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Cablegate: Sofa Update: Gob Ok Except One Change

VZCZCXYZ0015
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #1906 1911900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101900Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4258
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6918
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4260
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8154
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5397
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2627
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2787
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3531
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4715
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5258
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9864
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0403
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 001906

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIA PGOV PREL MARR MASS MOPS BL
SUBJECT: SOFA UPDATE: GOB OK EXCEPT ONE CHANGE

REF: STATE 092427

1. (SBU) Per instructions in reftel, poloff delivered the
draft Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) on July 5. The MFA official in charge
of the SOFA negotiations indicated to poloff on July 9 that
the GOB was comfortable with the latest draft minus the final
sentence in paragraph number one. The current sentence reads:

"These personnel are not to be armed except
with the agreement of Bolivian authorities."

The GOB would like the sentence to read as it did before this
latest draft and as it did in previous SOFAs.

"These personnel are not to be armed."

2. (SBU) The MFA official explained that adding the phrase
"except with the agreement of Bolivian authorities" will
require approval by the Bolivian Congress because it would be
congress that decides on granting or refusing such an
exception. The agreement without the phrase would not
require the congress' intervention and therefore the GOB
could approve it in short order. The MFA official explained
that given the current political context obtaining
congressional approval could be complicated and lengthy.

3. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: With Washington's concurrence, post
would like to deliver the SOFA via formal diplomatic note
without the phrase "except with the agreement of Bolivian
authorities." Please advise whether Embassy La Paz may
proceed with delivering the note.
GOLDBERG

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