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Cablegate: Thailand: Arf Missile Defense Conference; Eas

Published: Wed 11 May 2005 09:50 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 003144
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/RSP, EAP/BCLTV, AC
PACOM FOR FPA (HUSO)
OSD/ISA (POWERS)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL TH ASEAN
SUBJECT: THAILAND: ARF MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE; EAS
REF: BANGKOK 2600
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Poloffs met with Thai Foreign Ministry
(MFA) officials to discuss planning details and next steps
for the Missile Defense Conference which the Royal Thai
Government (RTG) has agreed to co-host with the U.S. October
6-7 in Bangkok. The Thais expect to achieve consensus within
ASEAN on the proposed conference prior to the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Vientiane. The
Thai requested close coordination with the U.S. Delegation to
the ARF SOM prior to any U.S. presentation on the Missile
Defense Conference. In preparation for the Missile Defense
Conference, the RTG request that the U.S. send a team of
experts to Bangkok to brief their intra-agency team on
technical aspects of what will be discussed. They also want
close coordination with the U.S. on developing a
"deliverable" from the conference. On the separate issue of
the East Asia Summit (EAS), the MFA officials indicated that
they expect India, Australia, and New Zealand to be invited
to the December summit as part of an "inclusive" EAS. END
SUMMARY
YES TO BANGKOK MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 6-7
2. (SBU) On May 10, Poloffs met with several Thai MFA
officers from the ASEAN Affairs Division to discuss the
proposed U.S./Thai ARF Missile Defense Conference, and other
regional issues. ASEAN Division Counselor Dr. Suriya
Chindawongse led the Thai side. Suriya agreed that October 6
and 7 would be the best dates for the proposed co-hosted
conference. The RTG has checked the ASEAN calendar, and
those dates do not interfere with other ASEAN events. He
reiterated that Bangkok would be the preferred venue.
PRESENTING THE CONFERENCE AT THE ARF SOM: "PLEASE COORDINATE"
3. (SBU) Suriya said that he expected to have ASEAN
endorsement for the Missile Defense Conference prior to the
ARF SOM in Vientiane on May 20. Suriya said that Thai MFA
Permanent Secretary Krit Garnjana-Goonchorn -- who will lead
the Thai delegation to the SOM -- will give a
"pre-presentation" on the proposed Missile Defense Conference
to ASEAN members on May 18. To date, Suriya has not heard
any complaints or concerns from other ASEAN members about the
Missile Defense Conference. While he is optimistic that
ASEAN members will not have any serious late-breaking
reservations about the conference, he noted that "one or two"
countries at the ARF SOM (which he would not name) might
raise some concerns. He advised that the U.S. delegation
should be prepared to answer questions in Vientiane.
4. (SBU) Suriya asked how the U.S. delegation would raise
the issue of the Missile Defense Conference at the SOM.
Would the U.S. would present an updated version of the
concept paper presented in Potsdam? Suriya recommended that
the U.S. give a broad presentation, outlining the agenda as
well as basic logistical information (dates, location).
Following the U.S. presentation, the Thai delegation will
immediately offer support for the U.S. proposals. Suriya
requested that the U.S. delegation coordinate its
presentation with the Thai ahead of time.
PREPARING FOR THE CONFERENCE: U.S. EXPERTS BRIEF IN BANGKOK
5. (SBU) Following the ARF SOM, the RTG will have an
intra-agency meeting to discuss the Missile Defense
Conference and determine responsibilities within the Thai
government. As of now, it has not been established whether
MFA or MOD will have the lead within the Thai bureaucracy.
Suriya said that the RTG will request a technical briefing on
the draft agenda from U.S. arms-control experts. The RTG
prefers to have the briefing in Bangkok in order to be able
to include the widest audience possible from within the Thai
government. In an aside, Suriya said the briefing would be
an important factor in bringing the Thai military on board,
and that MOD's participation will be a crucial factor in the
Conference's success.
6. (SBU) The Thais said they appreciated that Assistant
Secretary of State for Arms Control Rademaker would lead the
SIPDIS
U.S. delegation, and said they would designate an appropriate
senior official to work with him as co-chair. They expressed
appreciation for the U.S. offer to cover the costs of the
conference, but said that, as "co-hosts" the RTG would host a
reception during the event.
7. (SBU) Suriya asked that the U.S. think about what kind
of "deliverable" should be expected from the Missile Defense
Conference. The Thai expressed concern that an overly
ambitious outcome document might bog the meeting down. They
suggested that an ARF Statement, issued at the ministerial,
as a possibility; at a minimum, they expect the U.S. and
Thailand to issue a summary report as co-chairs.
EAS: THAILAND WANTS, EXPECTS, "INCLUSIVE" SUMMIT
8. (SBU) Turning to the East Asia Summit, Suriya commented
that the RTG is following the consensus established at the
Cebu ministerial. Suriya stressed that from the beginning,
Thailand had favored an "inclusive" EAS (reftel), and is
confident that Australia, India, and New Zealand will be able
to participate at the December EAS in Kuala Lumpur. Suriya
noted that New Zealand is particularly close to receiving an
invitation, and confided that Prime Minister Clark's visit to
Bangkok had gone "very well."
BOYCE
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