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Communique Following Discussions With President Giscard d'Estaing of France.

December 16, 1974

THE PRESIDENT of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, and the President of the French Republic, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, met in Martinique December 14-16, 1974, to discuss current issues of mutual concern. They were joined in their discussions by the Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry A. Kissinger and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Sauvagnargues, and by Secretary of the Treasury William Simon and Minister of Finance Jean-Pierre Fourcade. The Ministers also held complementary side talks.

The meeting took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual confidence. President Ford and President Giscard d'Estaing welcomed the opportunity to conduct detailed substantive discussions on the whole range of subjects of mutual concern. As traditional friends and allies, the two nations share common values and goals and the two Presidents expressed their determination to cooperate on this basis in efforts to solve common problems.

They reviewed the international situation in the economic, financial and monetary fields.

The two Presidents agreed that the Governments of the United States and of the European Community, in the name of which the French President spoke on this subject, must adopt consistent economic policies in order to be effective in avoiding unemployment while fighting inflation. In particular, they agreed on the importance of avoiding measures of a protectionist nature. And they decided to take the initiative in calling additional intergovernmental meetings should they prove necessary for achievement of the desired consistency of basic economic policies among industrial nations.

In the light of the rapid pace of change in international financial positions in the world today, the Presidents were in full agreement on the desirability of maintaining the momentum of consideration of closer financial cooperation both within the International Monetary Fund and through supplementary measures. As one specific measure to strengthen the existing financial framework, the Presidents agreed that it would be appropriate for any Government which wished to do so to adopt current market prices as the basis of valuation for its gold holdings.

The two Presidents considered in depth the energy problem and its serious and disturbing effects on the world economy. They recognized the importance for the USA, the EEC and other industrialized nations of implementing policies for the conservation of energy, the development of existing and alternative sources of energy, and the setting up of new mechanisms of financial solidarity. They stressed the importance of solidarity among oil importing nations on these issues.

The two Presidents also exchanged views on the desirability of a dialogue between consumers and producers and in that connection discussed the proposal of the President of the French Republic of October 24 for a conference of oil exporting and importing countries. They agreed that it would be desirable to convene such a meeting at the earliest possible date. They regard it as important that all parties concerned should be better informed of their respective interests and concerns and that harmonious relations should be established among them in order to promote a healthy development of the world economy.

The two Presidents noted that their views on these matters are complementary and, in this context, they agreed that the following interrelated steps should be taken in sequence:

--They agreed that additional steps should be taken, within the framework of existing institutions and agreements to which they are a party, and in consultation with other interested consumers, to strengthen their cooperation. In particular, such cooperation should include programs of energy conservation, for the development of existing and alternative sources of energy and for financial solidarity.

--Based on substantial progress in the foregoing areas, the two Presidents agreed that it will be desirable to propose holding a preparatory meeting between consumers and producers to develop an agenda and procedures for a consumer/ producer conference. The target date for such a preparatory meeting should be March 1975.

--The preparatory discussions will be followed by intensive consultations among consumer countries in order to prepare positions for the conference.

The two Presidents agreed that the actions enumerated above will be carried out in the most expeditious manner possible and in full awareness of the common interest in meeting this critical situation shared by the United States and France and all other countries involved.

President Ford and President Giscard d'Estaing reviewed current developments in East-West relations. They discussed their respective meetings with General Secretary Brezhnev, and Secretary Kissinger reported on his discussions with leaders of the People's Republic of China. They exchanged views on developments in East-West negotiations, including the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. They expressed their conviction that progress in easing tensions was being made.

The two Presidents exchanged views on the present situation in the Middle East. They agreed on the importance of early progress toward a just and lasting peace in that area.

President Giscard d'Estaing described current efforts by France and other members of the European Community to further the process of European unity. President Ford reaffirmed the continuing support of the United States for efforts to achieve European unity.

The two Presidents discussed the situation in Indochina. They noted that progress in Laos toward reconciliation and reunification was encouraging. The two Presidents agreed on the need for all parties to support fully the Paris peace Agreements on Vietnam. Regarding Cambodia, they expressed the hope that the contending parties would enter into negotiations in the near future rather than continuing the military struggle. They expressed the hope that following Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam might also find their political way towards civil peace.

The two Presidents renewed the pledges of both Governments to continue close relations in the field of defense as members of the Atlantic Alliance. They agreed that the cooperation between France and NATO is a significant factor in the security of Europe.

They noted with satisfaction that the positive steps in negotiations on SALT taken during the Soviet-American meeting at Vladivostok have reduced the threat of a nuclear arms race. The two Presidents explored how, as exporters of nuclear materials and technology, their two countries could coordinate their efforts to assure improved safeguards of nuclear materials.

The President of France indicated that his Government was prepared to reach a financial settlement in connection with the relocation of American forces and bases committed to NATO from France to other countries in 1967. The French offer of $100 million in full settlement was formally accepted by President Ford.

The two Presidents concluded that the personal contact and discussion in this meeting had demonstrated accord on many questions and expressed their determination to maintain close contact for the purpose of broad cooperation in areas of common concern to the two countries.

Note: The text of the communique was released at Martinique, French West Indies.

Gerald R. Ford, Communique Following Discussions With President Giscard d'Estaing of France. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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