Joint Statement Following Discussions With Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany

May 22, 1981

During the official visit of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States from May 20 - 23, 1981, President Reagan and the Federal Chancellor held detailed talks on a wide range of political and economic questions. They noted with satisfaction that they share a common assessment of the international situation and its implications for the Western Alliance. They agreed that their two countries have a common destiny founded on joint security interests and firmly rooted in their shared values of liberty, a democratic way of life, self-determination and belief in the inalienable rights of man.

They regard the reliable and proven U.S.-German partnership as an essential factor in international stability and Western security based on the North Atlantic Alliance. They agreed that substantive and effective consultations are a mainstay of the relations between Western Europe and the United States.

The President and the Federal Chancellor welcomed and reaffirmed the results of the recent NATO Ministerial meetings in Rome and Brussels as renewed proof of the political strength of the Alliance and the continuity of Alliance policy. They stressed the determination of Alliance members to take the necessary steps to work with their NATO partners to strengthen the Western defense posture and to address adverse trends due to the Soviet military buildup. Together with deterrence and defense, arms control and disarmament are integral parts of Alliance security policy.

The President and the Federal Chancellor affirmed in this connection their resolve to implement both elements of the NATO decision of December 1979 and to give equal weight to both elements. The Federal Chancellor welcomed the U.S. decision to begin negotiations with the Soviet Union on the limitation of theater nuclear weapons within the SALT framework by the end of this year. He also welcomed the fact that the U.S. Secretary of State has initiated preparatory discussions on theater nuclear forces with the Soviet Union, looking toward an agreement to begin formal negotiations. The President and the Federal Chancellor agreed that TNF modernization is essential for Alliance security and as a basis for parallel negotiations leading to concrete results on limitations of theater nuclear forces. They further agreed that the preparatory studies called for in the Rome Communique should be undertaken as matters of immediate priority by the relevant NATO bodies.

The President and the Federal Chancellor assessed very favorably the close cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Three Powers in matters relating to Berlin and Germany as a whole. The Federal Chancellor thanked the President for his reaffirmation of the pledge that the United States will continue to guarantee the security and viability of Berlin. They agreed that the maintenance of the calm situation in and around Berlin is of crucial significance for European security and stability.

The European Community plays an important part in maintaining international political and economic stability. The U.S. will continue to support the process of European unification.

Both sides noted that a serious international situation has been created by Soviet expansionism and armaments efforts. To meet this challenge and to secure peace, they are determined to respond with firmness and to maintain a dialog with the Soviet Union.

The President and the Federal Chancellor agreed that it is important for the stabilization of East-West relations that the current CSCE Review Conference in Madrid agree on a balanced substantive concluding document which includes enhanced respect for human rights, increased human contacts, a freer flow of information, and cooperation among and security for all of the participants. In this regard, and as part of such a balanced result, the President and the Chancellor favor agreement on a precise mandate for a conference on disarmament in Europe, providing for the application of militarily significant, binding and verifiable confidence-building measures covering all of the continent of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.

Poland must be allowed to solve its problems peacefully and without external interference. The President and the Federal Chancellor reaffirmed unequivocally their view that any external intervention would have the gravest consequences for international relations and would fundamentally change the entire international situation.

Genuine nonalignment of the states of the developing world is an important stabilizing factor in international relations. The Chancellor and the President support the independence and the right of self-determination of the states of the developing world. They will, in concert with their Allies and the countries affected, oppose any attempts, direct or indirect, by the Soviet Union to undermine the independence and stability of these states. They confirmed their willingness to continue their cooperaion with these states on the basis of equal partnership and to continue their support of their economic development.

The President and the Federal Chancellor reaffirmed their view that the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is unacceptable. They demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and respect for that country's right to return to independence and nonalignment. The destabilizing effects which the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan has on the entire region must be countered.

Both sides stressed the importance of broad-based cooperation with the states of the Gulf Region.

The President and the Federal Chancellor agreed that the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, the latter within the framework of European political cooperation, should continue the search for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East. Their efforts should continue to be complementary and build upon what has been achieved so far.

Both sides reaffirmed the determination to strengthen further the open system of world trade and to oppose pressure for protectionist measures.

They stressed the vital importance for political and economic stability of further energy conservation and diversification measures to reduce the high degree of dependence on oil. The pressing energy problems can only be mastered on the basis of worldwide cooperative efforts that strengthen Western energy security and reduce the vulnerability of the West to potential supply cutoffs from any source. The supply problems of the developing countries require particular attention.

The President and the Federal Chancellor agreed on the need in framing their economic policies to give high priority to the fight against inflation and to the creation of improved conditions for renewed economic growth and increased productivity. Both sides stressed the need for a close coordination of economic policies among the industrial countries.

Both sides stressed the need for close and comprehensive exchange of views on the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea while the U.S. Government reviews its position.

The President and the Federal Chancellor noted that their talks once more demonstrated the friendly and trusting relationship that has linked their two countries for over 30 years. They welcomed all efforts which serve to broaden mutual contacts and underlined the responsibility of the coming generation for maintaining and developing German-American friendship.