C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000053
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/RPM JOHN BOYARSKI, EUR/WE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR PO
SUBJECT: U.S.-PORTUGAL SECURITY DIALOGUE
REF: 09 STATE 112900
Classified By: Poleconoff Mario Fernandez, reasons 1.4(b) and (d)
Â¶1. (U) This message responds to reftel. Answers are keyed to
para 3 of reftel.
Â¶2. (U) Question A: Does the U.S. currently have an
established security dialogue with your country?
Answer: The U.S. and Portugal engage in formal discussions
that cover the entire bilateral relationship, including
security issues, twice a year.
Â¶3. (U) Question B: When was the dialogue or mechanism first
established? By what means was it established? Is the
frequency of such meetings controlled through a binding
agreement, or is this dialogue regulated by an informal
Answer: The parties signed an Agreement on Cooperation and
Defense (ACD) in 1995, an agreement that is binding on both
parties. The ACD established a Bilateral Commission that
meets twice yearly -- alternating between Lisbon and
Washington, D.C. -- to review bilateral relations regarding
political, military, and diplomatic issues. The Commission
allows subject matter experts to accompany the delegations to
coordinate policies on issues of mutual interest.
Â¶4. (U) Question C: When did the group last meet? Does the
USG or host government have a set schedule or any general
expectations regarding the frequency of this exchange? When
is the next scheduled meeting?
Answer: The Bilateral Commission last met January 19, 2010,
in Washington, D.C. As provided by the ACD, the parties
expect to meet again in approximately six months after the
last meeting. The Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
informed us that they are considering May 2010 for the next
Bilateral Commission meeting.
Â¶5. (U) Question D: Does the USG or host government hold any
expectations as to the level of leadership hosting the
Answer: When the meeting is held in Washington D.C., the EUR
Assistant Secretary acts as host, while the Portuguese
delegation is headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Political Director -- the equivalent of the State Department
Under Secretary for Political Affairs. When in Lisbon, the
meeting is hosted by the MFA's Political Director. The U.S.
delegation, however, is headed by the U.S. Ambassador to
Â¶6. (SBU) Question E: PM would also be interested in Post's
brief, honest assessment regarding the overall utility of the
dialogue. Are new issues frequently broached, or has the
dialogue devolved into a stagnant exchange of power point
slides? If necessary, please use classified communication to
convey this honest assessment.
Answer: While the semi-annual Bilateral Commission meeting
has at times been too formalized and scripted to afford an
opportunity for meaningful dialogue, it has still been
effective in focusing the parties to deliver on commitments
made throughout the year. In addition, both parties are
exploring ways to make the meeting more broad in scope. At
the last meeting in January, for example, the parties
expanded dialogue to include issues not traditionally handled
during the Bilateral Commission meeting, including justice
and home affairs issues.
Â¶7. (U) The Bilateral Commission Meeting discussed at paras
2-6 has several subcommittees under it, two of which hold
independent meetings to propose, discuss, and approve new
initiatives and review old ones.
-- Technical Committee: The Technical Committee holds
independent semiannual meetings to discuss infrastructure
issues directly related to the Lajes Airbase operations in
the Azores. The last meeting was held October 22-23, 2009,
and the next one is planned for late February 2010. This
subcommittee is led by Embassy Lisbon's ODC Chief; the
Portuguese delegation is lead by an official from the
Armaments Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
-- Azorean Cooperation Initiative Program (ACIP): ACIP is a
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cooperative initiative to manage DOD-funded projects in the
Azores. The subcommittee meets semiannually or as needed,
independent of the Bilateral Commission Meeting. The last
meeting was held May, 2009, while the next one will take
place in summer 2010. This subcommittee is led by an Embassy
Lisbon officer, while the Portuguese delegation is lead by an
official from the Regional Government of the Azores.
Â¶8. (U) In addition to the Bilateral Commission Meeting, the
two countries engage in other formalized dialogue as follows:
-- Joint Staff Talks: biennial, last held January 2008,
Lisbon; planning next for Spring 2010 in Washington, D.C.
-- Foreign Military Sales (FMS): Country Management Review
Conference; annual, facilitated by the Army Office of Defense
Cooperation (ODC) with USASAC (US Army Security Assistance
Command), relevant U.S. Army program offices (U.S. Army
Material Command and subordinate commands), and contractors;
with Portuguese Army program heads. Purpose is to review
progress in FMS business and to discuss future activity,
including upcoming Portuguese FMS procurement needs. This
conference is held by binding agreement with a set schedule.
Last meeting was held September 2009.
Â¶9. (C) An additional formalized venue for discussing mil-mil
issues is the Intelligence Sharing Agreement Exchange, a
binding agreement that calls for an annual meeting. The
event was last held in Lisbon in June 2009. The next meeting
is planned for Washington D.C. in 2010.
Â¶10. (U) The parties also participate in other mil-mil ad hoc
-- AFRICOM - Portuguese MOD/Armed Forces Staff Talks,
planning for May 2010. Topics: Maritime security and capacity
building; Regional engagement, including through Community of
Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP); and Africa Center for
Strategic Studies Senior Leader Seminar. (Note: USAFRICOM
Commander, General Ward, officially extended a formal
invitation to Portuguese Chief of Defense on November 10,
2009, to establish a permanent LNO position.)
-- Portuguese Navy Staff Talks with Commander, US Naval
Forces Africa Scheduled to take place in Naples, Italy in
March 2010 (Heads of both delegations are Rear Admirals).
-- Conference of European Armies (CEA); annual; last held
September 23-25, 2009. General Jose Luis Pinto Ramalho, PRT
Army Chief attended. One on one discussion with CSA and CDR,
USAEUR. The 18th Annual CEA is scheduled to take place
October 13-15, 2010, in Sibiu, Romania; ARMA will accompany
-- International Sea Power Symposium; annual, last held Fall
2009, Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Navy, Admiral Melo
Gomes, attended. Newport RI.
-- Global Air Chiefs Conference; annual, last attended by PRT
Air force Chief, General Araujo, in Spring 2008.
-- US Naval Forces Africa Conference; January 2010, one
Portuguese Lieutenant Commander participated in a US Naval
Forces Africa sponsored Conference to synchronize engagement
efforts in Africa with European partners.
-- US Navy Sponsored African Partnership Station; Spring
2009, 3 Portuguese Officers participated in the US Navy
Sponsored African Partnership Station deployment to West
Africa. (3 Portuguese Officers were scheduled to embark in
the 2010 African Partnership Station before its deployment
was postponed due to Haiti relief efforts).
For more reporting from Embassy Lisbon and information about Portugal,
please see our Intelink site: