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Cablegate: Spain Megaports Moa Signing Awaiting Legal Counsel

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

UNCLAS MADRID 002937

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DOE FOR PLONGSWORTH
DOE/NNSA FOR TRACY MUSTIN AND WILLIAM KILMARTIN
PARIS FOR LETTICIA SERRANO AND DEIDRA MAHON
DHS FOR US CBP LEV KUBIAK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC MNUC PARM PREL SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN MEGAPORTS MOA SIGNING AWAITING LEGAL COUNSEL
REVIEW; CONFUSION BETWEEN CSI AND MEGAPORTS

REF: 03 MADRID 3416

1. (SBU) Summary: We accompanied Department of Energy (DOE)
Deputy Administrator Paul Longsworth and William Kilmartin of
the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Office
of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation to meetings with the
director of Spanish Customs and the president of the Ports of
State regarding the Megaports Initiative (Megaports). At
Spanish Customs, the proposed Spanish translation of the
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was discussed and appears to be
satisfactory, although GOS lawyers need to review the
language upon their return from August vacations. The new
president of the Ports of State was briefed on Megaports with
its role in combating terrorism and understood a little
better how Megaports is different from the Container Security
Initiative (CSI). End Summary.

GOS MAY BE PREPARED BY LATE SEPTEMBER FOR MOA SIGNING IN THE
U.S.

2. (SBU) After some discussion of the proposed changes to
the Spanish translation of the MOA, Customs Director Nicolas
Bonilla opined that the modifications were not substantial,
and anticipated that following a review by legal counsel in
September, the MOA could be ready for signature. Bonilla
noted that the signing should take place no earlier than 15
days after both parties agree on the final English and
Spanish versions. Longsworth responded that the submitted
English and Spanish drafts are the USG's proposed final
versions, and that the USG hopes for a response from the GOS
regarding the versions as soon as possible. Based upon
Spain's August vacation schedule and subsequent legal review,
Spanish officials were hesitant to consider a signing date
any earlier than the final week of September, but also did
not want to speak about specific dates until legal review had
taken place. Further, Bonilla suggested several times during
the discussion that a GOS official could travel to the US to
sign the MOA.

BRIEFING FOR NEW PRESIDENT OF PORTS OF STATE: MEGAPORTS AND
CSI NOT THE SAME

3. (SBU) Mariano Navas Gutierrez, the newly-appointed
president of the Ports of State, received an introductory
briefing on Megaports. He asked numerous questions about
Megaports and how it differed from CSI, a Department of
Homeland Security initiative now underway in Algeciras.
Although we had briefed him on these two initiatives in June,
he demonstrated some confusion about the differences and
similarities of these two initiatives. He expressed pleasure
on learning that Megaports should not hinder the flow of
containers within the ports, and requested that the DOE send
additional information to him.

4. (SBU) Comment: Welcoming a Spanish official to the US
for the MOA signing could provide an opportunity for further
briefings on transportation security projects of mutual
concern. A visit to a US port where Megaports equipment is
already installed could also be productive. While the GOS
has consistently supported Megaports, some confusion remains
in distinguishing it from CSI. It is understood that both
CSI and Megaports involve many of the same Spanish officials
and will potentially target the same three ports over the
next several years: Algeciras, Barcelona and Valencia.
Spanish officials realize that both Megaports and CSI combat
terrorism and involve containers. Yet these similarities
probably contribute to the confusion. From an embassy
perspective, it seems that CSI and Megaports may be
distinguished in the following ways, respectively: document
inspection followed by scanning of selected containers vs.
goal of examining all containers; host country paying for
scanning equipment vs. DOE generally providing the equipment;
greater DHS personnel involvement in medium-term vs. minimal
DOE personnel commitment (primarily for set-up and training);
and sequential anticipated implementation at ports (Algeciras
implemented before detailed assessment of Barcelona and/or
Valencia) vs. potential for almost simultaneous activation of
Megaports in at least two of the three ports. The Embassy
continues ready to assist in furthering the implementation of
both CSI and Megaports.
MANZANARES

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