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Cablegate: U.S./Uk/Libya Tscc Bio Subcommittee Meeting, August 8-10,

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Brooke F Adams 09/14/2006 04:41:27 PM From DB/Inbox: Brooke F Adams

Cable
Text:


S E C R E T TRIPOLI 00498

SIPDIS
CXCAIRO:
ACTION: POL
INFO: CONS RSO AMB AID PA ORA OMC LEGAT IPS ECON DEA
DCM DAO

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

VZCZCCRO880
PP RUEHEG
DE RUEHTRO #0498/01 2571301
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 141301Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1206
INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0418
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0440
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0018
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0102
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0304
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0546
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 1366

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 00498

SIPDIS
CXCAIRO:
ACTION: POL
INFO: CONS RSO AMB AID PA ORA OMC LEGAT IPS ECON DEA
DCM DAO

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

VZCZCCRO880
PP RUEHEG
DE RUEHTRO #0498/01 2571301
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 141301Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1206
INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0418
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0440
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0018
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0102
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0304
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0546
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 1366 S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 TRIPOLI 000498

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SIPDIS

STATE NEA/MAG FOR GAVITO, CRITTENBERGER, VCI/BIO HAYESLIP; CAIRO
FOR DR. MARIE RICCIARDONE, NAMRUY FOR DR. BRUCE BOYNTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 9/14/2016
TAGS: CW PARM PREL AF LY
SUBJECT: U.S./UK/LIBYA TSCC BIO SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING, AUGUST 8-10,
2006

CLASSIFIED BY: Ethan Goldrich, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (U) Summary. The TSCC Biological Subcommittee met in
Tripoli August 8-10, 2006. The two and one half day meeting
included: a general discussion of progress made to date in
implementing the "Roadmap for the Way Forward in Cooperative
Engagement in the Life Sciences;" an update of the Roadmap;
presentations on, and discussion of, BWC national implementation
and pathogen security legislation; a visit to a military
facility in Tajura; a visit to the Disease Surveillance Center
based in Zliten City; a meeting with the Libyan delegation
planning to visit London in September 2006; and a presentation
by NAMRU-3 Director Dr. Bruce Boynton. The Libyans provided,
under instructions, a copy of the inventory of the GHL equipment
that has been moved and stored at the BTRC. U.S. and UK Reps
expressed the hope that delays encountered to date in
implementing the roadmap were of the past. The oft-postponed
Disease Surveillance Workshop was tentatively scheduled for
January 21, 2007 in conjuntion with a meeting of the
SubCommittee, with venue and participation still to be
determined. U.S. and UK members found the meeting productive
and their Libyan counterparts enthusiastic and cooperative. End
Summary.

---------
August 8 / Opening of SubCommittee Meeting/Agreement on Agenda:
---------

2. (U) After initial pleasantries, Dr. Mohamed M. Sharif, head
of the Libyan National Committee on Bioetchics and Biosafety
(LNCBB), provided, under instructions, a copy of the inventory
of the GHL equipment that has been moved and stored at the BTRC,
which had originally been requested during the January 2006 TSCC
Bio Subcommittee meeting. U.S. and UK teams welcomed receipt of
the long-delayed list. The U.S. side also expressed the hope
that recent problems encountered, such as the Libyan's
postponement of the London visit, were now behind us. UK
expressed its satisfaction with arrangements for the meeting,
and plans for the now-upcoming visit to London rescheduled for
September 2006.

---------
Review of Progress to Date:
---------

3. (U) The SubCommittee reviewed progress in implementing the
Roadmap and updated it (see para 12). Libya also reported on
establishing institutional review boards (IRBs) at three
Universities (Al Fatah, Garyounis, and Sabha), noting that they
may wish to consult U.S. and UK experts on their implementation;
U.S. and UK indicated their availability and interest.
Collaborative progress to date has included the following:

--Two workshops in October 2004 and January 2005 (bioethics and
biosafety);

--Submission by Libya of BWC CBMs in 2005 and again in 2006
(comment: although we understand Libya did provide CBMs to the
UN for 2006 (the Libyans and UN contacts confirm this), we were
unable to obtain a copy. Libyan counterparts said they would
provide to us via the Embassy);

--Development and updating a draft roadmap for cooperative
engagement in the life sciences;

--NAMRU-3 initiated (and is expanding) engagement with Libya,
together with the World Health Organization;

--Participation by Libyan experts in two Conferences held in
Cairo in February 2006 (one by FAO-ICARDA Conference on
biotechnology and genetic engineering and one on HIV/AIDs);

