INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Panama: "Not Ready for Gray Hulls" Under

Published: Wed 24 Dec 2008 04:29 PM
VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHZP #0943 3591629
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241629Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2755
INFO RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 1955
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 2729
RHMFISS/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000943
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR MASS MOPS SNAR PBTS PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: "NOT READY FOR GRAY HULLS" UNDER
SALAS-BECKER
REF: PANAMA 933
Classified By: POLCOUNS BRIAN R. NARANJO. REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D)
(C) "Panama is not ready to consider deployment of U.S. gray
hulled ships in Panamanian waters under (the) Salas-Becker
(Maritime Cooperation Agreement)," First VP and FM Samuel
Lewis informed Ambassador on December 22. Ambassador had
congratulated Lewis on the success of U.S.-Panama
consultations to establish standard operating procedures to
implement Salas-Becker (reftel). Lewis was shocked that his
MFA-led GOP interagency team expressed willingness to
consider deployment of U.S. Navy gray hull ships in
Panamanian waters under Salas-Becker, regardless of whether
or not U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs)
were embarked aboard. "We are not politically ready to
consider gray hulls," Lewis stated, noting that his
negotiating team had gone beyond its instructions.
STEPHENSON
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