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Cablegate: South Africa's Approach to Open Skies

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

UNCLAS PRETORIA 005259

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/EPS AND AF/S/TCRAIG AND KGAITHER
DEPT ALSO FOR EB/TRA/AN/CDEMARS, LFAUX-GABLE, ESMITH
TRANSPORTATION FOR SMCERMOTT, KBHATIA, GRETCH
COMMERCE FOR 4510/ITA/IEP/ANESA/OA/JDIEMOND
TREASURY FOR GCHRISTOPULOS, LSTURM, AND AJEWELL
DEPT PASS USTR FOR PCOLEMAN, WJACKSON AND CHAMILTON

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON ETRD SF
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA'S APPROACH TO OPEN SKIES

REFTEL: A) Ray Walser-Ian Phillips 24Nov04 email

B) PRETORIA 5072

(U) Sensitive But Unclassified. Not for Internet
Distribution.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Dr. Ian Phillips, Special Advisor to
Transport Minister Jeffrey Radebe, met with Econ M-C and
Econoff to clarify recent comments about the SAG's approach
to proposed Open Skies talks with the United States (Reftel
A) and to discuss the Minister's upcoming visit to the
United States. At the Minister's request, Department of
Transport Director of Aviation Regulations Godfrey Selepe is
drafting a list of pros and cons in a proposed Open Skies
agreement. Selepe will provide explanations and proposed
solutions to obstacles to such an agreement. Radebe could
possibly sign an Open Skies agreement with the United States
during his January visit or bring a negotiating team to
initiate Open Skies talks. Radebe is tentatively planning
to arrive in New York on January 23 and stay three to four
days. He would then travel to Washington for one to two
days. Phillips indicated that the Minister prefers the
visit to be as productive and educational as possible. END
SUMMARY.

----------
OPEN SKIES
----------

2. (SBU) Dr. Ian Phillips, Special Advisor to Transport
Minister Jeffrey Radebe, met with Econ M-C and Econoff
December 3 to clarify recent comments about the SAG's
approach to proposed Open Skies talks with the United States
(Reftel A) and to discuss the Minister's upcoming visit to
the United States. According to Phillips, Radebe instructed
Department of Transport Director of Aviation Regulations
Godfrey Selepe to provide him a briefing memo on an Open
Skies agreement with the United States including a list of
pros and cons. In preparing the memo, Selepe is to offer
explanations for each obstacle and propose solutions. The
list memo is to be submitted to the Minister within a week.

3. (SBU) Phillips said that he envisages two possible
courses of action during Radebe's January trip to the United
States. One, if the SAG decides to support a full Open
Skies agreement with the United States, Radebe could
possibly sign the agreement during his January visit. Two,
if it is decided that a full Open Skies agreement is not
possible at this time, Radebe will bring Selepe and his
negotiating team to Washington in January to begin talks to
explore solutions to obstacles. Phillips admitted that the
second scenario is most likely.

----------------
MINISTER'S VISIT
----------------

4. (SBU) Phillips said that Radebe is tentatively planning
to arrive in New York on January 23 and stay three to four
days. He would then travel to Washington for one to two
days. Selepe's team will join Radebe in Washington if talks
are needed. Radebe will likely travel with a small
delegation including Dr. Phillips, Godfrey Selepe, Deputy
Director-General for Public Transport Lucky Montana, and
Professor van Niekerk (Maritime advisor to the Minister).

5. (SBU) Phillips indicated that the Minister prefers to
minimize protocol and ceremony and, instead, focus on making
the visit as productive and educational as possible. He is
particularly interested in the organizational infrastructure
of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT), how its
agencies interact, and how DoT addresses funding issues and
restraints. While in New York, the Minister would also like
to learn more about how DoT administers its maritime and
aviation ports, the Container Security Initiative, and the
synergies of the public transport system.

FRAZER

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