Cablegate: Spanish Undecided On Chemical Weapons Convention

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: STATE 136811

1. (SBU) Summary: Poloff discussed reftel points June 24
with Marcos Rodriguez in the MFA's Office of International
Disarmament Affairs. Poloff delivered the demarche jointly
with Enrico Vencenti, political counselor at the Italian
Embassy and Peter Spoor, first secretary political officer at
the British Embassy. Rodriguez said Spain favored changing
the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to allow Libya to
convert its chemical weapons facilities to be used for
peaceful purposes. However, Spain was still examining all
options for adding the proposed technical change to the CWC,
including an amendment. Spain supports a "sustainable,
non-discriminatory, non-ad-hoc" solution to change the CWC,
but is unlikely to formulate a position before the June
29-July 2 Executive Council meeting. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Rodriguez said that after consulting with France and
Germany at the last NPT PrepCom III meeting and the Western
European and Others Group (WEOG) meeting, Spain considered
amending the CWC the best option to allow new countries to
join the CWC and convert their chemical weapons facilities to
be used for peaceful purposes. Poloff reiterated reftel
contingency points explaining why an amendment would not be
necessary or appropriate in this case.

3. (SBU) Rodriguez responded that these issues would have to
be studied by the legal advisor in National Authority on
Chemical Weapons in the Ministry of Industry. Once reviewed,
the Ministry of Industry would make a recommendation to
Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Minister would then send
instructions to Spain's mission in The Hague. This process
would not give Spain time to formulate a position by the
upcoming Executive Council meeting, scheduled for June
29-July 2. Therefore, Spain would likely ask for more time
to consider the U.S. proposal for a technical change to the

4. (SBU) Rodriguez said that he did not expect Spain to
reject the draft language contained in U.S. proposed
technical change to the CWC. The question remains whether
Spain would accept this measure as a technical change or as
an amendment, as proposed by the French and Germans. Spain
is more likely to accept the U.S. proposal if France and
Germany do not express strong objections to the U.S. draft
proposal. Poloff left a copy of the contingency points with
the Rodriguez, as well as with the British and Italian
political officers. We will report any new developments in
Spain's position.

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