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

November 15, 1982

During the visit of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Kohl, he and President Reagan held detailed talks in Washington on current political and economic issues on November 15, 1982. The Chancellor is also meeting with Secretary of State Shultz, Secretary of Defense Weinberger, Secretary of the Treasury Regan, high-ranking Administration officials, and leading members of the Senate.

The discussions attested to the depth and the breadth of German-American friendship. The United States and the Federal Republic of Germany are partners as well as friends, sharing common ideals, human and democratic values. In today's uncertain world, this commitment has become more important than ever. Our shared values form the unshakeable foundation for our joint efforts to maintain the freedom and prosperity of the Western world.

The discussions were based on a determination to work together as closely as possible to meet the challenges of the closing decades of the twentieth century.

These challenges are as critical as those which faced the great statesmen who founded our partnership more than three decades ago. During the past thirty years the Atlantic partnership has been successful in guaranteeing to our peoples more freedom, security, and prosperity than at any time in history. The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed during their discussions their common view on the central role played by the Atlantic Alliance in the foreign policies of their respective governments.

A major reason for success of the Atlantic Alliance has been the close relationship which has developed between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. German-American ties are deeper than simple calculations of national interest.

After World War II and after the destruction caused by it in Germany, these ties originated from the generous humanitarian aid and the political support which the United States granted to the German people and their young democracy. German-American relations are based on a close affection among our two peoples and are supported by intimate personal and familial ties between Americans and Germans. Ours is a relationship based on mutual support and open discussion between equal partners.

During the discussions it was agreed that high level consultations between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany will be continued during a visit to Bonn by Secretary of State Shultz in early December.

An example of the close ties between our two nations are the more than fifty million Americans of German descent. German Americans have provided major contributions to every aspect of American life and form one of the foundations of American society. The President and the Chancellor anticipated with pleasure the joint celebration in 1983 of the Tricentennial of German immigration to the United States. President Reagan announced today the formation of a Presidential commission to help prepare American commemoration of this important event. Chancellor Kohl described plans for celebrations in the Federal Republic of Germany. They stressed that the Tricentennial should be a joint celebration among the peoples of their two nations and reaffirmed the intention of President Reagan and President Carstens to meet in the United States in October, 1983, to highlight the American celebration.

The wider the understanding of the commonality of the issues facing the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, the stronger our partnership will become. For this reason, President Reagan and Chancellor Kohl were pleased to reaffirm their support for the initiatives to broaden U.S.-German contacts and to set up a multilateral youth exchange among Western industrialized democracies. The purpose is to pass on to the younger generations in our nations the sense of partnership which the older generation feels so deeply.

The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed the Alliance's overall concept for successfully safeguarding peace in Europe as embodied in the declaration made by the heads of state and government of the Atlantic Alliance in Bonn on June 10, 1982. As stressed in that declaration, they agreed that in accordance with current NATO defense plans, and within the context of NATO strategy and its triad of forces, they will continue to strengthen NATO's defense posture, with special regard to conventional forces.

The Alliance has demonstrated that it serves the cause of peace and freedom. Even in difficult situations, it has been able to do so because its members have acted in a spirit of solidarity. The Alliance does not threaten anyone. Nor does it aspire to superiority, but in the interests of peace it cannot accept inferiority either. Its aim is, as before, to prevent any war and safeguard peace and freedom. None of the weapons of the Alliance will ever be used except in response to attack.

The Chancellor paid tribute to the crucial contribution that the United States renders to the joint security of the Alliance through the indispensable presence of American troops in Europe. The President and the Chancellor agreed that a unilateral reduction of American troops would have a destabilizing effect and, at the same time, would undermine efforts for negotiated force reductions.

The President expressed his great appreciation for the significant and uninterrupted German contribution to the common defense. In particular, he paid tribute to the German-American agreement of April 15, 1982 on Wartime Host Nation Support, which entails considerable additional expenditure by the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America for common defense.

The President and the Chancellor stressed the need for close, comprehensive, and timely consultations to strengthen the Alliance's cohesion and its capacity to act. They attached particular importance to German-American cooperation. They hoped that informal meetings of the foreign ministers of the Alliance would be continued.

The President welcomed the resolve of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to strengthen European unification. The President and the Chancellor paid tribute to the important role of the European Community and all its member states for economic and political stability in Europe and the world. The development of a united Europe will strengthen cooperation between Europe and the United States and, hence, also reinforce the Alliance.

The President and the Chancellor paid tribute to the close agreement and cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Three Powers in all matters relating to Berlin and Germany as a whole. They concurred in the view that the preservation of trouble-free conditions in and around Berlin was an essential element of East-West relations and of the international situation as a whole.

