Viewing cable 05MUSCAT670
Title: EXBS: PORT SALALAH RIPE TARGET FOR PROGRAMMING

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT6702005-04-24 12:36:00 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 MUSCAT 000670 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NP/ECC (TGROEN) 
AMMAN FOR JIRVINE 
STATE PASS USTR FOR J.BUNTIN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/20/2015 
TAGS: EWWT PARM ETRD PREL PTER ASEC MU
SUBJECT: EXBS: PORT SALALAH RIPE TARGET FOR PROGRAMMING 
 
REF: A. MUSCAT 506 
 
     ¶B. MUSCAT 569 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard L. Baltimore III. 
Reason:  1.4 (d) 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) With over 30,000 containers on site at any given time 
and scant screening capabilities, Port Salalah could 
conceivably be a vulnerable spot in weapons of mass 
destruction (WMD) import/export or transshipment.  Including 
the port in the Container Security Initiative and expanding 
our EXBS programming there could be an effective use of USG 
resources.  End summary. 
 
¶2. (SBU) During a regional trip to southern Oman April 15-17, 
PolOff met with Salalah Port Services (SPS) to discuss 
customs procedures and operations at the port in light of 
Oman's bid for participation in the Container Security 
Initiative (CSI) and prospective FTA-related export growth. 
 
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In Need of Help Now... 
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¶3. (C) Officials at SPS appear to maintain a detached 
relationship with the local customs officials, unaware both 
of customs' ability to detect weapons of mass destruction 
(WMD) and their ability to respond to potential threats. 
Moreover, although Royal Oman Police Customs is responsible 
for container search and clearance, it appears evident that 
they lack the manpower, equipment, and training to adequately 
screen for potential threats to the substantial cargo traffic 
that moves daily through the port (ref B).  SPS, as the port 
authority and WMD first-responder, should be targeted for 
future Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) 
programming. 
 
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...And More So In Future 
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¶4. (SBU) Some senior officials at SPS suggest that container 
screening would be better suited at the container's port of 
origin rather than a transit point such as Salalah.  That is 
not practical, however, given Oman's proximity to countries 
lacking such capability, as well as to countries of 
proliferation concern that may abet illicit cargo 
trafficking.  As Port Salalah evolves with the expected 
signing of a U.S. free trade agreement, and growth from the 
nascent Salalah Free Zone (SFZ) and the nearby Raysut 
Industrial Estate, it will become increasingly an 
import/export center as well as transshipment point. 
Strengthening Oman's border and maritime security by 
including Port Salalah in the Container Security Initiative 
(CSI) and expanding our EXBS programming there would 
therefore have a significant impact both locally and 
regionally. 
 
¶5.  (SBU) On a positive note, SPS welcomed April 16 the 
arrival of a new state-of-the art tugboat from the 
Philippines. The new tug, costing over USD 5 million, 
provides enhanced safety with its additional firefighting 
capabilities. 
BALTIMORE