Viewing cable 05MUSCAT569
Title: OMAN SEEKS TO NEGOTIATE CSI FOR PORTS SALALAH,

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT5692005-04-06 15:07:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL 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 000569 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NP/ECC (TGROEN, KCROUCH), 
EMBASSY AMMAN (JIRVINE) 
DHS FOR COMMISSIONER BONNER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/06/2015 
TAGS: ETTC KSTC PARM PREL ETRD MU
SUBJECT: OMAN SEEKS TO NEGOTIATE CSI FOR PORTS SALALAH, 
SULTAN QABOOS, AND SOHAR 
 
REF: A. MUSCAT 232 
     ¶B. MUSCAT 279 
     ¶C. MUSCAT 406 
     ¶D. USNATO 211 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard L. Baltimore III. 
Reason: 1.4 (b) 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (C) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Embassy 
by note verbale April 2 of the Sultanate's formal request to 
initiate negotiations on designating the ports of Salalah, 
Sultan Qaboos (Muscat), and Sohar as participants in the 
Container Security Initiative (CSI) program by the end of 
¶2005.  The Ministry of Transportation and Communication sent 
its request directly to the Commissioner of the United States 
Customs and Border Protection Agency in a letter dated March 
¶14.  Oman's appeal to the Department of Homeland Security for 
inclusion in the CSI follows an active year of cooperation 
across a wide range of proliferation and border security 
activities, including a Proliferation Security 
Initiative-related air interdiction exercise in March and an 
Export Control and Border Security seminar on WMD in 
February.  With the anticipated signing of a free trade 
agreement later this year, the government of Oman seeks to 
strengthen bilateral ties and increase its competitiveness 
through more enhanced border and port security.  End summary. 
 
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CSI: EYE ON THE PRIZE 
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¶2. (C) The Embassy received April 2 a note verbale from the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeking to initiate formal 
negotiations on full participation in the Container Security 
Initiative (CSI) program.  Under Secretary of Transport Salim 
bin Mohammed al-Nu'aimi sent the official request directly to 
Commissioner Richard C. Bonner of the United States Customs 
and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.  The 
complete text, stamped "confidential" by the MFA, is as 
follows: 
 
BEGIN TEXT: 
 
The government of the Sultanate of Oman has enjoyed deep and 
fruitful economic and political relations with the United 
States of America since 1833. 
 
The current year marks an historic chapter in our bilateral 
relations as our two countries formally embark upon 
negotiations on a free trade agreement.  This opportunity 
will greatly enhance our bilateral trade relations, and comes 
as part of our strategic decision to diversify our economy. 
Part of this diversification includes a substantial expansion 
of our commercial ports.  As a result, the port of Sultan 
Qaboos, as well as Salalah and Sohar ports, will continue to 
grow quite rapidly. 
 
In light of this, the Sultanate of Oman expressed its strong 
interest in the Container Security Initiative in 2003. 
Having studied closely the CSI information available and 
becoming a member of the "white list" of the International 
Maritime Organization, we would like to initiate formal 
negotiations on designating the ports of Salalah, Sultan 
Qaboos, and Sohar as participants in the CSI program.  I hope 
that we might successfully conclude an agreement to this 
effect before the end of 2005. 
 
I wish to renew the assurances of Oman's deep friendship and 
its historical close bilateral relations with the United 
States, and look forward to receiving your positive response. 
 
END TEXT. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶3. (C) Oman, a key U.S. partner in the global war on terror, 
has made significant strides in the past year on a number of 
border and maritime security issues.  Oman achieved 
compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Code 
(ISPS), participated in a Proliferation Security Initiative 
(PSI) air interdiction exercise, and continues to solicit 
Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) training 
programs, including a recently completed seminar on WMD 
Awareness. (NOTE: Feedback from the WMD seminar highlighted 
the need for more advanced container clearance, especially in 
light of Port Salalah's continuing expansion as one of the 
busiest transshipment ports in the world.  See ref C. END 
NOTE.)  At a recent NATO-sponsored forum for Gulf Cooperation 
Council representatives on enhancing NATO's relationship with 
states in the Broader Middle East, GCC participation in the 
CSI program was identified as a valuable complementary 
activity (ref D).  With the anticipated signing of a free 
trade agreement with the U.S. later this year, the government 
of Oman seeks to strengthen bilateral ties and increase its 
competitiveness through more enhanced border and port 
security.  The Embassy strongly endorses Oman's request to 
participate in CSI. 
BALTIMORE