Cablegate: (Sbu) Portuguese Interim Response to Demarche On Sharing


DE RUEHLI #2648 2901257
R 161257Z OCT 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: (SBU) Portuguese interim response to demarche on sharing
terrorist screening information pursuant to HSPD-6

REF: (a) STATE 101569; (b) LISBON 1628

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Consul General and ACS Specialist met with Manuel
Grainha do Vale, MFA Americas Division Deputy Director, on September
30 to deliver the demarche regarding the HSPD-6 proposal to share
terrorist screening information. We left the proposal with him in
hard copy as a diplomatic note. We also requested appropriate dates
for a visit by a DOS team to discuss HSPD-6 accession. Grainha do
Vale promised to coordinate a response with relevant GOP ministries.

2. (SBU) During the course of the meeting, ConGen underscored the
USG interest in resuming discussions with the GOP regarding the
HSPD-6 Agreement proposal first presented to them in June 2007 by a
visiting Department team. He acknowledged that at that time the GOP
was constrained by a very heavy EU presidency schedule that did not
allow engaging in active negotiations. Former CA/P/IP Director Alcy
Frelick raised HSPD-6 again in a follow up visit to Lisbon in
February 2008, after the Portuguese EU Presidency. She reaffirmed
the USG commitment to the process and provided GOP officials a
revised version of the draft Agreement. To date, the GOP has not
made any comments nor has it expressed any interest to engage in
negotiations despite further Embassy entreaties.

3. (SBU) ConGen emphasized the relevance and importance of an HSPD-6
information sharing agreement at this time, noting that Portuguese
willingness to move forward on this would fulfill the requirement
contained in the 9/11 Act mandating sharing of terrorist information
for Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries. (Note: Portugal will host
a DHS-led team the first week of November conducting a review of its
compliance with VWP rules.)

4. (SBU) Grainha do Vale's only comment was to note that some GOP
officials with whom he has previously discussed the proposed HSPD-6
Agreement provisions are of the opinion that the PNR and Prum Treaty
are more comprehensive instruments because they cover a greater
number of security-related issues. In their view, the aim of the
Agreement is redundant if not useless because sharing terrorist
information is already covered by the above referred instruments.

5. (SBU) Nonetheless, Grainha do Vale assured us that he would
forward our message to his colleagues from the Ministries of Justice
and Internal Affairs who would be involved in any negotiations. He
also promised to canvas them for possible dates to receive an HSPD-6
team from Washington. We will advise the Department as soon as we
receive any response from the MFA.


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