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Cablegate: Goc Foreign Ministry Keen On Disaster Talks

VZCZCXRO5118
RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #2279 3522210
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182210Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7045
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1782
RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS OTTAWA 002279

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ECON PREL CA MX
SUBJECT: GoC FOREIGN MINISTRY KEEN ON DISASTER TALKS

REF: State 159257

1. Econoff and ESTH/ECON Specialist as well as the Acting CBP
Attach met with officials from Foreign Affairs and International
Trade (DFAIT) on December 17 to invite DFAIT participation in the
meeting, proposed for January or February 2008, of the Consultative
Group called for in the bilateral 1986 Agreement on Cooperation in
Comprehensive Civil Emergency Planning and Management. DFAIT
officials were very receptive to the proposal and have asked for a
draft agenda of the meeting as soon as possible.

2. They noted that they have anticipated the need for this effort
for several months now and have begun themselves to take stock of
the various agreements and MoU, at the federal to federal as well as
regional, and state to province level that may need to be considered
in concert with an update of the 1986 agreement. As well, they
noted, issues such as Terrorism and Avian and Pandemic Influenza may
need to be explicitly addressed. They mentioned that they
anticipate the DFAIT legal advisor's office would eventually become
involved and asked whether and when State had plans to engage legal
counsel on the update effort.

3. DFAIT was represented by the Director of the U.S. Relations
division, Sarah Fountain-Smith as well as by Sumita Dixit, Senior
Policy Advisor (Disasters) from DFAIT's Humanitarian Affairs and
Disaster Response group. Embassy will meet with appropriate staff at
Public Safety Canada to deliver the same message later this week.

Wilkins

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