Cablegate: British Foreign Office Defence Chief Discusses
DE RUEHRL #0194/01 0501111
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 191111Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6579
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0005
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0563
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2134
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0608
RUEKJCS/HQ USEUCOM LO WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1804
RHMFISS/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RUKAAKA/USAREUR ACE DARMSTADT GE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 000194
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2035
TAG KCFE, PARM, PREL, NATO, NPT, CD, UK, GM
SUBJECT: BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE DEFENCE CHIEF DISCUSSES
EUROPEAN SECURITY, NPT REVCON
Classified By: Political M/C George Glass for reasons 1.4 (b/d)
1. (S) Summary. On the margins of the Munich Security
Conference, February 6, UK Foreign Office Director General
for Defense and Intelligence Mariot Leslie told U/S Tauscher
that the allies should negotiate with Russia a new follow-on
agreement to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.
Leslie also suggested that Egypt might abandon its
controversial NPT Revcon Middle East resolution language if
it were guaranteed a conference on the subject some time
after the May 2010 Review Conference. To satisfy Moscow's
desire for greater inclusion, this conference could be held
in Russia. Leslie also noted that she was fighting pressure
to abandon stalled FMCT discussions in the Conference on
Disarmament and take up negotiations elsewhere. End Summary.
2. (S) Briefing on her recent visit to Moscow, Leslie said
Russian officials had cited their desire for missile defense
provisions as the main stumbling block in signing the
post-START agreement with the U.S. The open question, she
said, was whether progressives in the Russian government
could out-maneuver the military on this sticking point.
Leslie also underscored her concerns about the proliferation
of missile technology in the Middle East and stressed the
need to turn the page on previous disputes with Russia over
this issue. According to Leslie, Russian FM Lavrov had
agreed with her.
3. (S) Leslie underscored her belief that the Russians had
"lost out" during CFE and A/CFE negotiations and that the
allies should be open to a re-negotiation with Moscow on the
issue of conventional forces. However, she recognized that
there would likely be strong opposition from flank states
like Turkey and Norway -- particularly given the spill-over
effects into the issue of sub-strategic nuclear weapons.
Separately, Leslie said she had been surprised by the sudden
release of the new Russian Defense Strategy. While in
Moscow, she said Russian think tankers had discouraged her
from placing too much importance on the strategy. Instead,
Leslie was told to look at Russia's upcoming nuclear
declaratory posture for better insights into top-level
NPT Revcon and Egypt
4. (S) Leslie shared U/S Tauscher's view that
presidential-level engagement could help move Egypt away from
it's controversial Middle East resolution language and,
thereby, avoid derailing the NPT Review Conference in May.
However, she doubted whether engagement alone would be
enough. Leslie stressed that Mubarak would also need a
high-visibility deliverable to take back to his public --
though this deliverable would not necessarily require much
substance. Specifically, she suggested that Egypt be
supported in its long-held goal to have an international
conference on the issue of nuclear security in the Middle
East. Since Moscow wanted to be seen as a player in this
issue, Leslie believed that holding such a conference in
Russia could kill two birds with one stone.
5. (S) Leslie said she had discussed this idea with South
African counterparts and had agreed with them that it could
work. U/S Tauscher stressed the need for assurances that
Egypt would stay in line during the NPT Review Conference.
In response, Leslie shared South African views that Egypt
would lose NAM support should Cairo be given support for a
conference and later still prove intransigent at the Revcon.
Moreover, Leslie suggested that Egypt might further be kept
in check by scheduling the conference after the NPT Revcon.
However, it would be important for other countries -- not the
U.S. or UK -- to push this idea forward. As additional ways
to move Egypt, Leslie suggested the possibility of a meeting
between the Egyptian FM and foreign ministers from the NPT
depositary states. She also raised the possibility of a
special reporteur -- though Leslie recognized that the French
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6. (S) Leslie said that she was increasingly under pressure
by British parliamentarians to cease stalled FMCT talks at
the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and move negotiations to
another venue. However, she continued to push back because
the CD offered exposure to a broad range of nations --
including nuclear states -- and because of the simple lack of
any alternative mechanism through which to discuss the issue.
Leslie believed that, in the future, such a move might be
necessary but that now was not the time. U/S Tauscher
underscored complaints from Islamabad that the U.S.-India
civilian nuclear agreement somehow short-changed Pakistan.
For her part, Leslie stressed the need to get Indians and
Pakistanis talking again -- even through back-channels.
Moreover, she said that it might be necessary to validate
Pakistani concerns, while still emphasizing to Islamabad that
these concerns are misplaced. Nevertheless, we must make
clear to Pakistani officials that they cannot hold FMCT
negotiations hostage as a result.
7. (S) Leslie was thrilled to hear that the proposed Defense
Trade Treaty between the U.S. and UK was again moving in
Washington. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Leslie said she had worked
to manage Russian expectations over U.S. ratification of the
CTBT. Specifically, she underscored mid-term elections in
the U.S. and the Obama Administration's packed agenda as
reasons why USG ratification was unlikely this year.
8. (U) This cable was cleared with U/S Tauscher.