Cablegate: Vietnam and the Proliferation Security Initiative

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 254587
B. STATE 272470
C. HANOI 2262

1. (U) Following up on our delivery of the Proliferation
Security Initative's Statement of Interdiction Principles
September 5 (ref c), Embassy coordinated with ten of the
eleven PSI country Ambassadors in country (the eleventh,
Portugal, does not have an Embassy in Vietnam) and obtained
their signatures in a letter to Foreign Minister Nien urging
Vietnam's support for PSI and requesting an official
response. (Text in para 6)

2. (U) Officers from the Dutch, British, Japanese, German,
French, and Italian Embassies then called on Dang Tran Nam
Trung, Senior Expert of the MFA's International
Organizations Department, on September 30. (Note: Embassy
deemed that it would be preferable not to include U.S.
emboff, to emphasize that this was a not simply a U.S.-led
exercise. End note) Trung reaffirmed Vietnam's support for
counter-proliferation efforts against WMDs. He stated that
Vietnam supports disarmament generally, including nuclear
disarmament, but feels that any measures to counter the
proliferation of WMDs must be internationally agreed upon
"in line with the UN Charter, international law, and the
principle of respect for national sovereignty."

3. (U) Trung also sought clarification on the precise
meaning of the terms "state" and "non-state actor," on how a
suspect ship would be identified, how information would be
exchanged, and what other countries were being approached
for support and their reactions. Emboffs promised to reply
formally to MFA's questions, reiterated that PSI member
countries were seeking support worldwide for the initiative,
and emphasized the Initiative's consistency with
international law.
4. (U) Trung declined to provide a definitive response on
PSI, noting that the MFA would have to discuss the issue
with the Ministries of Defense and Public Security before
agreeing on a GVN position. He also declined to provide a
timeframe for a definitive response, as well as about
whether the GVN would make a public statement on PSI.
5. (SBU) Comment: After our notification of September 5,
this joint letter/follow up call approach, and U/S Bolton's
meeting with FM Nien in New York (Ref d), the GVN should
recognize clearly the importance of the PSI. The GVN's
relatively quick response to the PSI countries' request for
a follow-up call indicates that the GVN appreciates the
seriousness, as does Trung's statement that the GVN is
seeking comment from MPS and MOD. However, on a politically
charged subject such as this one, it is unlikely that
Vietnam will make its final position publicly known before
evaluating the reactions of other countries in the world,
particularly China. End comment.
6. (U) Begin text of letter:

H.E. Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Dear Mr. Minister:

On September 4, 2003, the participants in the Proliferation
Security Initiative agreed to a Statement of Interdiction
Principles designed to establish a more coordinated and
effective basis through which to impede and stop shipments
of weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems, and
related materials flowing to and from states and non-state
actors of proliferation concern, consistent with national
legal authorities and relevant international law and
frameworks, including the UN Security Council.

The Principles call on all states concerned with this threat
to international peace and security to join in similarly.

The Proliferation Security Initiative is seeking the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam's public support for the
Statement of Interdiction Principles, and we welcome
Vietnam's thoughts on how Vietnam might contribute to making
this initiative an operational reality.
For your review, we have attached a copy of the text of the
Statement of Interdiction Principles.

Please accept, Mr. Minister, the assurances of our highest

(signed by 10 resident PSI country ambassadors)

© Scoop Media

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