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Cablegate: Uk Quietly Supports U.S. Icao Council Candidacy;

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #3608 2621203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191203Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHMT/AMCONSUL MONTREAL PRIORITY 0048
RHMFIUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5461
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS LONDON 003608

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/T LAURA LUFTIG; EB/TRA/OTP MWALKLET-TIGHE
CONSULATE MONTREAL FOR USICAO LFAUX-GABLE
EB OR CONSULATE MONTREAL FOR DAS JBYERLY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ICAO AORC UK
SUBJECT: UK QUIETLY SUPPORTS U.S. ICAO COUNCIL CANDIDACY;
LAYS DOWN MARKER ON OPEN SKIES

REF: A. STATE 115443

B. STATE 127689

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The UK will support the U.S. ICAO Council
candidacy, but their internal regulations prohibit them from
giving us an official response. They have not given their
views on the ICAO Split-Currency Assessments. Transport
officials emphasized that the UK must see progress on Stage
Two Open Skies civil aviation negotiations next spring or
they could be forced to withdraw their support of the Open
Skies Plus agreement. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Due to British policy not to disclose ahead of time
their votes on international organizations, the UK cannot
officially convey to us their support for the U.S. candidacy
to the ICAO Council (ref A), David McMillan, Director of
Civil Aviation, Department for Transportation, and Tim
Figures, Head of International Aviation and Safety Division
told us recently. Through positive body language and
exhortations "not to worry", however, they assured us that we
can count on their vote. McMillan told us of the importance
of U.S.-UK joint efforts on safety, security and ICAO reform,
and why the U.S. needs to remain on the Council, U.S.-UK
disagreements on environment/emissions notwithstanding.
McMillan will lead the UK delegation to Montreal, and will
stay for the duration of the session. McMillan said we need
to make sure our differences do not outweigh our numerous
agreements.

3. (SBU) McMillan added that the UK and U.S. should open a
dialogue with other ICAO members on reform, asking all
members if the current structure meets current goals. He
said that amendment of the Chicago Convention was not
necessarily the best way to get reforms through, but
suggested that capitals should have the lead rather than the
Council.

4. (U) Post also delivered Ref B on ICAO Split-Currency
Assessments, but has yet to receive a substantive reply.

Open Skies - Progress on Stage Two Negotiations
--------------------------------------------- --

54. (SBU) On stage two of the Open Skies civil aviation
negotiations next spring, McMillan said the UK will need to
see forward movement on the next set of issues (i.e., foreign
ownership) or they might be forced to "exercise their veto"
to the Open Skies Plus agreement. British Air and Virgin can
not be counted on to continue to go along with the status quo
(they also might be up for sale in 2008.) Specifically, the
UK will push for tangible progress through a transparent and
public process. McMillan said any agreement will require
legislative changes on both sides of the Atlantic: saying
that "doing it outside the legislative process is not solid
enough" for UK comfort levels. McMillan understands the U.S.
political landscape, and suggested that 2008 be used to clean
up the "ground issues" and set things up for more serious
negotiations after the 2008 U.S. elections. McMillan summed
up by stressing that the UK has its own pressure points - on
all sides of the political spectrum - on this issue which
creates the need for visible progress in the second round of
negotiations.

6. (U) McMillan will travel to Washington on October 10 to
discuss the environment, and would like to see EB DAS John
Byerly and others.

Visit London's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/london/index. cfm
LeBaron

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