C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000046
STATE FOR NEA/IO, ISN/MNSA. STATE PASS TO USUN.
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/19/2020
TAGS: PARM, MNUC, KNNP, PREL, NPT, LY, RF, UK
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DEMARCHES LIBYANS ON PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE
NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY
REF: State 4457
CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Tripoli,
Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
(U) This is an action request message. See para 6.
(C) On January 18, per instruction reftel, the Ambassador,
accompanied by UK Ambassador Fean and Russian Ambassador Chamov
presented a joint demarche on the Libyan proposal to amend the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to Libyan MFA Under
Secretary Abdulathi Obeidi, MFA/IO Chief Mehdi al-Mjribi and Dr.
Ali Gashut, Head of the Libyan Atomic Energy Establishment. The
Libyans led off by explaining that the genesis of their proposal
was the special UN Security Council session on nonproliferation
that had been chaired this past fall by President Obama. POTUS'
statements and passion on the subject, in conjunction with
Libyan (and other Non-Aligned Movement members') long-held
sentiment that the NPT had been a discriminatory document
monopolized by the nuclear powers, and that there had been a
lack of seriousness by those powers to move toward a
de-nuclearized world, had compelled the Libyans to act. There
was also a continuing concern, said Obeidi, that countries like
Pakistan, India, Israel, and Iran, located in volatile regions,
were increasingly threatening international security with their
nuclear arsenals. Libya, he argued, was best-placed to take
this initiative given that it served as a model for those
countries that wanted to give up their WMD capability.
(C) By agreement with his colleagues, the Ambassador read
the demarche and clarified the meaning of several points for the
Libyans. Our trio reiterated several times that the joint
position was not necessarily a rejection of the Libyan ideas;
rather, our opposition was to Libya's request to circulate the
proposals, which would inevitably open up the NPT to other
potentially unhelpful amendments by others. The NPT had
withstood any amendment process for 40 years, and its integrity
needed to be upheld. We also argued that the upcoming Review
Conference would be focusing on difficult issues and the work
needed to deal with those issues could be placed in jeopardy if
the participants had to be diverted to deal with the issue of
amendments. The Libyans asked several times if, despite their
opposition, the NPT Depositary States were still willing to
circulate the proposal if that is what the Libyans decided. We
replied that that was indeed the case.
(C) After some further discussion, it was clear that the
Libyans were intrigued by the point that we would deal seriously
with their concerns at the May conference if they agreed to not
circulate the current amendment proposal. They were concerned,
however, that the agenda had already been set. They could
consider withdrawing their proposal if they could receive some
ironclad guarantees that the U.S., Russia, and UK could find a
mechanism to ensure that their concerns were discussed and take
the lead in encouraging such a discussion. The Libyans did not
want to be put in a position of yielding on their current
initiative and then having their concerns dismissed by
technicalities at the conference. If the Depositary States
could assure them on this count, they would take the proposal to
(C) We agreed to bring this option to our capitals and to
get back to the Libyans when we had a definitive answer.
(C) Action request: That Department, working with USUN,
Moscow and London, prepare a response to the Libyans that would
enable them to cease current efforts to circulate proposals to
amend the NPT.