--Participation by Libyan experts in a biosecurity workshop in
Amman, Jordan in April 2006, coupled with a trip to the Field
Epidemiology Training Program in Amman;

--An invitation from the American Biological Safety Association
(ABSA) for six Libyan experts to participate in their annual
meeting in Boston in October 2006 was forwarded to Dr. Sharif
for the invitees in June 2006;

--A renewed invitation by the UK for Libyan experts to visit
London for a visit focusing on cooperation in the life sciences
in September 2006.
4. (U) August 9: Discussion of BWC National Implementation and
Pathogen Security Legislation: The U.S. initiated discussion
on legislation with a
presentation on pathogen security covering definitions, the need
to build a pathogen security program, how to develop risk
assessment and management processes, and types of information
that are required for implementation. A second U.S.
presentation focused on national implementation of the
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and related pathogen
security legislation. U.S.-developed model legislation was used
to discuss the differences between the U.S. approach and two
draft Libyan laws provided earlier to U.S. experts on
"Concerning the Manifestation and Handling of Extremely
Dangerous Live Organisms in the Libyan Jamahiriyya and
"Establishment of a Mechanism to Provide Early Warning Against
the Spread of Diseases in the Libyan Jamahiriyya." A professor
of international law from Al-Fatah University joined the Libyan
side, which already included a lawyer from the Ministry of
Justice, to participate in these discsussions. The UK commented
that each national legislation differed slightly with respect to
their respective national legal frameworks. The UK also
highlighted and handed over information on the UK-based NGO
Verficiation, Research, training, and Information Center
(VERTIC) study that was examining national implementation and
legislation related to the BWC and various nuclear treaties.
U.S. agreed to provide an Arabic translation of the model
legislation at the request of Libyan experts, who expressed the
hope that it could be drawn upon it in their legislative
drafting.

---------
August 9: Visit to Military Facility in Tajura:
---------

5. (S) SubCommittee members visited General El-Ghadi's
defensive training facility in Tajura. (Comment. U.S. and UK
experts visited El-Ghadi's facility and toured an NBC Defense
School run by Col. Othmann, El-Gahdi's deputy, on February 16,
2004. This appears to be the same facility. See Ref: LTAG
014-2004, 031446Z MAR 04, DTRA-OSE 031446Z, para 4. End
Comment.) They were met by Col. Othmann, the Head of the Libyan
Nuclear
and Chemical Defense School. After providing a tour of some of
the facilities on the compound and answering questions, Othmann
stated that the school trained military personnel only on
nuclear and chemical defense and
explained that they have no provision for training for
biological defense, nor do they have plans to do so in the
future at this facility. Rather, the military will rely on the
Libyan public health service to provide medical aid if there was
a disease outbreak. He also took the SubCommittee to a CW
defensive lab under construction, which he explained may take
another year to complete. Equipment has been purchased for the
lab and was on site. The classrooms and laboratory facility
appear to comprise a fairly small portion of the military
compound, and the U.S. and UK did not have the opportunity to
view any buildings on the remainder of the compound. Of note,
this occasion was the first time Libyan NCBB members had visited
this facility.

6. (S) Comment. In his September 2005 meeting with the
SubCommittee General El-Ghadi focused more on the chemical vice
the biological defensive activities planned for his facility;
however, he certainly implied that biological weapons defense
would be a part of its mission. UK team notes, however, that
Col. Othmann's comments were fully consistent with what they had
heard before and that they had always understood the facility to
focus on chemical and radiological defense. U.S. and UK experts
were both told that a lab under construction at the facility
wold be for chemical weapons defensive purposes; U.S. and UK
explained that Libya might have to declare it to the OPCW. The
lab U.S. and UK experts were taken to on August 9 is still under
construction (old classroom section being refitted), includes an
air handling system, an almost fully tiled "preparation room,"
and what appeared to be a "cold storage" room, all of which are
consistent with a
lab that could be used for work with chemical and/or biological
agents. Although the lab could easily be completed in a short
time, Col Othmann and his staff estimated that it could take up
to a year to finish construction. SubCommittee members did not
ask to see the on-site equipment, but suggests that a future
visit by CW experts might be useful to help determine the
capabilities and purpose of the completed laboratory. End
Comment.)

