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Cablegate: Galileo/M-Code: Increased High-Level Italian

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 004746

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2013
TAGS: ECPS ETRD IT TSPA TSPL PREL EUN

SUBJECT: GALILEO/M-CODE: INCREASED HIGH-LEVEL ITALIAN
ATTENTION -- BUT NO ANSWERS

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR MEL SEMBLER FOR REASONS 1.5 (B)(D)

1. (C) AT THE END OF AN OCTOBER 9 MEETING ON ANOTHER SUBJECT
WITH PM BERLUSCONI'S CLOSEST ADVISOR, PRIME MINISTRY
UNDERSECRETARY GIANNI LETTA, AMBASSADOR SEMBLER TOOK THE
OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THE USG'S CONTINUED GREAT CONCERN OVER
LACK OF PROGRESS ON RESOLVING THE GALILEO/M-CODE OVERLAY
DISAGREEMENT WITH THE EU. THE AMBASSADOR TOLD LETTA BLUNTLY
THAT THE DISPUTE RISKS BECOMING A TRAIN WRECK ON ITALY'S EU
WATCH UNLESS MORE CONCERTED POLITICAL-LEVEL ATTENTION IS
GIVEN TO THE ISSUE. THE USG FELT THAT THAT AMERICAN
TECHNICAL EXPERTS HAD PROVIDED COMMISSION EXPERTS WITH
EXHAUSTIVE CLASSIFIED TECHNICAL BRIEFINGS, WHICH HAD
DEMONSTRATED PERSUASIVELY THAT NON-OVERLAY SPECTRAL OPTIONS
EXIST, WHICH WILL NOT DEGRADE GALILEO CAPABILITIES.
NEVERTHELESS, THE COMMISSION AND EU GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN
UNWILLING TO TAKE THE POLITICAL STEP TO DRAW THE OBVIOUS
CONCLUSIONS FROM THE TECHNICAL DISCUSSIONS.

2. (C) LETTA RESPONDED THAT SENIOR LEVELS OF THE ITALIAN
GOVERNMENT WERE IN FACT PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO GALILEO.
IN THE PRIME MINISTRY, DIPLOMATIC ADVISOR GIOVANNI
CASTELANETTA HAD BEEN BRIEFING PM BERLUSCONI REGULARLY.
LETTA ALSO NOTED THAT DURING CABINET MEETINGS DEFENSE
MINISTER MARTINO HAD SPOKEN OPENLY IN SUPPORT OF THE U.S.
POSITION. NEVERTHELESS, LETTA OFFERED NO CLEAR INDICATION OF
WHAT FURTHER ACTIONS, IF ANY, THE GOI PLANNED TO TAKE WITHIN
THE EU.

3. (C) IN A SEPARATE MEETING OCTOBER 14 WITH ECMIN, AGAIN ON
ANOTHER SUBJECT, GENERAL LEONARDO TRICARICO (THE PRIME
MINISTER'S MILITARY AND SECURITY ADVISOR) TOOK THE INITIATIVE
TO RAISE THE MATTER OF GALILEO. ECMIN REVIEWED USG CONCERNS
FOR TRICARICO, AS WELL AS THE AMBASSADOR'S EXCHANGE WITH
LETTA. ALTHOUGH HE ASKED SEVERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RECENT
MEETINGS IN LONDON AND WASHINGTON, AND WAS CLEARLY ANXIOUS
ABOUT THE LACK OF FORWARD MOVEMENT IN U.S.-EU DISCUSSIONS,
TRICARICO WAS AT A LOSS TO SUGGEST WHAT ACTIONS ITALY SHOULD
OR COULD TAKE.

4. (C) COMMENT: LETTA'S ACCOUNT OF THE HIGH-LEVEL ATTENTION
ITALIAN MINISTERS -- INCLUDING THE PM -- ARE GIVING THE
GALILEO/M-CODE DISPUTE IS WELCOME NEWS. REPORTS OF DEFMIN
MARTINO'S UNAMBIGUOUS SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. POSITION IS
WELCOME, AND CONFIRMS WHAT HE HAS TOLD US. (BUT MARTINO HAS
ALSO BEEN QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT HE NEEDS KEY ALLIES, SUCH
AS LETTA, IN ORDER TO SUCCEED IN THE INTERMINISTERIAL
PROCESS.) NEVERTHELESS, THERE IS LITTLE INDICATION THAT THE
GOI HAS ANY GAME PLAN ON HOW TO PREVENT THE WRONG OUTCOME AT
THE IMPORTANT DECEMBER MEETING OF EU TRANSPORT MINISTERS.
EMBASSY STANDS READY TO CONTINUE TO ENGAGE THE GOI AT THE
HIGHEST LEVELS ON GALILEO AS WASHINGTON AGENCIES WORK OUT THE
NEXT STEPS IN OUR STRATEGY. END COMMENT.
SEMBLER

NNNN
2003ROME04746 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

"

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