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Joint Statement Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings With Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany

November 30, 1984

Commitment to Peace

The President of the United States and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany met today, at the President's invitation, to continue their regular exchanges on matters of common interest. Secretary Shultz, Secretary Weinberger, and Foreign Minister Genscher took part in the talks.

The President and the Chancellor stressed the extraordinary importance of establishing a more lasting basis for peace in Europe and throughout the World. Noting the role of NATO in providing peace and security for Europe and North America in the more than thirty-five years since its founding, the President and the Chancellor are reassured by the clear determination which NATO has shown to safeguard its security and assert its unity.

President Reagan and Chancellor Kohl emphasized that the close relationship between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany is fundamental to the maintenance of peace, and that continuing cooperation is essential to maintaining the common defense.

As democracies active in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) process, our cooperation can be especially successful in demonstrating the human as well as political aspects of the search for peace. Committed to the Helsinki Final Act, and to the other pertinent multilateral and bilateral documents, we do not accept the division of Europe as permanent and shall work to lower the human costs of the tragic barrier which divides the continent, and in particular, the German people.

The President, and the Chancellor reaffirm the importance of continuing a balanced approach to East-West relations, as set out in the Harmel Report, ensuring the maintenance of necessary military strength and transatlantic political solidarity while pursuing a productive relationship between the countries of East and West through dialogue, cooperation and negotiation.

Such dialogue must be built on the recognition of mutual, legitimate security interests and be conducted on the basis of equal rights for all parties involved. Stable relations must be characterized by the renunciation of military force levels beyond legitimate defense needs and must be founded on strict observance of the ban on the threat or use of force, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

The Chancellor endorses the President's continued readiness to meet with the Soviet General Secretary at a carefully prepared meeting. The Chancellor also supports the U.S. proposal to hold regular, high-level talks and meetings which would demonstrate the will of both sides to cooperate on questions of peace, security and international stability. The President welcomes the continuing efforts of the Federal Republic of Germany to pursue dialogue and cooperation with the Soviet Union and with all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. They urge the Soviet Union to join in a heightened effort to improve East-West relations, give fresh impetus to arms control, and fashion a constructive and stable relationship at the lowest possible level of armament.

The President and the Chancellor stressed that the Alliance's existing strategy of forward defense and flexible response has for many years played an indispensable role in preserving peace in Europe, and will continue to do so. The goal of this defensive strategy is and will remain to prevent any war. The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed the principle subscribed to by all NATO members that none of their weapons will ever be used, except in response to attack.

They are agreed that all requisite steps must be taken to maintain the effectiveness of the Alliance's military strategy and ensure continued deterrence. The expansion and modernization of Soviet and Warsaw Pact nuclear and conventional forces has intensified the need to strengthen the Alliance's force posture.

The United States and the Federal Republic of Germany regret that in contrast to NATO's agreed reductions, starting in 1980, of 2400 nuclear warheads, the Soviet Union has continued to build up its nuclear forces, while abandoning the bilateral Geneva arms control negotiations. The United States and the Federal Republic of Germany see it as imperative, both for eventual success in arms control negotiations and for the Alliance's security, that, in the absence of concrete results in the negotiations, NATO deployments proceed as envisaged under the 1979 decision. NATO has stated that it remains ready to halt, modify, or reverse deployments—including the removal and dismantling of missiles already deployed in Europe—in accordance with the terms of a balanced and verifiable agreement.

The President and the Chancellor consider it essential to redress the steadily growing conventional force imbalance favoring the Warsaw Pact. Therefore, an improved conventional defense posture would help ensure that the Alliance's capacity to act is fully preserved, that deterrence is strengthened, and that the nuclear threshold is raised. The President and the Chancellor, therefore, agreed on the need for a coherent Alliance approach to enhancing NATO's conventional capabilities, and are prepared to participate in Alliance efforts to make the necessary resources available.

The President and the Chancellor emphasized the importance of maintaining an equitable balance of effort and sacrifice among Alliance members. The Chancellor expressed his appreciation for the crucial contribution that the United States makes to Alliance security, in particular through the presence of American troops in Europe. The President expressed his appreciation for the German contribution to the common defense. In particular, he welcomed the Federal Government's recent decision toward sustaining the Bundeswehr's force structure. He also welcomed the recent initiatives of the Western European Union and the intensifying dialogue between the Independent European Program Group and their North American partners in identifying promising areas for resource cooperation. They also stressed the importance of making better use of available resources and technology through broader economic and arms cooperation among member nations.

Underscoring the basic policy of the North Atlantic Alliance, the President and the Chancellor reaffirm that deterrence and defense together with arms control and disarmament are integral parts of their security policy. They form necessary elements of a coherent strategy for securing a stable peace.

The President and the Chancellor reaffirm their commitment to achieve significant results in multilateral arms control negotiations, including Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR), the Conference on Security and Confidence-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE), and the Conference on Disarmament (CD).

They stress the need for progress towards an MBFR agreement establishing parity in Central Europe and improving military stability. At the Stockholm Conference, they seek agreement on militarily significant confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) to be applied in the whole of Europe, thus allowing participants to reaffirm and make concrete the existing commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force.

They express their determination to work for progress on a verifiable, comprehensive, global ban on chemical weapons at Geneva.

The Chancellor takes special note of the President's readiness to discuss with the Soviet Union the full range of issues of concern to both sides: the reduction of intercontinental and intermediate range nuclear systems, the relationship between defensive and offensive forces, outer space arms control, improving the effectiveness of existing arms control arrangements, and agreeing to further measures to reduce the risks of conflict through accident, misunderstanding or miscalculation.

The President reiterates, and the Chancellor fully supports, the United States' continuing readiness to work with the Soviet Union in developing a conceptual framework for future negotiations leading to balanced and verifiable arms control agreements. The President and the Chancellor express their conviction that prompt and meaningful progress is possible. They stress the significance of the understanding reached between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to open a new phase of their arms control dialogue with the meeting between Secretary of State George Shultz and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in Geneva.

The President and the Chancellor reaffirm the value and necessity of continued close and intensive consultations within the Alliance over the range of issues before it. In particular, the President and the Chancellor stress the importance of close consultations among the Allies on arms control matters and reiterate their resolve to continue to contribute actively to this process of consultation.

The President and the Chancellor pay tribute to the North Atlantic Alliance as the community of democratic states to which its members owe the preservation of peace and freedom. The President appreciates the vital contribution each ally makes to NATO defense and deterrence and reaffirms the United States' commitment to the common goal of maintaining peace and security in Europe. The President and the Chancellor are determined to strengthen further their efforts in the search for a stable and lasting peace in Europe and throughout the world.

Ronald Reagan, Joint Statement Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings With Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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