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Cablegate: Ninth Us-Polish Sofa Plenary Makes Progress,

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWR #0855 2330659
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 210659Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8771
INFO RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L WARSAW 000855

SIPDIS

EUR/CE FOR GLANTZ, OSD FOR MITCHELL, PM/SNA FOR RYAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2019
TAGS: PREL PM MAPP MARR PL
SUBJECT: NINTH US-POLISH SOFA PLENARY MAKES PROGRESS,
ADDRESSES CORE DIFFERENCES

Classified By: CDA Quanrud for reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (SBU) U.S. and Polish delegations made good progress
during Round Nine of U.S.-Poland SOFA negotiations held in
Warsaw August 18-20, and addressed in-depth core differences
in areas of taxation, criminal jurisdiction, claims, and
burden-sharing. Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski
and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer led the Polish
delegation. Kurt Amend, Senior Advisor for Security
Negotiations and Agreements, led the U.S. delegation.

2. (SBU) In the pre-plenary discussion, heads of delegation
agreed to cluster unresolved articles around five common
themes: a) Individuals and entities that receive privileges
and benefits under the U.S.-Poland SOFA; b) Appropriate
burdensharing of costs between NATO allies; c) Criminal
jurisdiction, judicial custody, and claims; d) Taxation; and
e) Sovereignty. The delegation heads further agreed to spend
the first day closing out articles where only minor
differences remained.

3. (SBU) The sides confirmed prior agreement on articles 1,
4, 7, 14, 20, 22, 23, 35, and 36. The sides reached full,
provisional agreement on the Preamble; Article 16 Discipline;
Article 25 Military Postal Services; Article 26
Telecommunications; Article 28 Currency; Article 31 Health;
and Article 34 Labor. The sides agreed to drop Article 8 Use
of Force.

4. (SBU) Discussion of the cluster of articles related to
taxation confirmed strong ongoing differences on
point-of-sale v. reimbursement of VAT in Article 18 Official
Tax Exemptions; the status of dependents in Article 19
Personal Tax Exemptions; exemption from taxation on
importation of household shipment for members of the force in
Article 21 Personal Importation and Exportation; and the
issue of fees versus taxes in Article 27 Logistical Support
and Utilities.

5. (SBU) Although the sides made some progress on pre-trial
confinement in Article 15 Detention, Temporary Custody and
Confinement, there was little movement on Article 13
Jurisdiction. The Polish delegation lumped Article 17 Claims
into this cluster, and refused to discuss it without first
having resolution of Jurisdiction and Confinement.

6. (SBU) With regard to appropriate burdensharing among
allies, the Poles were not prepared to lift fees for ranges
and facilities in Article 6 Military Exercises, nor for use
of airspace in Article 12 Movement of Aircraft and Vessels.

7. (C) COMMENT. At the beginning of the round, the Poles
clearly hoped for significant gains on substantive provisions
due to the change in leadership of the U.S. delegation. On
the big issues, however, there was little progress, as the
U.S. re-emphasized key USG redlines in response to Polish
positions. That said, the Poles showed flexibility on issues
such as Discipline or Use of Force that seemed intractable
only a few months ago. The Polish delegation leads remain
hamstrung by limitations from above. To conclude this
agreement, they will require change in instructions at the
ministerial level or, at the right point, the direct
involvement of the Foreign Minister. END COMMENT

8. (SBU) Senior Advisor Amend has cleared on this cable.

QUANRUD

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