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

January 5, 1982

The President and the Chancellor on January 5, 1982 held extensive talks in which Secretary of State Haig and Foreign Minister Genscher participated. The Chancellor also met with Vice President Bush, Secretary Weinberger, and senior administration officials and with leaders of Congress.

The President and the Chancellor had a thorough exchange of views on the situation in Poland. They expressed grave concern about the imposition of martial law, which has resulted in the suppression of the fundamental rights of Polish citizens in violation of international agreements, including the Final Act of Helsinki, the United Nations Charter, and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

The Chancellor informed the President about the final communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of the member countries of the European Communities on January 4. The President welcomed this statement.

The President and the Chancellor agreed on their analysis of the Polish situation. They noted that contrary to the undertaking of the Polish leadership to reestablish liberty and the process of reform, repression and violation of basic human rights in Poland continues.

The President and the Chancellor call again on the Polish authorities to end the state of martial law, to release those arrested, and to restore the dialog with the Church and Solidarity.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that developments in Poland demonstrate once again the obvious inability of the Communist system to accept those changes necessary to meet the legitimate aspirations of their peoples. This endangers public confidence in cooperation between East and West and seriously affects international relations and stability.

They both noted the responsibility of the Soviet Union for developments in Poland and expressed concern about the serious pressure it is bringing to bear against Polish efforts for renewal. They insist Poland be allowed to resolve its problems without external interference.

The President and the Chancellor reiterated their position that any military intervention in Poland would have the gravest consequences for international relations and would fundamentally change the entire international situation.

The President explained the economic measures taken by the United States with regard to the Soviet Union. The Chancellor informed the President that the Federal Republic, together with its partners in the European Community, will undertake close and positive consultations in this regard with the United States and with other Western states in order to define what decisions will best serve their common objectives and avoid any step which could undermine their respective actions. They welcomed the agreement of the NATO Allies to hold a special Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels next week for further discussion of these matters.

The Chancellor drew the President's attention to the resolution passed on December 18, 1981, in which the Bundestag, in agreement with the Federal Government, decided to hold in abeyance official economic aid to Poland as long as the present regime continues its oppression of the Polish people. The President reiterated his previous statement that further assistance by the United States to the Government of Poland is not possible under present circumstances. The President and the Chancellor expressed their hope that the course of developments in Poland would permit their countries to review these decisions.

The President and the Chancellor expressed their solidarity with the Polish people and their readiness to continue humanitarian aid provided that it directly benefits the people. In this context, the President informed the Chancellor that American labor and other private groups are working together to organize a day of solidarity with the Polish people on January 30.

In view of the grave developments in Poland, which constitute a serious violation of the Helsinki Final Act, the President and the Chancellor agreed that the Madrid Conference on the implementation of the Helsinki Final Act should deal with the situation as soon as possible at the level of Foreign Ministers. They will take action as appropriate within the framework of the United Nations with a view to denouncing the violation of human rights as well as acts of violence. Other measures will be considered as the situation in Poland develops.

They welcomed the initiatives by the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress to establish March 21 as ``Afghanistan Day'' to express common hope and support for the people of Afghanistan, agreed that the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan must end, and demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and respect for the right of the Afghan people to choose an independent and non-aligned government.

The President and the Chancellor underlined the significance of arms control as an indispensable element of their common security policy. They reaffirm their determination to continue their efforts for effective arms control. In this context the Chancellor expressed his deep appreciation of the President's speech of November 18, 1981, and welcomed the initiatives for a comprehensive arms control policy it contains.

The President and the Chancellor also stressed the great importance of current economic issues. In this context, the Chancellor referred to the danger of a worldwide depression and ensuing far reaching political hazards that may arise if the industrial countries fail to agree on a common strategy to combat unemployment. The Chancellor emphasized in particular the strategic significance of social and economic stability in the industrial countries of the West as an important element in the maintenance of a stable East-West balance.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that protectionism is to be rejected and stated their resolve to work for a maximum degree of freedom in international trade.

They also noted that their Governments were following policies aimed at reducing significantly the level of interest rates through control of budget deficits, combating inflation, and overcoming the recession.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of close bilateral and multilateral consultations at all levels between the members of the Western Alliance.

The President and the Chancellor underlined the close and trusting relationship between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. They agreed on the need to maintain and deepen U.S.-German friendship by furthering and broadening mutual contacts and, in particular, a better understanding among the members of the younger generation.

To this effect, they noted with satisfaction that Secretary of State Haig and Foreign Minister Genscher have named coordinators in their respective departments for American-German relations. In the State Department the duties have been assigned to Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. In the Foreign Office the duties will be assumed by Minister of State, Dr. Hildegard Hamm-Bruecher.

Note: As printed above, this item follows the text of the joint statement made available by the Office of the Press Secretary. The statement was not issued as a White House press release.