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Cablegate: Germany Urges U.S. To Support Its Opcw Candidate

VZCZCXRO1366
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHRL #1233/01 2751414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021414Z OCT 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5361
INFO RUCNDSC/DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
RUEHXX/GENEVA IO MISSIONS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNNSG/NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP
RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001233

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C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - (missing SENSITIVE caption)

ISN/CB FOR ROBERT MIKULAK AND JENNIE GROMOLL

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TAGS: AORC CDG KNNP MNUC PARM PGOV PREL CWCM GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY URGES U.S. TO SUPPORT ITS OPCW CANDIDATE
PETER GOTTWALD

BERLIN 00001233 001.3 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary. In a September 22 letter to the
Ambassador, German MFA DepSec-equivalent Reinhard Silberberg
strongly lobbied the USG to support German Ambassador Peter
Gottwald for Director General of the Technical Secretariat of
the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW). Silberberg underscored the importance that Germany
places on Gottwald's candidacy and noted the German cabinet's
role in the nomination. German MFA Political Director Volker
Stanzel has personally lobbied the Ambassador in support of
Gottwald as well. In a recent meeting with POL M/C, Gottwald
also emphasized the weight that Germany has placed on helping
him secure the Director General slot. Paragraph 4 contains a
translation of Silberberg's letter. End Summary

2. (SBU) On September 14 Gottwald told POL M/C that German
officials were making every effort in support of his
candidacy, underscoring that many remained troubled by the
dearth of Germans at the helm of multilateral organizations.
Most importantly, however, Gottwald said Germany saw him as a
good fit for the OPCW. As a result, he was being very active
in campaigning -- making recent trips to Australia and Latin
America. Gottwald emphasized that his candidacy had the
direct support of the Chancellor's office (CDU) and the
Foreign Ministry (SPD), projecting strong bipartisanship.
Gottwald understood that he was under stiff competition
amongst the field of seven candidates -- particularly from
Turkey and the U.K. -- however, he was cautiously optimistic
that he could garner broad support for the job. Nevertheless
he placed particular importance on securing support from the
U.S.

-------
Comment
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3. (SBU) Germany's interest in the OPCW position is
consistent with its long-standing, deep interest in
disarmament. Moreover, the German government's continuing
support of arms control suggests that Gottwald would enjoy
high-level backing for his work at the OPCW should he land
the Director General position. In our experience, Gottwald
has proven to be open and engaging with U.S. officials and
comes across as a polished and capable interlocutor. End
comment.

4. (U) Begin text of letter to Ambassador Murphy:

Excellency,

Allow me to draw your attention to a matter of high political
priority for my country.

The Federal Republic of Germany has, by a Cabinet decision,
nominated Ambassador Peter Gottwald as its candidate for the
post of Director-General of the Technical Secretariat of the
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
I would like to request your support for his appointment
within the OPCW Executive Council.

Ambassador Gottwald is the Federal Government Commissioner
for Disarmament and Arms Control, and a renowned expert on
disarmament issues. He played an active role in the
successful endgame negotiations for the Chemical Weapons
Convention (CWC). The general impression is that his
presentation to the Executive Council at The Hague in
mid-July was highly convincing.

The CWC is a success story. It is the only agreement which,
in a non-discriminatory way, bans a whole category of WMDs
and mandates their destruction. Nonetheless, it is facing
several challenges for the future. We want to achieve the
universality of the Convention and the destruction of all
chemical weapons within the set deadlines.

The appointment of the new Director-General takes place at a
decisive point in time: The destruction of all chemical
weapons will be completed over the next decade. The OPCW
will therefore soon have to readjust its position within the
international disarmament architecture. During that phase it
will need a Director-General able to think in a
future-oriented fashion and who has the necessary diplomatic
and leadership skills.

From Ambassador Gottwald's enclosed curriculum vitae you will
see that he is especially well-qualified to meet these
challenges alongside the member states, thus ensuring that

BERLIN 00001233 002.3 OF 002


the OPCW will continue to meet the high expectations in the
future. Your Government's support for his candidature would
mean a great deal to us.

Yours sincerely,

Reinhard Silberberg (signature)

End text of letter.


Murphy

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