Cablegate: Embassy Tripoli
DE RUEHTRO #0046 0190920
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 190920Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5703
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0256
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 1207
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 0112
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 0027
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 6255
C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000046
SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/IO, ISN/MNSA.
STATE PASS TO USUN. E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/19/2020
TAGS: PARM MNUC KNNP PREL NPT LY RF UK
CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (U) This is an action request message. See para
2. (C) On January 18, per instruction reftel, the Ambassador, accompanied by UK Ambassador Fean and Russian Ambassador Chamov presented a joint demarche on the Libyan proposal to amend the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to Libyan MFA Under Secretary Abdulathi Obeidi, MFA/IO Chief Mehdi al-Mjribi and Dr. Ali Gashut, Head of the Libyan Atomic Energy Establishment. The Libyans led off by explaining that the genesis of their proposal was the special UN Security Council session on nonproliferation that had been chaired this past fall by President Obama. POTUS' statements and passion on the subject, in conjunction with Libyan (and other Non-Aligned Movement members') long-held sentiment that the NPT had been a discriminatory document monopolized by the nuclear powers, and that there had been a lack of seriousness by those powers to move toward a de-nuclearized world, had compelled the Libyans to act. There was also a continuing concern, said Obeidi, that countries like Pakistan, India, Israel, and Iran, located in volatile regions, were increasingly threatening international security with their nuclear arsenals. Libya, he argued, was best-placed to take this initiative given that it served as a model for those countries that wanted to give up their WMD capability.
3. (C) By agreement with his colleagues, the Ambassador read the demarche and clarified the meaning of several points for the Libyans. Our trio reiterated several times that the joint position was not necessarily a rejection of the Libyan ideas; rather, our opposition was to Libya's request to circulate the proposals, which would inevitably open up the NPT to other potentially unhelpful amendments by others. The NPT had withstood any amendment process for 40 years, and its integrity needed to be upheld. We also argued that the upcoming Review Conference would be focusing on difficult issues and the work needed to deal with those issues could be placed in jeopardy if the participants had to be diverted to deal with the issue of amendments. The Libyans asked several times if, despite their opposition, the NPT Depositary States were still willing to circulate the proposal if that is what the Libyans decided. We replied that that was indeed the case.
4. (C) After some further discussion, it was clear that the Libyans were intrigued by the point that we would deal seriously with their concerns at the May conference if they agreed to not circulate the current amendment proposal. They were concerned, however, that the agenda had already been set. They could consider withdrawing their proposal if they could receive some ironclad guarantees that the U.S., Russia, and UK could find a mechanism to ensure that their concerns were discussed and take the lead in encouraging such a discussion. The Libyans did not want to be put in a position of yielding on their current initiative and then having their concerns dismissed by technicalities at the conference. If the Depositary States could assure them on this count, they would take the proposal to their leadership.
5.(C) We agreed to bring this option to our capitals and to get back to the Libyans when we had a definitive answer.
6.(C) Action request: That Department, working with USUN, Moscow and London, prepare a response to the Libyans that would enable them to cease current efforts to circulate proposals to amend the NPT. CRETZ