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Cablegate: Hmg Proposes U.S.-Uk Consultation Regarding

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #2318 2821111
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 091111Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3697
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUVNSAO/NAVSUPPFAC DIEGO GARCIA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 002318

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2019
TAGS: PGOV MOPS MARR UK SH IO
SUBJECT: HMG PROPOSES U.S.-UK CONSULTATION REGARDING
ASCENSION ISLAND

REF: 08 LONDON 539 (NOTAL)

Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville for Reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C//NF) HMG would like to consult with USG interlocutors to discuss "U.S. medium-term intentions" regarding the use of Ascension Island, Andrew Allen, the Head of the Southern Oceans Team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Overseas Territories Directorate, and Sharon Wright, the FCO's lead Ascension Island Officer, told Poloff October 6. The consultations would also provide an opportunity to discuss other issues of general mutual concern regarding Ascension Island, including the Bahamas Agreement of 1956 and the Wideawake Agreement, they said. They underscored that HMG does not want to suggest that there is "any problem" regarding U.S. use of Ascension Island, nor does HMG seek to impede U.S. military use of Ascension Island. HMG seeks an opportunity to consult with USG interlocutors regarding U.S. "interests and goals," they explained. For example, HMG would appreciate an update on possible AFRICOM intentions regarding the use of Ascension Island, they said.

2. (C//NF) They cited annual U.S.-UK talks regarding Diego Garcia as a useful opportunity to review issues of mutual interest concerning the British Indian Ocean Territory. They said that HMG does not seek to "institutionalize" Ascension Island discussions into an annual event, as it is for Diego Garcia, but would welcome an opportunity to discuss U.S. use of Ascension Island. Poloff asked if the consultations could be accomplished, at least initially, by secure video discussions. Allen responded affirmatively, but stressed that the video link should be secure.

3. (C//NF) Allen said that HMG is trying to figure out how to most effectively govern the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, which consists of Saint Helena and Ascension Islands, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha. Issues such as education, health services, and ways to raise revenue are under discussion, he explained. HMG Ministers are increasingly aware of issues related to the UK's Overseas Territories, Allen stated. He said that the "fallout" from two renditions in 2002 involving Diego Garcia had raised the overall profile of U.S. military use of British Overseas Territories. (Ref) "Ministers want to be able to speak with confidence" regarding the uses of UK sovereign territory, he said. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX SUSMAN

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