Wikileaks Cable: Germany asks US not to Weaponize Ebola. US can’t promise that

https://wikileaks.org/

1. (SBU) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 4.
2. (SBU) German MFA Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided the following non-paper to Econoff, seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. The Army’s end use certificate provided to Germany is lacking an official seal. Klinger’s deputy, Nancy Reck, noted that Germany had made two follow-up requests to the Army seeking assurances and clarifications related to this proposed export. The GOG seeks assurances from the USG or US Army that the end use certificate and the information contained therein are legitimate and accurate.
3. (SBU) Begin text of informal translation of German MFA non-paper:
“For Official Use Only” Against the background of our partnership in the area of non-proliferation and our excellent cooperation in the matters of export controls, we would like to bring the following issue to the attention of your government. A German firm has applied for the approval of the export of 184 genetic elements with nucleic acid sequences of viruses for the production of recombinant viruses.The viruses will be used in optical imaging to identify host factors required for viral replication. The recipient in the USA is, according to the enclosed end use certificate, the Department of the Army “US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)” Fort Detrick, Maryland. Specifications in English about the goods, the recipient and end use can be seen from the end use certificate. The goods are controlled by the Australia Group and are subject to compulsory export approval (List position C1C353A). This matter concerns the complete genome of viruses such as the Zaire Ebola virus, the Lake Victoria Marburg virus, the Machupo virus and the Lassa virus, which are absolutely among the most dangerous pathogens in the world. The delivery would place the recipient in the position of being able to create replicating recombinant infectious species of these viruses. Because of the particular criticality of these goods, the German federal government practices an exceptionally restrictive approval policy for such exports. An approval here can only be issued if an improper end use in association with the development or production of biologic weapons approaches can be foreclosed with a probability approaching certainty. The enclosed end use certificate is on the letterhead of the U.S. Army. The required official seal is missing, however. A decision about the export has not yet been made. Given the foregoing, we would appreciate confirmation that the end use certificate really is from the Department of the Army and of the accuracy of the data contained therein. We look forward to the continuation of our excellent cooperation in matters of non-proliferation and export controls. End text of informal translation of German MFA non-paper. 4. (SBU) Action Request. Post requests guidance on responding to the GOG request in the non-paper. MURPHY
GERMANY REQUESTS ASSURANCES ON VIRUS EXPORT
2009 December 15, 13:14 (Tuesday)
09BERLIN1588_a
UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
— Not Assigned —
3356
— Not Assigned —
TEXT ONLINE
— Not Assigned —
TE
— N/A or Blank —
— N/A or Blank —
— Not Assigned —
— Not Assigned —

 

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