The President reaffirmed American support for the political aim of the Federal Republic of Germany to work for a state of peace in Europe in which the German nation will regain its unity through free self-determination.

A major subject discussed during the meetings was relations with the Soviet Union. The values and goals of the Soviet Union do not correspond to our own. The USSR restricts freedom on its own territory and in countries under its influence, and has shown that it is ready to use force or the threat of force to achieve its foreign policy aims. Security of Western societies requires constant attention to the military threat posed by the USSR. The Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America gear their policies in East-West relations to the concept of renunciation of force, human rights, and the right of nations to self determination.

The President and the Chancellor called upon the Soviet Union to comply with internationally recognized rules of conduct. This required respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Helsinki Final Act as well as a world-wide policy of moderation and restraint.

In this spirit, the President and the Chancellor underlined their desire to improve relations with the Soviet Union. They are ready to conduct relations with the new leadership in Moscow with the aim of extending areas of cooperation to their mutual benefit if Soviet conduct makes that possible. It is especially important at present for the West to approach the Soviet Union with a clear, steadfast and coherent attitude which combines the defense of its own interests with the readiness to pursue constructive relations, dialogue, and cooperation with the leadership of the Soviet Union.

In this regard, the President and the Chancellor greeted with satisfaction the recent agreement on measures leading to a broader consensus on East-West economic relations. They attached the greatest importance to a common approach to this issue. Close consultation and cooperation on East-West economic issues is as vital to Western interests as is the traditional cooperation on political and security questions.

It is the purpose of our common efforts that trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe should be conducted on the basis of a balance of mutual advantages. While noting the important part which our economic relations with the Warsaw Pact countries can play in the development of a stable East-West relationship, the President and the Chancellor agreed that those relations should be approached in a prudent and diversified manner, consistent with our political and security interests.

The Chancellor expressed his appreciation for the lifting of the embargo on oil and gas technology and equipment, which he considered as evidence of successful efforts on the part of all concerned for improved coordination of Western policy in the economic field.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that developments in Poland, which continued to cause great concern, had an adverse effect on efforts to promote security and cooperation in Europe. They drew attention once more to the Soviet Union's responsibility for the events in Poland. They called upon the Polish leadership to lift martial law in Poland, to release all detainees, to reverse the ban on the trade union Solidarity and, through serious dialogue with the Church and appointed workers' representatives, to seek national consensus which is the only way to lead Poland out of its present crisis, free from any external interference. They hoped that the release of Lech Walesa will promote these objectives. The President and the Chancellor welcomed the numerous initiatives for humanitarian aid for the Polish people. They agreed that this aid should be stepped up wherever possible.

The President and the Chancellor agreed on the importance of the CSCE process initiated by the Helsinki Final Act and advocated that it be continued. It is a long-term process which has been gravely affected by events in Poland. It can prove successful only if the participating countries observe the principles and provisions of the Final Act in their entirety. They expressed support for the new proposals, responsive to events in Poland and the USSR, put forward by the West in the resumed Madrid session, as reasonable and essential elements of a balanced outcome.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that the CSCE review conference, which was resumed in Madrid on November 9, 1982, should agree on a substantive and balanced final document which leads to progress in the important humanitarian field of East-West relations and contains a precise mandate for a Conference on Disarmament in Europe (CDE), envisaging militarily significant confidence and security building measures covering the whole of Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals.

The President and the Chancellor noted that arms control and disarmament as well as defense and deterrence were integral parts of NATO's security policy. They agreed that significant progress towards reduction of the levels of nuclear and conventional forces through balanced and verifiable agreements would be an important contribution to the reduction of international tensions. The incessant unilateral increase in Soviet armaments in recent years has threatened the security of the Alliance and international stability and made even more urgent the need to establish a balance of forces between East and West. The goal of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany remains to achieve a stable balance of both nuclear and conventional forces at the lowest possible level.

The President and the Chancellor recalled the comprehensive program of arms control proposals put forward by the United States on the basis of close consultation and adopted by the entire Alliance at the Bonn Summit on June 10, 1982. They stressed their common belief that this program provides the best hope for true reductions in arsenals of both intermediate and intercontinental strategic weapons. They rejected the proposals to freeze existing levels of nuclear weapons, or for one-sided reductions by the West, as inadequate for substantive arms control and as harmful to the security of the Atlantic Alliance. They noted also that the Soviet Union had in recent years refused to reciprocate the unilateral restraint in this field by the United States. They expressed the strong judgment that true reductions in nuclear armaments would be possible only when the Soviet Union is convinced of the determination of the West to maintain its defenses at the level necessary to meet the threat posed by massive increases in Soviet nuclear forces.

