Viewing cable 05MUSCAT33
Title: OMAN MFA ON CWC HOST COUNTRY AGREEMENT DRAFT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT332005-01-05 12:41:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Muscat
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000033 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
STATE FOR AC/CB (JHANLINE), L/PM (MCOFFEY) 
STATE ALSO NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS, PWORMAN) 
THE HAGUE FOR CWC DEL, ALSO FOR AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2015 
TAGS: PARM MARR MASS MOPS MU
SUBJECT: OMAN MFA ON CWC HOST COUNTRY AGREEMENT DRAFT 
 
REF: A. 04 STATE 231152 
     ¶B. 04 MUSCAT 2031 
 
Classified By: A/DCM Michael Snowden. 
Reason: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
¶1. (U) This is an action request for AC/CB.  See para 8. 
 
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Summary 
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¶2. (C/NF) Oman responded to the U.S. draft CWC Host Country 
Agreement (HCA) with a number of proposed amendments.  The 
Foreign Ministry asks that the HCA be converted to letter 
format, that it delete the term "challenge inspections", and 
that it contain a clause wherein the USG pledges not to 
stockpile in Oman nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. 
The MFA likewise requests information on any Middle East or 
other states with whom the USG has concluded an HCA.  The 
Ministry requests a revised text reflecting its proposed 
amendments before entering into direct negotiations.  End 
summary. 
 
¶3. (C/NF) A/DCM met January 5 with Ambassador Talib Miran 
al-Raisi, Chief of the MFA's International Organizations and 
Conferences Department, to discuss the revised draft CWC Host 
Country Agreement (reftels).  Talib Miran, who had been the 
primary interlocutor on the HCA issue back in 1999 before it 
went dormant, informed that he had met with Minister 
Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi to review the 
U.S. text.  With his disarmament issues desk officer Abdullah 
al-Amri taking notes, the Ambassador proceeded to outline 
three changes the Minister requested, and raised an 
additional question. 
 
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Requested Amendments 
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¶4. (C/NF) On format, Talib Miran said that the Minister 
prefers that the agreement be executed as an exchange of 
letters rather than MOU.  He pointed out that Bin Alawi had 
made the same request in the successful Article 98 
negotiations with the USG in 2004. 
 
¶5. (C/NF) Regarding terminology, he said YBA objected to use 
of the term "challenge inspection" in the HCA.  A/DCM pointed 
out that the term comes directly from the text of the 
Chemical Weapons Convention, and that it in fact constitutes 
a fundamental principle of the verification regime.  Talib 
Miran understood perfectly the provenance of the term and had 
explained its relevance to the Minister, but said Bin Alawi 
nevertheless finds the term offensive.  Talib Miran asked if 
it might be possible to use the term "verification 
inspection," for instance, or even simply "inspection." 
(Note: The Minister had a similar arbitrary objection to a 
key phrase in the Article 98 negotiations that required 
exceptional efforts to overcome.  End note.) 
 
¶6. (C/NF) The third amendment sought by the Minister is 
addition of a clause in which the United States pledges never 
to "stockpile chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in 
Oman" (Talib Miran's terminology).  The Ambassador said Bin 
Alawi's reasoning behind the statement is that U.S. military 
assets are far less likely to be subject to a challenge 
inspection if there were nothing in the country that might 
attract unwanted attention. 
 
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Direct Negotiations, Extra Information 
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¶7. (C/NF) A/DCM inquired whether and when the Omanis would be 
willing to engage in direct negotiations with USG 
counterparts on the text (ref A, para 9B).  The Ambassador 
replied that MFA's preference is to receive a new text 
containing as much of the revisions requested above as 
possible.  Once provided, he would share it with the Minister 
and seek to obtain permission to enter into direct 
negotiation (were further negotiations deemed necessary). 
Along with a revised draft, Talib Miran said it would be 
helpful to provide Oman with information on which other 
states have signed HCA's.  A/DCM pointed out that 
confidentiality provisions were a key element in our HCA's, 
 
SIPDIS 
as evident in the draft text provided.  The Ambassador 
replied that any information would be better than none, even 
if it were simply a count of the existing agreements and 
indication of their geographical distribution.  Obviously, he 
said, the Minister would feel better knowing that other 
states in the Middle East have concluded HCA's with the U.S. 
before Oman. 
 
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Consulting with the Military 
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¶8. (C/NF) A/DCM inquired whether Ministry of Defense (MOD) 
officials had participated in the 1998-99 deliberations on 
the HCA and whether they would participate in any future 
negotiations.  Talib Miran replied that the MFA is the 
responsible authority for the CWC and, as a result, the MOD 
had not shown interest in participating.  He cited MOD's 
ambivalence as being a contributing factor for why the HCA 
negotiations slipped to the back burner in 1999.  A/DCM 
pointed out that any challenge inspection on Omani territory 
would almost certainly involve MOD facilities, making its 
involvement in the HCA process a key element.  Talib Miran 
replied that he would encourage MOD involvement and, at 
minimum, share all relevant information with it.  (Note: 
Implementation of any HCA would be problematic without the 
full cooperation of the Ministry of Defense.  End note.) 
 
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Action Request 
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¶9. (C/NF) The Embassy would appreciate the Department's 
response to the Omani suggestions and question raised above. 
 
BALTIMORE