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Cablegate: Arf Begins Preparations for Inter-Sessional Year, Vision

VZCZCXRO6306
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHC #0631/01 3271909
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 231903Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
INFO RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 120631

SIPDIS, SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ARF ASEAN NK BM AF PK KNNP KPIR PTER EAID VN
SUBJECT: ARF BEGINS PREPARATIONS FOR INTER-SESSIONAL YEAR, VISION
STATEMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN DISCUSSED

REF: STATE 111350

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: November 9-11, officials from ARF's 27 nations
gathered in New Delhi to discuss the coming year's ARF cooperation
agenda and to provide updates on ARF's efforts in transnational
security and preventive diplomacy. Vietnam briefed its plans for the
ARF Vision Statement implementation plan. Additionally, they
discussed various regional security issues such as North Korea,
Burma, and Afghanistan/Pakistan. The U.S. objectives for the next
year will be to develop solid, concrete initiatives, a strong Vision
Statement Implementation Plan, and to enhance ARF's role as a key
regional security forum. END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- -------
DISCUSSION ON REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES
--------------------------------------------- -------

2. (U) ISG (Inter-sessional Support Group) delegates delivered
prepared remarks on a number of regional, international, and
non-traditional security issues. These included:

3. (SBU) NORTH KOREA: A number of delegations (including USDEL) from
Northeast Asia delivered pointed remarks regarding the need for North
Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks and regional implementation of
UNSCR 1874 and other relevant UNSCRs. ROK and Japan largely welcomed
the planned U.S. bilateral engagement of North Korea, but urged that
it occur within the Six-Party framework. China's comments took a
middle road, calling for restraint and the restarting of the
Six-Party Talks in its short briefing on PM Wen Jiabao's visit to
Pyongyang.

4. (SBU) BURMA: Like-minded delegations, including strong remarks
from Indonesia, consistently raised Burma in their interventions.
They called for free and fair 2010 elections, the release of
political prisoners like Aung San Suu Kyi, and an inclusive,
democratic political process. Many specifically welcomed the
outcomes of the U.S. policy review and our engagement with the
regime. USDEL delivered similar remarks and briefed ARF on the main
aspects of EAP A/S Campbell and DAS Marciel's recent trip to Burma.
Burma also gave a briefing regarding recent U.S. visits by A/S
Campbell and Senator Webb, highlighting what they characterized as
the regime's willingness to grant access to senior Burmese officials
and to Aung San Suu Kyi.

5. (SBU) AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: In a change from previous ARF
meetings, a large number of delegations also shared their concerns
regarding developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many called for
greater international assistance to both countries. Following PM
Hatoyama's announcement the day before, Japan noted its commitment of
$5 billion to Afghanistan despite the end of its Indian Ocean
refueling mission. India delivered pointed remarks regarding the
terrorist threat from groups in Pakistan. The Pakistan delegation
did not take the floor during this session. Pakistan instead
distributed a short non-paper objecting to the U.S. and others'
linking Pakistan with Afghanistan in an "Af-Pak" theater. Pakistan
countered that its issues are distinct and that it should not be tied
to Afghanistan. The non-paper also outlined Pakistan's opposition
to terrorism and its efforts against Taliban elements.

6. (SBU) REMAINING SECURITY ISSUES DISCUSSED: A few delegations also
raised a number of other security issues including:

-- The rise of illegal immigration in the Asia-Pacific region
-- Developments in the South China Sea (Note: Vietnam raised this
issue in its intervention and ISG co-Chair Vietnam Assistant Minister
for Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Vinh told USDEL that his country was
concerned about growing Chinese assertiveness in the region. End
Note.)
-- Concern over Iran's nuclear program
-- Strengthening the international nonproliferation and disarmament
regime and welcoming U.S.-Russia START developments
-- Non-traditional security issues like climate change, people
smuggling, illegal fishing, food and energy security, and piracy.

--------------------------------------------- --------
ARF COOPERATION; VISION STATEMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
--------------------------------------------- --------

7. (U) VISION STATEMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: Vietnam briefed its
plans for implementing the ARF's vision statement endorsed by ARF
Ministers in July 2009. Vietnam plans to solicit initial input from
ARF members over the next few months and then to submit a formal
draft for ARF approval in a few months. Vietnam hopes that the
implementation plan will be action-oriented and will avoid the

STATE 00120631 002 OF 003


conceptual debates already addressed during last year's vision
statement negotiations. The plan will balance both ARF's
transnational security and preventive diplomacy agendas, and reflect
ARF's resourcing needs.

8. (U) WORK PLANS and ARF's FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF COOPERATION: Various
delegations briefed the plenary on the status of ARF's multiple Work
Plans.

