Viewing cable 02ROME4031
Title: GOOD ADVICE ON ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS FROM ITALY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
02ROME40312002-08-16 14:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rome
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 004031 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2012 
TAGS: PREL MARR PARM RS IR PREL MARR PARM RS IR IT KICC UNGA ITKICC UNGA
SUBJECT: GOOD ADVICE ON ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS FROM ITALY 
 
REF: A. ROME 3855 AND PREVIOUS 
     ¶B. STATE 150277 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  04031  01 OF 02  161444Z 
     ¶C. STATE 146035 
     ¶D. ROME 3984 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: A/DCM THOMAS COUNTRYMAN, REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
¶1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  MFA POLITICAL DIRECTOR GIANCARLO ARAGONA 
URGED THE U.S. TO EXPLAIN THE EFFORT TO NEGOTIATE ARTICLE 98 
AGREEMENTS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT "ROME 
TREATY" IN TERMS OF THEIR IMPORTANCE FOR ALLOWING CONTINUING 
USG INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT.  "DON'T EMPHASIZE YOUR 
SEPARATENESS," ARAGONA ADVISED.  RATHER, THE U.S. SHOULD 
ARTICULATE POSITIVE REASONS FOR ITS NEED FOR AGREEMENTS ON 
THE BASIS OF ITS ONGOING COMMITMENT TO INTERNATIONAL 
INVOLVEMENT.  HE HIGHLIGHTED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE USG'S 
HAVING ALLIES LINED UP TO SPEAK OUT IN FAVOR OF THE 
AGREEMENTS AT THE UPCOMING EU DISCUSSION ON THE SUBJECT.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (C)  A/DCM TOOK ADVANTAGE OF AN AUGUST 8 MEETING ON HOW 
BEST TO FOCUS ASSISTANCE TO AFGHANISTAN (SEPTEL) TO 
DOUBLE-TRACK WITH POLITICAL DIRECTOR ARAGONA A NUMBER OF 
ISSUES.  IN SHORT SIDEBARS, A/DCM SHARED REF C POINTS ON U.S. 
GOALS FOR THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY.  REVIEWING THEM BRIEFLY, 
ARAGONA COMMENTED, "I SUSPECT YOU READ OUR OWN (POSITION) 
PAPERS."  ARAGONA REVIEWED WITHOUT COMMENT THE POINTS ON 
RUSSIAN-IRANIAN NUCLEAR COOPERATION (REF B).  A/DCM EXPLAINED 
THOSE POINTS HAD ALSO BEEN LEFT AT THE PRIME MINISTER'S 
OFFICE THE SAME DAY (GOI SUBSEQUENTLY INFORMED US THAT THE PM 
HAD RAISED THIS ISSUE IN A PHONE CALL TO PUTIN - SEE REF D). 
 
¶3.  (C)  THE BULK OF THE CONVERSATION WAS DEVOTED TO 
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PAGE 03        ROME  04031  01 OF 02  161444Z 
DISCUSSION OF ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL 
CRIMINAL COURT "ROME" TREATY.  A/DCM REGRETTED PRESS ARTICLES 
NAMING ITALY AS THE NEXT COUNTRY WITH WHICH THE USG HOPED TO 
NEGOTIATE AN ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENT.  ARAGONA AGREED THAT THE 
REMARK DID NOT HELP ITALY AS IT SOUGHT TO MOVE FORWARD ITSELF 
AND WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF EU DISCUSSIONS.  "WE ARE ALREADY 
RECEIVING STRONG CRITICISM FROM THE OPPOSITION AND 
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS," ARAGONA EXPLAINED.  "ITALY 
HAS AN EXTREMELY STRONG CONSTITUENCY IN FAVOR OF THE ICC." 
HE SAID THAT THE GOI'S NEGOTIATING ROOM HAD NOT BEEN IMPROVED 
BY THE COMMENT. 
 
¶4.  (C)  ARAGONA DESCRIBED THE MOOD IN THE EU AS "TOUGH" 
AGAINST THE U.S. POSITION.  THE EU PRESIDENCY AND SEVERAL 
STATES WERE LEADING THE CHARGE AGAINST NEGOTIATING BILATERAL 
AGREEMENTS.  "I ASSUME YOU HAVE OTHER COUNTRIES THAT ARE MORE 
AMENABLE TO YOUR POSITION," ARAGONA SAID, NOTING HE HAD HEARD 
REPORTS THAT SOME EU COUNTRIES HAD ENCOURAGED THE U.S. IN NEW 
YORK TO NEGOTIATE ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS RATHER THAN SEEK A 
WAIVER AT THE UN.  A/DCM CONFIRMED THIS HAD OCCURRED.  THEN 
IT IS VITAL THAT THESE COUNTRIES SUPPORT THE U.S. IN EU 
DISCUSSIONS ON SEPTEMBER 4, ARAGONA INSISTED.  IT WOULD BE 
THE RIGHT THING TO DO, BUT IT WAS ALSO CRUCIAL FROM A 
TACTICAL STANDPOINT.  THE U.S. MUST GET THESE COUNTRIES, AND 
ANY OTHER FRIENDLY EU COUNTRIES, LINED UP IN ADVANCE OF THE 
MEETING IN ORDER TO AVOID A UNIFIED POSITION AGAINST 
NEGOTIATION OF ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS.  "IF YOU FACE A WALL OF 
OPPOSITION," ARAGONA WARNED, ITALY ALONE COULD NOT REVERSE 
THE TREND.  EMPHASIZING THAT HE TRUSTED HIS REMARKS WOULD BE 
TREATED WITH DISCRETION, ARAGONA SHARED THAT HE HAD NOT SEEN 
MUCH SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. POSITION IN THE EU. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  04031  01 OF 02  161444Z 
 
¶5.  (C)  ARAGONA CONTINUED THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THE REMARKS OF 
A GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON WERE INTENDED FOR DOMESTIC 
CONSUMPTION.  BUT THE U.S. APPROACH WAS HAVING AN 
ANTAGONIZING EFFECT ABROAD, HE DECLARED.  RATHER THAN 
CONTINUOUSLY EMPHASIZING THE NEED TO "PROTECT" ITS PEOPLE, 
ARAGONA URGED THAT THE U.S. FOCUS ON ITS DESIRE TO REMAIN 
INVOLVED INTERNATIONALLY AND IN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS.  THE 
U.S. WOULD GET FARTHER IF IT EMPHASIZED ITS COMMITMENT, 
RATHER THAN ITS SEPARATENESS AND ITS "STANDARD POSITION" 
AGAINST INTERNATIONAL JURISDICTIONS.  ARAGONA AGAIN DECLARED 
THAT THE GOI WANTED TO ARRIVE AT A WAY TO ACCOMMODATE THE 
U.S. NEEDS; HIS REMARKS WERE OFFERED IN THAT LIGHT. 
 
¶6.  (C)  A/DCM THANKED ARAGONA FOR THE USEFUL INFORMATION AND 
HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS.  HE CONTINUED THAT THE ROME TREATY WAS 
AN ACHIEVEMENT OF WHICH EUROPEAN MFA LEGAL EXPERTS WERE 
UNDERSTANDABLY PROUD AND WHICH THEY WOULD WANT TO DEFEND. 
BUT, HE ADDED, THE ISSUE OF ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS WAS TOO 
IMPORTANT TO LEAVE TO THE EU'S LEGAL EXPERTS.  WERE THE EU TO 
TAKE A POSITION AGAINST BILATERAL AGREEMENTS, THERE WOULD BE 
SERIOUS NEGATIVE EFFECTS AND NO POSITIVE ONES.  IT WOULD BE A 
SIGNIFICANT IRRITANT IN U.S.-EU RELATIONS.  "THAT WON'T 
HAPPEN," ARAGONA SAID FLATLY.  "THERE WILL NOT BE A BINDING 
 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0229 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  04031  02 OF 02  161444Z 
ACTION IO-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DOEE-00  SRPP-00 
      DS-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     SSA-01   TEDE-00 
      INR-00   JUSE-00  L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NEA-00   NRRC-00 
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00 
      P-00     SCT-00   SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00    TRSE-00 
      T-00     USIE-00  EPAE-00  SSD-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00 
      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   SWCI-00    /008W 
                  ------------------DA36CE  161445Z /38 
O 161437Z AUG 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5438 
INFO NATO EU COLLECTIVE 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
SECDEF WASHDC 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC 
NSC WASHDC 
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL 
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 004031 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2012 
TAGS: PREL MARR PARM RS IR PREL MARR PARM RS IR IT KICC UNGA ITKICC UNGA
SUBJECT: GOOD ADVICE ON ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS FROM ITALY 
 
DECISION NOT TO SIGN.  OF THIS THERE IS NO DOUBT."  THE 
PROBLEM, RATHER, WAS HOW TO SAFEGUARD THE INTEGRITY OF THE 
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PAGE 02        ROME  04031  02 OF 02  161444Z 
COURT WITH A LEGAL RESOLUTION THAT FITS U.S. NEEDS.  "ONE MAY 
BE ARTICLE 98, BUT THERE MAY BE OTHERS," HE SAID.  A/DCM 
PROMISED TO KEEP THE GOI INFORMED OF WHICH OTHER EU MEMBERS 
WOULD BE SUPPORTIVE OF THE GOI'S POSITION AGAINST A NEGATIVE 
CONSENSUS. 
 
