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Cablegate: Gvn Announces Plans to Sign Iaea Additional Protocol

VZCZCXRO6274
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2962 3390803
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050803Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4077
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2204
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS HANOI 002962

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NP (FENSTERMACHER); EAP/MLS
USDOE FOR NNSA/NA-1 (BROOKS); NNSA/NA-20 (TOBEY, BAKER);
NNSA/NA-21 (BIENIAWSKI, CUMMINS, DICKERSON)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP KGIT VM
SUBJECT: GVN ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SIGN IAEA ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL

REF: HANOI 2102

1. (SBU) Summary and Comment: On December 4, MFA Department of
International Organizations Acting Director General Le Hoai Trung
met with representatives of the diplomatic community to announce
State President Nguyen Minh Triet's decision that Vietnam will sign
the IAEA Additional Protocol (AP). The announcement comes in the
run-up to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's planned December
9 visit to Vietnam to review the country's cooperation with that
agency. As Trung's presentation made clear, while the announcement
is an important first step, the road to ultimate ratification of the
AP could be fairly long as the GVN must first negotiate a final
agreement with the IAEA and then satisfy domestic legal, technical
and political requirements prior to gaining the National Assembly's
approval. End Summary and Comment.

2. (SBU) Trung explained that President Triet's decision was made on
November 15, based upon a positive recommendation by Prime Minister
Nguyen Tan Dzung. With the signing of the AP, Vietnam will have
acceded to all international conventions concerning weapons of mass
destruction, including the Chemical Weapons Convention, the
Biological Weapons Convention, the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The
decision to proceed with the signing of the AP shows "the GVN's
consistent policy in support of peace and disarmament, as well as
Vietnam's commitment as a member of the United Nations to strengthen
peace and security," said Trung.

GVN Still Needs to Negotiate AP Terms
-------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Trung outlined the next steps for the GVN following the
public announcement of the decision, which is scheduled for December
5. After the GVN formally informs Director General ElBaradei of the
GVN's intent to sign the AP, he will work with the GVN to prepare an
agreement based on the IAEA's model AP. Trung said this would
involve "basically filling in the name of the country." When the
final terms of the AP are reached, the IAEA Board of Governors
reviews the document and, if approved, authorizes DG ElBaradei to
sign on behalf of the IAEA. Trung said the GVN hopes the AP can be
submitted to the Board of Governors at its March 2007 session, but
acknowledged there might not be enough time between now and then to
work out all issues.

Domestic Concerns Will Complicate a Final AP Text
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. (SBU) The GVN also faces the task of preparing all necessary
conditions for eventual ratification of the AP. Trung noted that of
the 109 AP signatories, only 70 have ratified the agreement. He
declined to estimate when ratification might take place. Also, the
GVN needs to work with the IAEA to resolve a number of technical
issues. He cited the treatment of the Dalat nuclear research
facility, which he referred to as a "double safeguarded facility."
This refers to an existing safeguard agreement with the IAEA, in
addition to an IAEA technical cooperation agreement related to the
nuclear fuel supplied by the Russian Federation for use at the Dalat
facility. While Vietnam's use of nuclear material for peaceful
purposes is still minimal, according to Trung, there are questions
about whether Dalat will be subject to an inspection regime that
could obstruct normal commercial and research activities. He also
said the decision will affect an important aspect of Vietnam's
domestic policy, and the AP will require meticulous, careful
preparation so as to address the concerns of critics within the GVN
who question the need for the AP given the minimal level of
Vietnam's nuclear activities and the "double safeguarding" already
in place regarding the Dalat facility.

5. (SBU) Prior to ratification, GVN agencies will also have the task
of developing a technical and legal basis for implementing the AP.
Trung cited the GVN's experience with the Chemical Weapons
Convention, in which case it was necessary to adopt a separate law
to cover aspects not addressed in the Criminal Code. He also said
implementation of the AP and related legislation must not contradict
Vietnam's possible future use of nuclear power for civilian
purposes.

MARINE

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