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05BANGKOK3144 THAILAND: ARF MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE; EAS

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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

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:09 am

Posted in Military, Unclassified

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