---------
August 10: Visit to Disease Surveillance Center in Zliten City:
---------

7. (U) SubCommittee members visited the National Center for
Infectious Disease Prevention and Control (NCIDC). Dr. Smeo,
the hospitable and talkative head of the Center, provided a
presentation on the activities of
the Center and a tour of the Center. Visitors were taken to one
small lab space capable of biosafety level 2 work, and to a
number of stations where computers were being used to enter
data. The Center seemed to be well equipped and efficiently
functioning. This occasion was the first visit to the Center
by the Libyan NCBB members; in a private aside, Dr. Sharif
mentioned to a U.S. colleague that he had expected "more" from
the Center.

---------
August 10: Meeting with Libyan Delegation to London Meeting:
---------

8. (U) The UK provided an outline agenda for the visit,
scheduled for September 7-15, 2006. They also provided suitable
web sites for the delegation to obtain further information
about each of the facilities
they would be visiting.

---------
August 10: Presentation by NAMRU-3 Director on Cooperation with
Libya
---------

9. (U) Dr. Bruce Boynton, Director of NAMRU-3, outlined the
NAMRU-3 Mission and its relationship with the World Health
Organization. He described recently initiated collaborative
scientific exchanges with Libyan
experts. The question and answer session proved to be useful
in obtaining more information on endemic disease in Libya, which
will be helpful to NAMRU-3 in tailoring its collaborative
efforts with Libya.

---------
Participants in the Meeting:
---------

10. (U) Libyan Participants:

Dr. Mohamed M. Sharif
Chairman of the National Committee for Bioethics and
Biosafety,
Head of the BTRC

Dr. Abdurahman Tawil
Member of LNCBB
Faculty of Science, Al Fatah University

Dr. Abdulaziz M. El-Buni
Member of LNCBB
Faculty of Science, Al Fatah University

Dr. Mohamed A. Abaugalia
Member of LNCBB
Member of Military Ministry

Mr. Muftah Al-Hemali A. Ali
Member of the LNCBB
The General Administration for International Organizations
at the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and
International Cooperation

Dr. AbdulKader A. El-Maleh
Member of the LNCBB
Faculty of Agriculture
Omar al-Mukhtar University

Dr. Abdalgader Saleh Ali
Member of LNCBB
Faculty of Science
Sabha University
Dr. Abdussalam A. Masaud Amara
Member of LNCBB
Pharmacy School
Al Fatah University

Mr. Abdulaker Mohamed Alioah
Member of the LNCBB
The General Administration for Law at the General People's
Committee for Justice

Dr. Milud A. Amru
Professor of International, Investment and Trade Law,
Al-Fatah University
Observer Member, UN Commission of International Law

11. (U) UK Participants

--Dr. Peter Biggins, UK TSCC Bio-Subcommittee CoChair
--Dr. Lorna Miller, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory,
Porton Down

12. (U) U.S. Participants

--U.S. CoChair Katharine C. Crittenberger, U.S. Department of
State
--Ms. Michelle Baker, U.S. Department of State
--Dr. Bruce Boynton, Director, NAMRU-3, Cairo, Egypt
--Mr. Marshall Brown, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S.
Department of State
--Mr. Christopher Eaves, Science and Technology Officer, Embassy
Tripoli
--Mr. Shaun Hayeslip, U.S. Department of State
--Dr. Marie Ricciardone, Coordinator for the Libya Scientist
Engagement Program, U.S. Department of State, Embassy Cairo
(Egypt)
--Dr. Gregory Stewart, Senior Microbiologist, U.S. Department of
State

---------
Updated Draft Roadmap
---------

13. (U) Updated Draft Roadmap for Way Forward in Cooperative
Engagement in the Life Sciences (revised August 10, 2006)

August 2006

UK/Libya

--UK to provide information to facilitate Libyan Participation
in a Workshop on "Approaches to National Legislation for
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons Agreements", 29-30
August.

September 2006

U.S./UK/Libya

--Visit to UK, Video Conference
--Finalize plans for Human Infectious Disease Surveillance
Workshop, including decisions on timing, venue, format, and
participation
--Possible consultations on upcoming BWC Review Conference
--Additional consultations on legal issues

U.S./Libya

--Continue cooperative engagement with NAMRU-3

October 2006

Libya

--Attend annual meeting of American Biological Safety
Association (Boston, MA)

November 2006

U.S./UK/Libya

--Attend Sixth Review of BWC (Nov 20-Dec 8)
January 2007
U.S./UK/Libya

--Meeting of TSCC Bio SubCommittee
--Disease Surveillance Workshop (Jan 21?)
--Identify Workshop follow up activities, i.e.:
--Animal Disease Surveillance Workshop
--Plant Disease Surveillance Workshop/GM Foods
--Training Track
--IRB Workshop

GOLDRICH
BERRY

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