Cablegate: Country Clearance Request for Millennium Challenge

Published: Fri 8 Sep 2006 05:01 PM
DE RUEHRB #1676/01 2511701
R 081701Z SEP 06
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: A. CORP 485
1. Embassy Rabat warmly welcomes and grants country
clearance to Brian Levy, Magda Ismail, Steven Clarke, David
Picha, Herve Plusquellec and Samuel Hobbs, of the Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC) to travel to Rabat, Casablanca,
Marrakech, Ourzazate, and Fes, Morocco September 13 - October
8, 2006 for the purpose of conducting due diligence work on
arboriculture projects.
2. Embassy point of contact for the visit is Economic
Counselor Stuart Smith
Tel: 037-668-132
Cell: 061-14-19-52
3. Hotel accommodations have been made for the following
travelers at the Tour Hassan in Rabat within per diem as
requested in reftel A:
Brain Levy, September 13-18
Steven Clarke, September 13-18
David Picha, September 16-18
Magda Ismail, September 17-18
Samuel Hobbs, September 27 - October 5
4. All other Hotel requests (reftel B) have been requested
but not confirmed. Post will confirm reservations and hotel
names via email soonest.
5. Conference room at the Tour Hassan in Rabat from October
2-4, 2006 has been requested (reftel B) but not confirmed.
Post will advise soonest via email.
6. Transportation from Casablanca airport to the Tour Hassan
in Rabat have been procured per reftel A, all subsequent
requests for transportation in reftel B have been requested
but not confirmed. Post will confirm reftel B requests via
7. Interpreters have been procured for October 2-3, 2006 as
requested in reftel.
8. ICASS Policy:
A. Due to ICASS funding reductions, we regret that Post has
had to curtail services and pass the cost of select services
through direct charging of non-ICASS contributors visiting
Post through direct charging. Therefore we request that each
visitor, regardless of length of stay, bring/forward fiscal
data to pay for direct costs of the visit and share copies
with their control officer and FMO. Each agency,
organization, or visiting delegation will be charged for the
actual costs attributed to their visit. Direct charge costs
include, but are not limited to: American and LES staff
overtime (e.g., expediter, airport pick-up and drop-off,
accommodation exchange, representational event support),
field travel-lodging and M by Embassy employees, vehicle
rentals, long distance telephone calls, equipment rentals,
office supplies and all other costs that are directly
attributable to visitor needs. Please note that all visitors
should be prepared to be charged approximately ninety-five
dollars (subject to periodic adjustment) for airport pick-ups
and drop-offs that occur after normal business hours.
B. In accordance with worldwide ICASS policy, TDYers over
thirty (30) days, are subject to a charge for ICASS support
services. If your sponsoring agency is not signed up for
ICASS services at post, please be prepared to sign an MOU for
ICASS support services upon arrival. The agency should
provide post with written communication, generated by the
traveler's headquarters, that confirms the agency will pay
ICASS charges for the TDYer and provides the agency ICASS
billing code to which TDY support charges should be applied.
C. Where travel is urgent, the TDYers should bring this
documentation with them to ensure there are no interruptions
in the provision of service. We regret that due to budget
restraints, Post will not provide service to a TDYer staying
in excess of thirty days without provision of this
documentation. We thank you in advance for your
9. Security Concerns
A. Mandatory personal security training
(ref: 04 state 066580, state 93760 and FSI
Effective January 1, 2005, American personnel requesting
country clearance to perform extended temporary duty (TDY
RABAT 00001676 002 OF 003
defined as more than 30 days) at overseas locations must
complete appropriate overseas personal security training
("safe" course). This safe course requirement does not apply
to career state department Foreign Service employees. It does
apply to state department civil service employees, employees
of other USG agencies and contractors.
B. Terrorism:
A series of terrorist bombings took place in Casablanca on
May 16, 2003. Additional attacks have been thwarted by the
vigorous efforts of Moroccan law enforcement since then.
Although U.S. government facilities were not the target of
the Casablanca attacks (and no Americans were killed or
injured), the potential for violence against American
interests and citizens remains high in Morocco.
