Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/08/05CANBERRA1461.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05CANBERRA1461
2005-08-30 06:41
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Canberra

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CANBERRA 001461

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/ANP AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2015
TAGS: PREL PTER AS RP
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA-PHILIPPINES MINISTERIAL FURTHERS CT COOPERATION

REF: A. CANBERRA 884

¶B. CROWLEY-HURTADO EMAIL 7-9-2005
¶C. CANBERRA 1098
¶D. CANBERRA 872

Classified By: Political Counselor Woo Lee for reasons 1.4 b/d.

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: The inaugural Australia-Philippines
Ministerial Meeting (APMM), held in Canberra August 11-12,
focused on security issues, in particular strengthening joint
efforts by Australia and the Philippines to combat the
terrorist threat in the region. The two governments agreed
to start interagency counterterrorism consultations to be
conducted at the senior officials level. They also agreed to
expand cooperation on border control and transport security.
Australia encouraged the Philippines to join PSI and pledged
additional development assistance. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and
Trade Minister Mark Vaile hosted Philippine Secretary of
Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo and Secretary of Trade and
Industry Peter Favila in Sydney August 11-12 for the
inaugural Australia-Philippines Ministerial Meeting (APMM).
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Philippines-East Timor Director Brett Hackett told us on
August 24 that the impetus for the new forum was the GOA
belief that there had not been enough cabinet-level
engagement with the Philippines in the past, largely because
the relationship had not required the same tending and
cultivating as had relationships with countries such as
Indonesia and Malaysia. The inaugural APMM was the first
step in formalizing regular high-level contact between the
two governments, Hackett said, providing a forum for
“practical cooperation.” The GOA accepted the Philippine
government’s offer to host the next APMM in Manila in 2007.
A planning meeting in Manila in mid-2006 at the
senior-officials level will evaluate progress in implementing
the Action Agenda agreed to at the inaugural ministerial.

NEW BILATERAL CT CONSULTATIONS
——————————
¶3. (C) The APMM discussed existing bilateral
counterterrorism (CT) cooperation and highlighted the
doubling in May (Ref A) of Australia’s bilateral CT
assistance to A$10 million (US$7.5 million). GOA officials
assured their Philippine counterparts of Australia’s support
for GOP efforts to address domestic security issues,
including maritime security and border control. (Note: As
reported in Ref B, in a July 7 meeting with USG officials,
DFAT’s CT Ambassador Les Luck expressed great concern about
the southern Philippines as a breeding ground for
terrorists.) Australia and the GOP agreed to start
interagency consultations to strengthen the CT relationship.
Hackett told us Luck would chair the Australian side, which
would include representatives from the Department of
Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA),
the Australian Customs Service, the Department of Transport
and Regional Services (DOTARS), the Australian Federal Police
(AFP), and the Department of Defense (DOD). The GOA hoped to
host the first round of consultations before the end of 2005.

ENCOURAGING THE GOP TO JOIN PSI
——————————-
¶4. (C) Hackett told us that during the CT discussion, GOA
officials had encouraged the Philippines to join the
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Philippine
officials expressed some hesitation and asked questions about
the legal ramifications of becoming a PSI partner. Hackett
said DFAT officials would draft a reply to Manila to try to
address these concerns.

BORDER CONTROL AND TRANSPORT SECURITY
————————————-
¶5. (C) Australian and Philippine Ministers announced
agreement in principle to enter into a bilateral Arrangement
on the Deployment of Air Security Officers/Air Marshals and
looked forward to an early conclusion of a Memorandum of
Understanding on Immigration and Border Control. Hackett
said the Air Security Arrangement would enable sky marshals
to be on flights between the two countries. He was hopeful
that both the Immigration MOU and the Air Security
Arrangement could be finalized before the end of 2005, though
he acknowledged that this was an ambitious deadline.

EXCHANGE PROGRAM AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
——————————————-
¶6. (U) Other elements of the Action Agenda included
establishing a political exchange program between the
Australian and Philippine parliaments and reinstating
exchanges under the Philippines-Australia Young Leaders’
Program. Both governments also agreed to make progress on
bilateral commercial disputes, including market access and
quarantine-related issues. The two sides will explore
opportunities in the Philippine mining sector for Australian
mining companies. Australia agreed to fund a new A$34
million (US$25.5 million) five-year program to improve land
administration in the Philippines. In the 2005-06 fiscal
year, Australia’s development assistance to the GOP will
total A$64 million (US$48 million), focusing on governance,
security, stability, and rural development.

¶7. (U) The GOA Ministers welcomed GOP support for Australian
participation in the inaugural East Asia Summit to be held in
Kuala Lumpur in December. In 2006, Manila will co-host with
Australia the next meeting of the regional Interfaith
Dialogue that brings moderate religious leaders from the Asia
Pacific region together to discuss shared values and promote
tolerance and understanding. (Note: The first regional
Interfaith Dialogue was held in 2004 in Indonesia.)

STANTON

   

 

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