Cablegate: Turkish Straits Voluntary Principles - Newest

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

B. STATE 178586

1. On November 8, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy
Director General for Energy, Hakki Akil passed to Ambassador
Steven Mann the newest version of the Turkish MFA's proposed
"Voluntary Principles on the Passage of Oil Tankers through
the Turkish Straits" (see Ref A). (This version is dated
April 30, 2004, as is the version referred to in Ref B;
however, the U.S. position described in Ref B appears to
refer to an earlier version.)

2. Voluntary Principles text follows:

Voluntary Principles on the Passage of Oil Tankers through
the Turkish Straits

The Governments of the Republic of Turkey, (the Black Sea
Littoral States) (the European Union) and (the United States)
("Governments"), energy sector companies producing petroleum
in the various countries of the Caspian region for export to
world markets ("Companies") and non-governmental
organizations ("NGOs") together ("Participants"), sharing an
interest in promoting and protecting and promoting human
health, safety and security, have engaged in a dialogue to
produce a set of principles intended to minimize the risks
associated with the passage of hydrocarbon tankers through
the Turkish Straits ("the Straits"), without prejudice to the
legal passage regime for the Straits and without unduly
hindering flow of petroleum to world markets ("Principles").

The Participants recognize the importance of cooperative
action and the constructive role which industry and civil
society can play together with governments to achieve these
objectives. The Participants further recognize the
importance of continuing this dialogue and keeping under
review these Principles in order to ensure their continuing
relevance and efficacy.


Recognizing that there are physical limits to the number of
hydrocarbons tankers that can transit the Straits;

Considering that a secure and uninterrupted flow of energy
has vital economic and national security significance to both
energy producing and energy consuming States;

Appreciating that the Companies are committed to operations
that are commercially viable and consistent with
internationally recognized standards of corporate governance
and social responsibility;

Reaffirming the obligation of States under accepted
principles of international law to protect and preserve the
marine environment;

Recognizing the EU policy in favour of the transport of
hydrocarbons by pipelines as an alternative to transport by
tankers through sensitive maritime seas;

Acknowledging that the protection of the environment in and
around the Straits and of human health, safety and security
of the local population is a fundamental value shared by the

Noting that the City of Istanbul has been designated as a
World Heritage Site of outstanding and universal value by the
UNESCO World Heritage Convention (UNESCO) and that the
international community is thereby committed to participate
cooperate in protecting it as a unique culturale and unique
heritage for the benefit of both present and future

Recalling that the Turkish Straits have previously
experienced a number of serious shipping accidents resulting
in the loss of life and environmental pollution and have
threatened the City of Istanbul World Heritage Site;

Bearing in mind that the Governments should ensure that
hydrocarbons tankers navigating through the Straits adhere to
standards of 'quality shipping' as established by applicable
rules and standards of international law including those
adopted by the IMO as well as those promoted by the EC

Recognizing that the transport of hydrocarbons by pipelines
constructed in accordance with the best available technology
provides a safer and more environmentally friendly mode of
transportation than by tankers through environmentally
sensitive waters such as the Straits;

Accordingly, the Participants hereby express their support
for the following Voluntary Principles for the Passage of Oil
Tankers through the Turkish Straits:

Pursuit of Turkish Straits By-pass Alternatives

- The Participants agree that priority should be given to
maximizing the use of existing and future crude oil export
transportation systems that by-pass the Straits;

- The Participants further agree to facilitate and support
the development of new-build crude export oil transportation
systems that by-pass the Straits and are constructed and
operated in accordance with the highest international
technical, safety, environmental, labour and human rights
standards and practices

Cooperative Government Measures

The Governments agree to consider and discuss the adoption of
cooperative measures, consistent with international law in
order to enhance protection of the environment and the safety
and security of the Straits.

Monitoring and Enforcement Review

The Participants agree to monitor adherence to these
Principles and to transparently report on compliance. They
agree to review them periodically and revise them as

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