Establishments which are readily identifiable with the United
States are potential targets for attacks. these may include
facilities where us citizens and other foreigners congregate,
including clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools,
hotels, movie theaters and public areas. Such targets may
also include establishments where activities occur that may
offend religious sensitivities, such as casinos or places
where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed. While in
Morocco it is important to be vigilant to one's surroundings,
and to maintain a low profile. Travelers should stay abreast
of recent developments within country and read the latest
state department consular information sheet covering travel
to Morocco and any current worldwide caution messages about
travel to the Middle East and North Africa before arrival in
country. The mission takes all information concerning
terrorist incidents and terrorism very seriously. The
mission investigates all incidents fully in conjunction with
Moroccan authorities. All travelers are expected to report
any suspicious incidents or information to the RSO
immediately, 24 hours a day, at tel. 037-76-96-39.
C. Crime:
The threat level for crime in Rabat has been designated
"medium." Crimes ranging from aggressive panhandling, pick
pocketing, purse snatching, theft from vehicles, and
harassment of women occur periodically. Attempted break-ins
of mission residences by burglars have occurred, but in
general crime in Morocco tends to be non-violent. Most
criminals look for opportunities to steal by stealth rather
than confrontation but there are exceptions.
Women walking alone in certain areas of cities and rural
areas are particularly vulnerable to verbal harassment from
young men. Women are advised to travel with a companion or in
a group when possible and to ignore any harassment. Some
women who have responded to verbal harassment have come under
physical attack. If physical provocation occurs, visitors
are urged not to resist in order to avoid injury and to
report the incident to the regional security officer
immediately (see telephone number above).
Travelers should be alert for pickpockets and
purse-snatchers, especially in outdoor shopping areas,
tourist attractions, and in transportation centers. Taxis
and trains in Morocco are relatively safe, city buses are not
considered safe. Avoid carrying large sums of cash, and
credit cards should be secured in the safe deposit box at
your hotel. In the event you are victimized by crime, or an
attempted crime, or experience any security-related incident
during your stay in Morocco, please report the incident to
the RSO as soon as possible.
D. Demonstrations/Harassment:
When regional tensions increase many diplomatic missions,
including ours, from time to time receive threatening phone
calls, e-mails and harassing letters/faxes. Should you
receive any of these while at post, contact marine post one
and/or the RSO immediately. Further, the mission has received
several white powder letters through the local mail. Please
note: mission policy strictly prohibits any unopened mail,
packages or boxes from being brought into any facility prior
to screening by the embassy and consulate mailroom staff.
There are no exceptions to this policy and all personnel are
expected to abide by it rigidly for the protection of the
mission and its personnel.
Finally, demonstrations do occur with some frequency in
Morocco during periods of heightened tension. Occasionally,
a few of these demonstrations have been anti-American/western
with a small number of these resulting in some minor
destruction of personal and public property. Travelers
should be cognizant of the current levels of tension in the
region, always be alert to their surroundings and avoid large
RABAT 00001676 003 OF 003
crowds. Demonstrations and suspicious incidents should be
immediately reported to the marine security guard (post 1)
and the RSO.
E. Electronic Devices:
Privately owned laptops, PSC, cellular telephones, cameras
and similar devices are strictly prohibited in controlled
access areas (CAA's) of the chancery and consulate.
Travelers with USG unclassified and classified
laptop/notebook computers must notify the information
management officer (IMO) through marine post one or the RSO
before bringing these machines into the embassy or consulate.
Questions concerning other types of electronic devices must
be directed to either the IMO or the RSO.
F. Cultural Awareness:
Travelers need to be cognizant of the fact that Morocco is an
Islamic country despite the appearance of some aspects of
western culture. Generally, women should not travel alone and
should dress conservatively for all occasions to avoid
harassment from young men in public or offending Moroccan
interlocutors during social occasions. Men should not wear
ostentatious apparel that draws attention. The purchase and
consumption of alcohol is permitted in Morocco but Islamic
conservatives in Moroccan society are fundamentally against
its sale or use. Travelers should let common sense prevail
and only buy or consume alcohol in shops, restaurants and
hotels where it is readily available and permitted.
G. Post Specific Security Briefings:
Travelers planning to stay in Morocco 14 days or longer
should request that their sponsoring office schedule a
security briefing for them with the RSO.
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
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