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Cablegate: Chemcial Weapons Convention (Cwc):

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 THE HAGUE 000478

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AC/CB, NP/CBM, VC/CCB, L/ACV, IO/S
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISP
JOINT STAFF FOR DD PMA-A FOR WTC
COMMERCE FOR BIS (GOLDMAN)
NSC FOR CHUPA
WINPAC FOR LIEPMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL LY CWC
SUBJECT: CHEMCIAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (CWC):
DIRECTOR-GENERAL PFIRTER'S NOTE ON DESTRUCTION OF LIBYAN
UNFILLED BOMBS

This is CWC-25-04.

1. (SBU) The following is the text of a February 23 note
provided by OPCW Director General Pfirter to Ambassador Petr
Kubernat (Czech Republic), the Chairman of the OPCW Executive
Council, regarding an agreement with Libya on destruction of
Category 3 munitions (unfilled bombs), which will commence on
February 27. Pfirter provided the note due to the fact that
destruction under the agreement will begin despite the fact
that the Council has not approved the plans for verification
of destruction, as required under the Convention, and the
Council will next convene only on March 23.

2. (U) Begin Text.

I have the honour to provide you with the following
information relating to the activities currently ongoing in
Libya in the context of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

As you are aware, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya became a State Party to the Chemical Weapons
Convention on 5 February 2004. On the occasion of my visit
to Tripoli between 4 and 6 February, the Libyan authorities
requested me to send subsequently a team of experts from the
Verification, Inspectorate and Legal Divisions to conduct a
technical assistance visit. This took place from 16 to 23
February 2004.

In the course of the technical assistance visit, on 20
February 2004, Libya provided the Technical Secretariat with
a partial initial declaration which contained the required
information on the Category 3 munitions in its possession.
At that time Libya also informed the Technical Secretariat of
its decision to begin destruction of these munitions on 27
February 2004. Representatives of the Technical Secretariat
visited the chemical weapons storage facility that Libya
intends to use as a destruction facility for its Category 3
munitions. Thereafter, Libya and the Technical Secretariat
agreed on a detailed plan for verification of the destruction
of the Category 3 munitions at this facility. It has also
been agreed with the Libyan authorities that any destruction
activity would be preceded by an initial inspection at the
chemical weapons storage facility.

As Your Excellency is no doubt aware, paragraph 56 of Part
IV(A) of the Verification Annex of the Chemical Weapons
Convention provides that "agreed detailed plans for
verification, with an appropriate recommendation by the
Technical Secretariat, shall be forwarded to the Executive
Council for review." As stated in the paragraph above, such a
plan has been prepared and agreed by the Libyan National
Authority and the Technical Secretariat. A copy of this
agreed plan is attached. All Council members will receive a
copy of this agreed verification plan to ensure that they can
assess its adequacy, as foreseen in paragraph 57 of Part IV
(A) of the Verification Annex.

Given the timelines imposed by the Libyan decision to proceed
with the destruction of the materials declared as Category 3
chemical weapons, it might not be possible to convene a
meeting of the Executive Council for the consideration
outlined in the paragraph above. At the same time, since the
destruction will be conducted under systematic verification
of the Technical Secretariat, I believe there is merit in the
Libyan decision to start the destruction of the declared
Category 3 Chemical Weapons on 27 February. In that context,
the Technical Secretariat will ensure that, after the initial
inspection has been conducted and the declaration of these
Category 3 of Chemical Weapons submitted by Libya has been
verified, inspectors will remain at the facility and witness
the complete destruction process to guarantee the
accountability of the operation. The Technical Secretariat
will report to the Executive Council in full at its next
regular session.

This approach would be consistent with the one taken by the
OPCW in the past in respect of the application of systematic
verification of destruction operations before approval of the
verification plan and conclusion of a facility agreement by
the Council, including during the transitional phase after
Entry into Force. In addition it would be fully in line with
the general principle set out in the Convention that States
Parties should eliminate their chemical weapon stockpiles as
soon as possible, provided this is done, as in this case,
under the stringent verification provided for by the
Convention.

I trust Your Excellency will agree with this approach.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest
consideration.

End Text.

3. (U) Javits sends.
SOBEL

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