Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference Statement on Security Issues

May 29, 1983

1. As leaders of our seven countries, it is our first duty to defend the freedom and justice on which our democracies are based. To this end, we shall maintain sufficient military strength to deter any attack, to counter any threat, and to ensure the peace. Our arms will never be used except in response to aggression.

2. We wish to achieve lower levels of arms through serious arms control negotiations. With this statement, we reaffirm our dedication to the search for peace and meaningful arms reductions. We are ready to work with the Soviet Union to this purpose and call upon the Soviet Union to work with us.

3. Effective arms control agreements must be based on the principle of equality and must be verifiable. Proposals have been put forward from the Western side to achieve positive results in various international negotiations: on strategic weapons (START), on intermediate-range nuclear missiles (INF), on chemical weapons, on reduction of forces in Central Europe (MBFR), and a Conference on Disarmament in Europe (CDE).

4. We believe that we must continue to pursue these negotiations with impetus and urgency. In the area of INF, in particular, we call upon the Soviet Union to contribute constructively to the success of the negotiations. Attempts to divide the West by proposing inclusion of the deterrent forces of third countries, such as those of France and the United Kingdom, will fail. Consideration of these systems has no place in the INF negotiations.

5. Our nations express the strong wish that a balanced INF agreement be reached shortly. Should this occur, the negotiations will determine the level of deployment. It is well known that should this not occur, the countries concerned will proceed with the planned deployment of the U.S. systems in Europe at the end of 1983.

6. Our nations are united in efforts for arms reductions and will continue to carry out thorough and intensive consultations. The security of our countries is indivisible and must be approached on a global basis. Attempts to avoid serious negotiation by seeking to influence public opinion in our countries will fail.

7. We commit ourselves to devote our full political resources to reducing the threat of war. We have a vision of a world in which the shadow of war has been lifted from all mankind, and we are determined to pursue that vision.

Note: On behalf of the summit participants, Secretary of State George P. Shultz read the statement at 6:55 p.m. to reporters assembled in the International Press Briefing Room in William and Mary Hall at the College of William and Mary.