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Viewing cable 07STATE135366, s) following-up with germany on its efforts to

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07STATE135366 2007-09-25 21:09 2011-02-21 00:12 SECRET Secretary of State
Appears in these articles:
www.spiegel.de
P 252159Z SEP 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY
INFO MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY
S e c r e t state 135366 


E.o. 12958: decl: 09/25/2017 
Tags: parm, mtcre, prel, ettc, gm, sy 

Subject: (s) following-up with germany on its efforts to 
prevent a shipment of german-origin trucks chassis to 
syria's ballistic missile program 

Ref: a. State 131559 

B. Berlin 1770 

Classified By: ISN/MTR DIRECTOR PAM DURHAM 
reasons 1.5 (b), (c) and (d). 

1. (U) This is an action request. Embassy Berlin, please 
see paragraph 5. 

2. (S) On September 19, the U.S. alerted German authorities 
to a shipment of 17 Mercedes-Benz trucks from Germany, to 
Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which 
is the lead agency involved in Syria's ballistic missile and 
WMD programs (Ref A). Because these trucks could be modified 
in Syria so that they can be used as launchers or support 
vehicles for a developmental short-range ballistic missile 
system, we requested German officials immediately investigate 
this shipment and consider recalling this shipment. 

3. (S) In response to this information, we understand the 
German government issued an individual interdiction order to 
the German transfer company prohibiting delivery of the 
trucks. Because these goods were being transferred aboard a 
Polish-owned vessel, Germany also contacted the Polish 
government, which subsequently issued instructions to the 
Polish captain of the ship not to unload the goods. In 
addition, the German government facilitated contact between 
the German transfer company and the Polish ship owner, 
resulting in the German company issuing instructions to the 
Polish ship owner and captain not to deliver the trucks. In 
response to these actions, the Syrian consignee demanded the 
trucks be offloaded and the Syrian harbor master issued an 
order prohibiting the ship from leaving port unless the 
trucks are offloaded. 

4. (S) On September 25, German authorities reported that the 
trucks had been unloaded from the Polish vessel, which was 
permitted to depart port an hour later. This action followed 
a boarding of the vessel by Syrian authorities and a decision 
by the Polish captain not to appeal a Syrian court's decision 
regarding this case because of the limited prospects for 
success. Factors cited included the end-user's close ties to 
the Syrian government, the high level of Syrian government 
interest in the case, the fact that the consignee had already 
paid for the trucks/shipping, and the ship captain's concern 
about his crew (the ship had been surrounded by armed Syrian 
security forces since Saturday). German officials noted that 
they are still working to determine whether an export license 
should have been required pursuant to Germany's catch-all 
control laws to authorize the shipment of these trucks. 

5. (S) Department requests Post approach appropriate German 
officials to express our appreciation for the prompt and 
decisive measures they took to try to prevent this cargo from 
reaching Syria's missile program, and highlight the positive 
PSI cooperation in working with the United States and Poland. 
In particular, we want to note that the German government 
took these positive actions despite the fact that this 
shipment already was enroute to its destination and could 
result in the FRG needing to pay damages to both the German 
and Polish entities involved in this case. Post should also 
convey that such action is indicative of Germany's leadership 
as an MTCR, HCOC, and PSI partner and its longstanding record 
of strong support for international missile nonproliferation 
efforts and we want to thank them for their efforts in this 
case. 

6. (U) Washington POC is XXXXXXXXXXXX (Phone: 
XXXXXXXXXXXX). Please slug any reporting on this issue for 
XXXXXXXXXXXX.
Rice 


Nnnn 




End Cable Text