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Old 10-26-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
Crimson Ghost
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US signs shipboarding agreement with landlocked Mongolia

US signs shipboarding agreement with landlocked Mongolia

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Somebody should have looked at a map.
The State Department with great fanfare on Tuesday signed an agreement with landlocked Mongolia that will allow Mongolian ships to be boarded and searched if they are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.
This despite the fact that Mongolia -- a vast land that's home to the Gobi Desert, windswept steppes and largely populated by nomadic yak herders -- has no navy at all and lies thousands of miles from open waters.
Still, its tiny merchant marine is recognized as one of 32 "flag of convenience" countries by international maritime authorities.
The U.S.-Mongolia shipboarding pact, the eighth signed between the United States and usually coastal or island nations, is designed to cover those Mongolian-flagged ships in international waters that might be used by other countries, notably North Korea, to disguise cargos of illegal weaponry, U.S. officials said.
Asked what Washington hoped to achieve with the agreement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said "I'll have to check," but stressed it was a key part of the "Proliferation Security Initiative" that aims to halt trade in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Although Mongolia has only 62 ships registered under the "flag" program, according to the latest edition of the CIA World Factbook -- putting it in 18th place -- officials said it is important to sign up as many countries as possible no matter how modest their fleet.
The seven countries that have signed agreements before Tuesday account for nearly 10,000 registered ships and include the top three "flag of convenience" nations -- Panama, Liberia and Malta -- as well as Cyprus and the Marshall Islands, which are both in the top 10, according to the State Department.

(Mainichi Japan) October 24, 2007



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Well, thank Jebus that the Mongols have been stopped from doing something that they couldn't do anyway.

Now, if we can get the Hottentots to stop their zucchini proliferation, thereby stopping a crisis of unimaginable horror deep in the Amazon, all will be right with the world.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:16 AM   #2
TheMercenary
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Sounds like a reasonable approach to me. The use of "Flags of convenience" are used by many owners to circumvent the laws of their home countries.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
orthodoc
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Mongolia may be landlocked and have no navy, but if it permits foreign ships to be registered under its flag that's obviously what the agreement is about. It's reminiscent of the oil tankers that used to be (still are?) registered to Liberia. If Mongolian registration is the new haven for those who want to evade inspection and regulation, this agreement makes sense.
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
Crimson Ghost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orthodoc View Post
Mongolia may be landlocked and have no navy, but if it permits foreign ships to be registered under its flag that's obviously what the agreement is about. It's reminiscent of the oil tankers that used to be (still are?) registered to Liberia. If Mongolian registration is the new haven for those who want to evade inspection and regulation, this agreement makes sense.
Now that you put it that way....

I believe that the agreement is more of a preventative measure, before "person(s) of interest hostile to the US" begin registering under the Mongol flag.

I could be wrong, however....
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:19 AM   #5
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