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Cablegate: Germany Supports Modifed Consensus Language in Att

VZCZCXRO2393
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHRL #1357 3011321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281321Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5594
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0387
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0418
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0870

UNCLAS BERLIN 001357

SIPDIS

PASS TO ISN/CATR WILLIAM MALZAHN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL UNGA MCAP GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY SUPPORTS MODIFED CONSENSUS LANGUAGE IN ATT
DRAFT

REF: STATE 110403

1. (SBU) Summary. In response to reftel points, MFA Arms
Control Chief Peter Gottwald told POL M/C that Germany would
support the modified language on consensus proposed by the
German Ambassador in Washington. Gottwald had initially
given little thought to further coordination with the UK --
sponsor of the Arms Transfer Treaty (ATT) draft -- but, upon
urging, agreed to engage. However, he remained uncertain
whether Mexico would drop its opposition. End summary.

2. (SBU) On October 27, Gottwald assured emboffs that Germany
had never intended to impede progress toward the ATT.
However, he said the demands for consensus language had
genuinely troubled German officials who worried it could set
a precedent at the UN. Pol M/C assured him that the U.S. did
not view this call for consensus language as a broader
precedent for the UN. Gottwald also downplayed U.S. concerns
that those who favored lax controls could team up and impose
a weak ATT. On the contrary, he insisted that the logic
behind high standards for the export of conventional weapons
would eventually win out -- even without the requirement for
consensus. Moreover, Gottwald underscored the fact that we
still have two years to prepare the ground before the
proposed ATT conference in 2012. Enough time, he believed,
to either iron out problems or assess whether the ATT will
meet our needs.

3. (SBU) Gottwald also feared that the demand for consensus
language set such a high bar for negotiations that it might
undermine the credibility of our committment to the ATT.
Nevertheless, he said Germany could live with the language
suggested by German Ambassador Scharioth during his October
28 meeting with ISN officials. Gottwald stressed the need to
now move past procedural issues and start working on
substance. He assured us that, for its part, Germany would
do all it could to gain support for the ATT.

4. (SBU) Gottwald admitted that Germany had not yet engaged
with the UK in support of the compromise language on
consensus and said he assumed British officials would become
looped in by other channels (read: the U.S.). Upon urging,
Gottwald agreed that Germany should reach out the UK -- and
other ATT sponsors. Though he said Germany would be happy to
chime in via New York, he remained unsure about the prospects
for bringing Mexico on board.
Murphy

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