-- COUNTER TERRORISM AND TRANSNATIONAL CRIME (CTTC): The ASEAN
Secretariat, followed by USDEL, briefed on the CTTC Work Plan status.
They called for greater engagement by ARF members in its
development, noted unfilled positions for Lead Countries in its three
Priority Areas (narcotics, bioterrorism, and cybersecurity), and
sought submission of project proposals. USDEL introduced a concept
paper for an ARF Conference of Experts on Cyber Crime, seeking
expedited approval by ARF in order to occur in Spring 2010. Russia,
joined by its fellow ARF CTTC co-chair Brunei, suggested a slower
timeline due to their plans for a cybersecurity focus for their
co-chaired annual ARF CTTC meeting also during Spring 2010. The
Russian, Bruneian, and U.S. delegations discussed holding the two
events back-to-back.

-- NONPROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT (NPD): USDEL briefed on its NPD
Work Plan. The Work Plan is currently in draft form and USDEL shared
it with a number of key ARF delegations. Pending their interest in
engaging with the NPD Work Plan, USDEL plans to table it for official
ARF consideration at the next ISG in Spring 2010.

-- DISASTER RELIEF (DR): USDEL and other key ARF members briefed on
the recent ARF annual meeting on disaster relief and the status of
ARF's various disaster relief initiatives (ref A). Indonesia
presented its initial preparations for a March 2011 ARF Disaster
Relief Exercise. USDEL tabled a revised version of its Model
Arrangement concept, an ARF-negotiated model text for temporary
disaster relief status of forces arrangements.

-- MARITIME SECURITY: New Zealand, incoming host of ARF's next
annual maritime security meeting, and other delegations welcomed U.S.
plans to strengthen ARF maritime security interoperability through
promoting regional use of maritime information-sharing systems.

-- PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY (PD): New Zealand and Singapore briefed ARF
on their views regarding the development of an ARF PD Work Plan.
ARF's supplementary Track Two process, Expert and Emiment Persons
(EEP), will develop the first draft of the Work Plan during their
mid-December meeting in Indonesia. Once finalized by the EEPs, the
Work Plan would be introduced into the government track.

-- ANNUAL SECURITY OUTLOOK (ASO) STANDARDIZED FORMAT: After a
six-month negotiation, the ASEAN Secretariat briefed ARF on its plans
for a standardized ASO format. The ASO is a reporting mechanism to
share information regarding security and defense policies, and
activities in the region.

9. (U) STRENGTHENING THE ROLES OF DEFENSE OFFICIALS: Raising a theme
echoed during the earlier November 9 ARF Defense Officials Dialogue,
ARF officials discussed strengthening the role and engagement of
defense officials in ARF. Vietnam presented a modest plan to
rearrange the Defense Officials Dialogue meetings, and other
delegations (including USDEL) gave suggestions as well. On November
9, ARF defense officials discussed three topics in their half-day
meeting: maritime security and illegal fishing, strengthening ARF
defense and security cooperation, and disaster relief.

10. (U) LIST OF UPCOMING ARF ACTIVITIES:

-- Brussels, Belgium, Seminar on Maritime Security, November 19-20
-- Bali, Indonesia, Experts and Eminent Persons Meeting, December
14-15
-- Auckland, New Zealand, Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime
Security (ISM-MS), March 29-30, 2010
-- Vietnam, Inter-sessional Support Group (ISG), March/April 2010
-- Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter
Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM-CTTC), April 2010
-- Vietnam, ARF Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), May 2010
-- Singapore, Inter-Sessional Meeting on Nonproliferation and
Disarmament (ISM-NPD), July 2010
-- Vietnam, ARF Ministerial Meeting, July/August 2010
-- TBD, Seminar on Security Implications of Climate Change
-- TBD, Peacekeeping Experts Meeting

11. (U) POC: The POCs for further information on this and other ARF
matters are EAP/RSP Kevin Sheives (sheiveskw@state.gov) and EAP/RSP
David Rodriguez (rodriguezdx@state.gov). More information on ARF and
U.S. participation in ARF can be found on the Intranet at
http://eap.state.gov/EAPOffices/RSP/ARF.cfm.

12. (SBU) COMMENT: The ISG began ARF's planning process for this
inter-sessional year. U.S. ARF delegates will focus on developing

STATE 00120631 003 OF 003


solid, concrete initiatives and a strong Vision Statement
Implementation Plan during this coming year. This approach will help
in directing ARF to achieve more tangible results, expand its role as
a key regional security organization and further U.S. engagement with
the 27 member countries.
CLINTON

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