2008 AGREEMENT WITH BOLIVIA ON STATUS OF FORCES

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
07LAPAZ3068 20 November 2007 No clasificado Embassy La Paz

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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #3068/01 3242124
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 202124Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5712
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 003068

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PM/ISO
STATE WHA/AND FOR SHELBY SMITH-WILSON
STATE L/PM FOR THOMAS HEROLD
DOD HD/WHA FOR WALTER EARLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIA, MARR, MOPS, PM, PREL, BL
SUBJECT: 2008 AGREEMENT WITH BOLIVIA ON STATUS OF FORCES

REF: A. 06 STATE 169017
B. LA PAZ 769
C. LA PAZ 1032
D. LA PAZ 1083
E. LA PAZ 1906
F. STATE 92427

1. This is an action request for WHA/AND, L/PM, and PM/ISO.
See Paragraph 5.

2. Background: DOD has asked the State Department to secure
status protections for U.S. military personnel who will be
present in Bolivia during 2008. DOD has requested Post
immediately propose to the Government of Bolivia an exchange
of diplomatic notes for this purpose, as has been historic
practice. An exchange of diplomatic notes was conducted in
July of 2007 with Government of Bolivia establishing norms
and understandings for military exercises, exchanges, and
other mutually-agreed U.S. military programs and activities
in Bolivia. Due to changes in the text that had to be
approved by both Bolivia and the U.S., the 2007 agreement
came almost eight months into 2007. Considering the
extensive negotiations and legal review involved with the
2007 diplomatic note, approved just over three months ago,
Post is hoping to avoid such a delay for the 2008 exchange of
diplomatic notes. An agreement is needed before 2008, in
order to ensure that a Military Group medical assistance
exercise can go forward as planned in February. According to
Embassy Military Group Commander, U.S. Southern Command and
OSD have already reviewed the 2007 diplomatic note text and
approved it as of November 13, 2007, for presentation to the
Bolivian Government.

3. Embassy Military Group suggests changing paragraph seven
be changed from "perform their assigned medical duties" to
"perform their assigned duties." Military Group activities
encompass a wide variety of operations beyond medical
operations to include disaster relief, human rights training,
counter-narcotics training, and engineering projects. MILGP
Commander has received preliminary assurances that Bolivian
Ministry of Defense attorneys will not/not object to taking
out the qualifier "medical," which ensures broad coverage to
all military personnel involved in bilaterally approved
operations and prevents potential abuse or misapplication of
paragraph seven. This is the only change in the text from
the July, 2007 approved text, as reflected in paragraph 5.

4. Reftels contain (1) DOD’s request that the Department
(through Embassy La Paz) negotiate a status of forces
agreement (SOFA) for 2007 with the Government of the Republic
of Bolivia (GOB), (2) the discussions that ensued between
post and GOB to that end, and (3) the draft and final 2007
versions of the agreement reached to extend the yearly
diplomatic note that serves as a SOFA notes. Embassy POC is
Joe Reek (011-591-2-216-8171 relktj@state.gov).

5. Action Request: To review the text of the following
diplomatic note, approved by both the U.S. and Bolivian
governments in July, 2007 (with exception noted in paragraph
3). In light of pending 2008 operations, Post appreciates
expedited attention to review the 2007 text. Post wishes to
approach the Bolivian Government with a U.S.-approved text as
soon as possible. Please coordinate cable response with
Shelby Smith-Wilson, WHA/AND (202-647-4193;
smith-wilsonsv@state.gov). End Action Request.

6. Begin Diplomatic Note Text:

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its
compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of
the Republic of Bolivia and has the honor to refer to the
Diplomatic Note of the Embassy of the United States of
America dated February 4, 1997, and to the Diplomatic Note
number SNIC-SPEX-DAE-51/97-18264 of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Worship, dated February 13, 1997, that
established an agreement between the Government of the United
States of America and the Government of the Republic of
Bolivia concerning the entry into and activities within the
Republic of Bolivia of civilian and military personnel of the
United States Department of Defense to implement technical,
scientific and humanitarian assistance cooperation projects
being carried out under the auspices of the United States
Armed Forces.

On the basis of the ensuing consultations between
representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Worship and representatives of this Embassy and in
conformance with the existing legal norms of both our
countries, the Embassy of the United States of America has
the honor to propose to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Worship of the Republic of Bolivia that we continue the
agreement through calendar year 2008, using the original
text, amended as follows:

- 1. The technical, scientific and humanitarian assistance
cooperation of the United States of America involves the
temporary presence in Bolivia of United States military
personnel and Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees
and the use of necessary equipment in development projects
that are useful and participatory for the populace through
activities such as civil construction, public services,
health service assistance, education, and combined military
technical assistance.

- 2. Once projects and/or annual programs are developed by
the counterparts representing each Party, both Governments
commit to provide to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Worship of the Republic of Bolivia and the Department of
State of the United States of America, in a timely manner and
through diplomatic channels, the annual schedule of
activities and a report of the temporary personnel assigned
to these projects.

- 3. Both Governments agree that the United States military
personnel and DOD civilian employees assigned to technical,
scientific and humanitarian assistance cooperation will be
granted, while the corresponding project continues, a status
and treatment equivalent to that provided to administrative
and technical personnel of the Embassy of the United States
of America accredited to the Republic of Bolivia in
accordance with the April 18, 1961, Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations, within the standard framework in effect
in Bolivia.

- 4. The Government of Bolivia will permit the temporary
entry of necessary equipment and supplies for official use
for technical, scientific and humanitarian assistance
cooperation under the system of temporary entry, upon
presentation of a letter of guarantee from the Embassy of the
United States of America in Bolivia, in accordance with the
existing legal framework. Equipment and supplies that enter
the country as donations will be granted entry as established
in the regulations for tax exemptions.

- 5. Both Governments agree that the United States military
personnel and DoD civilian employees assigned to projects of
technical, scientific and humanitarian assistance cooperation
who enter Bolivia should have appropriate documentation
issued by authorities of the United States of America and a
temporary permit for their stay that will be provided by
Bolivian diplomatic and consular mission or by appropriate
authorities at the time of entry into Bolivian territory,
which should be recovered upon the end of the project and
departure of such personnel.

- 6. The Government of Bolivia and the Government of the
United States of America reciprocally will waive any and all
claims against one another for property damages related to
the equipment and material used for development projects in
connection with this assistance.

- 7. The Government of Bolivia agrees that the United States
military personnel and DOD civilian employees in Bolivia in
connection with the activities under this agreement may
perform their assigned duties in the course of their official
duties without further authorization.

- 8. This agreement will be valid through calendar year 2008
and may be renewed upon the mutual agreement of the two
governments.

If the Government of the Republic of Bolivia is in agreement
with the above proposal, the Embassy of the United States of
America proposes that this note, together with the Ministry’s
response, constitute an agreement between our two
governments, which will enter into force on the date of the
response of the Government of the Republic of Bolivia. Any
differences regarding the interpretation or application of
the above proposed agreement will be resolved by consultation
between our two Governments.

The Embassy of the United States of America avails itself of
this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Worship of the Republic of Bolivia the assurances of its
highest consideration.

To the Honorable
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship
of the Republic of Bolivia,
La Paz.

End Diplomatic Note Text.
GOLDBERG