¶7.  (C)  COMMENT:  ARAGONA'S VIEWS WERE HONEST AND DIRECT 
EXPRESSIONS OF BOTH THE CONSTRAINTS ITALY FACES AND ITS 
WILLINGNESS TO BE OUR PARTNER IN THIS ENDEAVOR, HELPING US TO 
MOVE THE ISSUE FORWARD BILATERALLY AND IN THE EU CONTEXT.  IT 
IS INCUMBENT ON US, HOWEVER, NOT TO MAKE THIS EFFORT ANY MORE 
DIFFICULT FOR THE GOI AND OUR OTHER ALLIES IN THIS DEBATE. 
ITALY FACES, AS ARAGONA EXPLAINED, A STRONG AND VOCAL 
DOMESTIC CONSTITUENCY IN FAVOR OF THE COURT.  ITS ROLE AS 
HOST OF THE TREATY SIGNING THAT LED TO THE COURT'S CREATION 
IMPOSES YET ANOTHER PUBLIC CONSTRAINT ON ITALY'S FLEXIBILITY. 
 MANY OF OUR INTERLOCUTORS UNDERSTAND THAT THE ARTICLE 98 
AGREEMENTS ARE NOT MEANT TO UNDERMINE THE COURT OR CONTRAVENE 
THE TREATY'S INTENT.  JUST THE OPPOSITE, AS WE CONTINUE TO 
STRESS.  BUT THE ITALIAN PUBLIC, FANNED BY THE NOTORIOUSLY 
UNRELIABLE AND PARTISAN ITALIAN PRESS, CAN BE LED TO BELIEVE 
OTHERWISE UNLESS THE DEBATE IS MANAGED AS CAREFULLY AS 
POSSIBLE.  WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT OUR STATEMENTS HERE, 
ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE, AND IN WASHINGTON DO NOT MAKE THE GOI'S 
JOB MORE DIFFICULT AS IT SEEKS TO WORK WITH US IN THIS PUBLIC 
RELATIONS MINEFIELD. 
 
¶8.  (C)  COMMENT, CONT.  ARAGONA'S SUGGESTIONS FOR HONING OUR 
PUBLIC APPROACH AS WE SEEK ARTICLE 98 AGREEMENTS ARE GOOD 
ADVICE, IN THE EUROPEAN CONTEXT.  DESPITE USG EFFORTS TO 
DISPEL THE MYTH, THE PERCEPTION CONTINUES IN ITALY AND 
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PAGE 03        ROME  04031  02 OF 02  161444Z 
ELSEWHERE THAT THE U.S. PRESSURED, EVEN CONTINUES TO 
PRESSURE, COUNTRIES NOT TO SUPPORT THE COURT.  OR MEASURES 
TO PROTECT AMERICANS ABROAD STRIKE MAN IN EUROPE AS 
DISINGENUOUS, HYPOCRITICAL AND OFFNSIVE.  AS ARAGONA 
IMPLIED, WE NEED TO SOUNDLY RFUTE THE MISPERCEPTION THAT AN 
ARTICLE 98 AGREEMNT IS INTENDED TO CRIPPLE THE COURT.  IF WE 
CAN ONVINCINGLY ARTICULATE HOW THESE AGREEMENTS, BY 
RSOLVING USG CONCERNS, WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR THE .S. TO 
CONTINUE TO OUR LEADING INTERNATIONAL INVLVEMENT, WE WILL 
HAVE GIVEN OUR ALLIES IN THIS DSPUTE SOMETHING TO ARGUE ON 
OUR BEHALF DURING UPOMING EU DELIBERATIONS. 
 
¶9. (C) CONCLUSION: EMBASY APPRECIATES DEPARTMENT'S EXTRA 
EFFORT TO MAKE AVAILABLE (INCLUDING ON INTRANET) INFORMATION 
ANDTALKING POINTS ON ARTICLE 98.  WE WILL BE DEPLOYIN THESE 
IN A SERIES OF PRESS BACKGROUNDERS FOR AL MAJOR MEDIA, 
DESPITE THE LATE-AUGUST ITALIAN HOLIDAY SEASON.  WE WOULD 
GREATLY APPRECIATE THE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER POSTS IN EU 
STATES KEEPING US INFORMED OF WHICH OTHER EU MEMBERS ARE 
LIKELY TO RESIST ADOPTION OF A NEGATIVE CONSENSUS, SO THAT 
THE GOI CAN COORDINATE A COMMON APPROACH TO THE EU DISCUSSION 
OF THIS TOPIC. 
SKODON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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 2002ROME04031 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL