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Cablegate: Mtcr: Argentine Space Launch Vehicle (Slv)

R 031128Z SEP 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES

C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 094059


BUENOS AIRES FOR EST

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2033
TAGS: MTCRE KSCA PARM PREL MNUC ETTC TSPA AR

SUBJECT: MTCR: ARGENTINE SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLE (SLV)
PROGRAM

REF: A. BUENOS AIRES 691 AND PREVIOUS
B. STATE 50050 AND PREVIOUS
C. STATE 67398
D. BUENOS AIRES 1178

Classified By: ISN/MTR Director Pam Durham.
Reason: 1.5 (B), (D).


1. (U) This is an action request. Embassy Buenos Aires,
please see paragraph 5.

2. (C) BACKGROUND: REF D reports the government of
Argentina's (GOA's) agreement to the U.S. request for
transparency on Argentina's space launch vehicle (SLV)
program (REF B and REF C) and request for additional U.S.
thinking on the timing of an initial briefing on the
Argentine SLV program and subsequent expert-level discussions
in Washington and Buenos Aires. Specifically, the GOA has
committed to provide the United States with full transparency
into its SLV program, including annual consultations on the
status of the program and on imports/exports relating to the
program, and the option of periodic site/s visits. As a
first step, Argentina would like to provide a one-time ""state
of play"" briefing to U.S. officials and has requested that
this meeting take place in Washington sometime after January
1, 2009. The GOA also would like to establish a notional
schedule for annual U.S.-Argentina consultations on the SLV
program.

3. (C) PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: In response to the GOA's request,
we want to advise appropriate GOA officials that the U.S.
would welcome an initial ""state of play"" briefing on
Argentina's SLV program and would be willing to host a
one-day meeting for this purpose in Washington, D.C. in late
January or early February 2009. NOTE: We would view this
briefing as separate and distinct from the one time briefing
we have asked Argentina to provide to the 33 Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Partners - probably via a
short information paper (REF C). END NOTE.

4. (C) With regard to annual U.S.-Argentina consultations
on the status of Argentina's SLV program, we want to advise
the GOA that the U.S. would envision the ""annual
consultations"" being a half-day to one-day meeting that would
be held on a mutually agreed date each year in either
Washington or Buenos Aires (venue would alternate). Ideally,
the first such consultations would be held in Buenos Aires,
sometime in the May-July 2009 timeframe. The second annual
meeting would then take place in Washington in May-July 2010.
As noted in REF C, we would expect both sides to be
represented at these talks by an appropriate expert-level
delegation, and that the U.S. delegation would be led by the
State Department's Director for Missile Threat Reduction. We
also would expect the agenda for the meeting to be agreed in
advance by the two governments.

5. (C) ACTION REQUEST: Drawing on the information provided
in paragraphs 4-5 above -- and, as necessary, in REF B and
REF C -- request Embassy Buenos Aires convey the following to
CONAE Director Varotto and appropriate Argentine MFA
officials:

--The U.S. welcomes and appreciates Argentina's agreement to
provide full transparency into its SLV program, including
annual consultations on the status of the program and on
imports/exports relating to the program, and the option of
periodic site/s visits.

--The U.S. would welcome an initial ""state of play"" briefing
from Argentina on the SLV program and would be willing to
host a meeting for this purpose in Washington, D.C. in late
January or early February 2009.

--The U.S. would envision the U.S.-Argentina annual
consultations on the SLV program being a half-day to one-day
meeting that would be held on a mutually agreed date each
year and that these discussions would take place in either
Washington or Buenos Aires (venue would alternate). Ideally,
the first such consultations would be held in Buenos Aires,
sometime in the May-July 2009 timeframe.

In addition, post should clarify that the initial state of
play briefing envisioned for January/February 2009 would be
for the U.S. only and would be separate from whatever
briefing Argentina provides to the MTCR Partners on its SLV
program. Our suggestion for briefing the MTCR Partners would
be for Argentina to circulate a short information paper to
all the MTCR Partners via the French MTCR Point of Contact.
However, the modalities for providing such a briefing are
entirely up to Argentina.

6. (U) Washington POC is ISN/MTR Director Pam Durham (Phone:
202-647-4931). Please slug any reporting on this issue for
ISN and WHA.
RICE


NNNN


End Cable Text

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