SBU) Tulun began the meeting by noting the significance
of remembering today's date, September 11, and the importance
of nonproliferation and export controls in a post-September
11 world. He then outlined the Government of Turkey's (GOT)
membership in all of the nonproliferation agreements and
export control regimes, and said that as a NATO Ally, the GOT
was highly concerned about proliferation by their "neighbors
of concern." Following his brief on Turkish nonproliferation
policy, he stated why the proposed agreement with articles on
status of personnel, claims, inspections and audits, and
taxes would not be accepted by the GOT as presently proposed
(Ref A). He was particularly concerned with the language
using the term "inspection," likening it to arms control
inspections such as the CFE inspections. Tulun also made the
general observation that the agreement appeared to lack
reciprocity, in his words, "Language referring to the United
States says 'intends' while language referring to Turkey
says, 'shall.'"

4. (SBU) Van Son responded to Tulun by addressing each of
the articles in question. He began by explaining the need
for an article exempting the U.S. from Turkish taxation
because of Congressional requirements, and the Turkish side
accepted that requirement. On status of personnel, Tulun
said that military personnel would be covered by the NATO
status of forces agreement while in Turkey and that civilian
personnel could be attached to the Embassy and notified to
the MFA if immunities were needed. The MFA would not
question the Embassy on this point. Van Son indicated that
because of the nature of the proposed assistance and the
short time U.S. personnel would be in Turkey, attachment of
these TDY personnel to the Embassy would be an unlikely
event. Van Son agreed that after reviewing the nature of the
assistance to be provided this article could probably be
5. (SBU) Van Son stated that while the U.S. could reexamine
the language in the article on inspections and audits, it
would insist on acceptance of the principle of allowing the
U.S. to examine the end-use of any assistance provided in
order to ensure granted equipment used in accordance with the
purpose for which it was intended. On claims, van Son
explained that while the U.S. again could proceed without the
article, the amount of assistance to be provided might be
reduced by the cost of premiums required for insurance
coverage. This would mean fewer funds available for
assistance. Also, there was a general principle involved
that the country receiving assistance should not make claims
against the government of the country that was providing the
assistance. Tulun agreed with that general principle, but
several times during the course of the discussions pointed
out that it was the value of the cooperation of the parties
that mattered most, rather than the actual amount of the
money involved. The U.S. team concurred with the importance
of the cooperation and pointed to this as one of the reasons
why an overarching State-MFA legal agreement was important.
Implementing arrangements and MOUs between agencies of the
respective governments could, if needed, be made under the
umbrella of the legal agreement. Tulun concurred.

6. (U) The U.S. team promised to forward a revised text of
the legal agreement ASAP based on these discussions. The U.S.
team has cleared this cable.

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