In this connection they attached particular importance to negotiations on reductions of strategic arms and of intermediate range nuclear forces now underway between the United States and the Soviet Union in Geneva. President Reagan reaffirmed his determination to do his utmost to achieve true reductions in nuclear armaments through balanced and verifiable agreements. The President and the Chancellor pointed out that negotiations in Geneva are serious and substantial. At the same time they expressed concern at the refusal of the Soviet Union to take into account legitimate Western security concerns.

In conformity with their policy for actively safeguarding peace through firmness and negotiation, the President and the Chancellor reaffirmed their commitment to both parts of the NATO dual-track decision of December 12, 1979, consisting of a program of INF modernization and an offer to the Soviet Union of arms control negotiations on INF. An important aspect of Western security policy remains the common determination to deploy modernized longer-range INF missiles in Europe beginning at the end of 1983 if negotiations on this subject now underway in Geneva do not result in a concrete agreement making deployment unnecessary. The President and the Chancellor noted that the decision to deploy the systems in Europe was based on a unanimous finding by members of the Atlantic Alliance that increases in Soviet weapons, in particular introduction of SS - 20 missiles, had endangered the security of Western Europe and thus of the entire Alliance. They stressed that the complete elimination of Soviet and United States land-based, longer-range INF missiles, as proposed by the United States, would be an equitable and fair result and would be a substantial contribution to serious arms control. They called upon the Soviet Union to negotiate seriously toward this end. The Chancellor restated his full confidence in the American negotiating effort in Geneva and welcomed the close and continuous process of consultations within the Alliance.

President Reagan described the ideas behind his Berlin initiative of June 10, 1982 for an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union on measures to help avoid the danger that accident or miscalculation could lead to a nuclear exchange between East and West. He stated that the United States was preparing proposals for nuclear confidence building measures which would be presented by American representatives at the Geneva negotiations. The Chancellor and the President expressed their hope that the Soviet Union would join with the United States in progressing rapidly to an agreement on such measures. They also remain commited to halting the spread of nuclear weapons through the pursuit of vigorous non-proliferation policies.

The President and the Chancellor underscored their undiminished interest in substantial reduction in conventional forces in central Europe. They recalled the new draft treaty which the Western participants had presented at the Vienna negotiations on mutual and balanced force reductions. This proposal provides an excellent foundation for a balanced agreement on reduction of conventional forces in Europe. The President and the Chancellor called upon Warsaw Pact participants to react positively.

They stated that agreement on a comprehensive and fully verifiable ban on chemical weapons in the Geneva Committee on Disarmament remained a prime objective of their policies.

They also attached great importance to efforts in the United Nations to secure transparency by promoting military openness, verification, and wider availability of information on defense spending.

The President and the Chancellor were in complete agreement on the requirement for special attention to Alliance needs on the Southern Flank. They emphasized in this connection their resolve to support the Turkish Government in its efforts to lead Turkey back to democracy.

The President and the Chancellor expressed confidence that our free societies would overcome the current difficult economic situation. They attached paramount importance to restoring the conditions for sustained growth through higher investments, in order to reduce unemployment and to maintain price stability.

The economic policies of industrial nations must be closely coordinated. Each country must bear in mind the effects that its political and economic measures will have on other countries. These factors will also have an important effect on the Economic Summit to be held in Williamsburg at the invitation of the United States. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of conducting the discussions at this summit on the basis of openness, trust, and informality.

The President and the Chancellor discussed the dangers posed by rising protectionism to world trade and the economic well being of nations. They reaffirmed their commitment to the multilateral trading system, looking forward to a successful GATT Ministerial meeting in Geneva this month.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that it is imperative to respect and promote the independence of the countries of the Third World and that genuine nonalignment is an important element of stability and world peace. The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed their readiness to continue to cooperate with Third World countries on the basis of equal partnership.

The continuing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is a strain on international relations. The President and the Chancellor deplored the fact that the Soviet Union continued to defy international opinion and ignored United Nations resolutions calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, as well as the right to self-determination for Afghanistan and restoration of its non-aligned status. Afghanistan remains an acid test of Soviet readiness to respect the independence, autonomy, and genuine non-alignment of Third World countries and to exercise restraint in its international behavior.

The Chancellor welcomed President Reagan's proposal of September 1, 1982 as a realistic attempt to promote the peace process in the Middle East. They agreed that negotiations between Israel and its neighbors in the framework of UN resolutions 242 and 338 offer the best opportunity for peaceful resolution of disputes in that area. The United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, together with its partners in European Political Cooperation, will, as before, seek to ensure that the American and European efforts for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East, on the basis of existing achievements, are complementary to each other. They called for early withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon. They continued to urge that the sovereignty and unity of Lebanon be restored and expressed their support for the reconstruction of Lebanon.