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Remarks of the President and Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany Following Their Meetings

November 30, 1984

The President. Chancellor Kohl and I met today to discuss a wide range of issues. Characteristic of our relationship, our talks were friendly, useful, and productive. There's a high level of cooperation and personal rapport between us. As always, I was glad to have such thorough consultations with the Chancellor and his government.

I call your attention to the joint statement issued as a result of today's discussions. It underlines our common commitment to improving East-West relations, improving NATO's conventional defenses, and intensifying our search for arms reductions.

We place special emphasis on overcoming the barriers that divide Europe, a division keenly felt by those living in Central Europe. I was pleased to reaffirm to Chancellor Kohl today our support for his efforts to lower the barriers between the two German states.

The close relationship between the United States and the Federal Republic is enhancing the opportunity for improved East-West relations. This is demonstrated by our successful efforts to carry out the NATO dual-track decision to seek genuine arms reductions agreements and modernize our defenses.

Today Chancellor Kohl and I firmly agreed that we will continue to place a high priority on the search for a responsible means of reducing the arsenals of nuclear weapons that now threaten humankind. And we call upon all men and women of good will to join us.

The solidity of the German-American .partnership remains a crucial building block m the search for world peace. The people of our two countries, blessed with liberty and abundance, have a great desire for peace. Chancellor Kohl and I share that desire, and we'll continue to work diligently to bring about a more peaceful world.

The German-American relationship, now in its fourth century, must never be taken for granted. We launched a major initiative in 1982 to nurture an appreciation of ties between us to enhance German-American contacts at all levels. Chancellor Kohl and I noted today the enthusiastic public response in our respective countries, especially among our younger citizens, to the growing exchanges between our peoples.

In sum, our talks confirmed the closeness of our views and the commitment to work together. It was a pleasure to have Chancellor Kohl, Foreign Minister Genscher, and all of his party here. I wish them a smooth journey home, and I look forward to the next time that we can get together.

Thank you.

The Chancellor. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, my talk with President Reagan—with you, dear friend—today was, as always, intensive, close, and trustful.

My talk served to maintain the continuity of our very personal and friendly relationship. President Reagan and I made it a highly important moment in world affairs, and I sincerely hope that we were able to open up good and positive perspectives.

The fact that a new phase can be initiated in East-West relations is due, on the one hand, to the firm and united attitude of the Western alliance and, on the other, to our joint determination to continue to seek dialog and necessary negotiations with the East.

In our talk today, the President and I discussed the subject of East-West relations, arms control, and joint efforts in the alliance for improving its conventional defense capability.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany fully supports the development emerging in U.S.-Soviet relations, which are, in our view, the centerpiece of East-West relations in general. The President and I consider it important that the Western European allies be associated with this process, thus creating the conditions for the renewed bilateral U.S.-Soviet dialog being placed on a wider foundation in the medium and long term. The close, friendly, and trusting relationship with the United States, as demonstrated in today's talks once again, is of great significance for the strengthening, cohesion, and solidarity of the alliance.

The President informed me of the American ideas for the exploratory talks to be started on 7th and 8th January 1985, between Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Gromyko. These talks, which are taking place on the basis of an umbrella concept developed by the United States, open up new perspectives and opportunities for arms control negotiations.

Mr. President, for very good reasons you referred in your remarks to the joint declaration which we have adopted. This declaration is intended to illustrate the link between improved East-West relations, concrete steps for arms control and disarmament, and the maintenance of our security through adequate defense.

One of the key elements of the joint declaration is the desire, particularly in view of the recent developments in East-West relations and in the field of arms control, to intensify and enhance the alliance's comprehensive, close consultations within this sphere.

Furthermore, we intend to ensure that the alliance strengthens further its conventional defense capability. To this end, we consider it necessary to coordinate the existing initiatives and proposals for better implementation of the valid NATO strategy, thus permitting the available resources to be used more effectively.

Our goal is to raise the nuclear threshold in this manner and to enhance the alliance's ability to defend itself against any kind of war, be it conventional or nuclear.

The joint declaration is of great importance in two respects. Firstly, it is being issued immediately after the overwhelming confirmation in office of the American President by the American people, and at the start of a new phase in East-West relations in which all nations, and not least the divided German nation, the two parts of Germany, place high hopes. We are thus affirming our desire to lay a new, a constructive and lasting foundation for stable East-West relations.

Secondly, ladies and gentlemen, by reflecting our full agreement on essential questions affecting our two countries, this statement constitutes a symbol and a future-oriented yardstick for close German-American cooperation. We are resolved to make our contributions towards further developing within the alliance our cooperation on this basis.

Though this was only a very brief working visit, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to express to you, Mr. President, my dear friend, our sincere thanks for the cordial hospitality extended to us and for the very friendly reception you have been giving to us.

It's good, in difficult times and at moments when you have to take difficult decisions, to know that you have a good friend in the White House, and we are appreciative and grateful for that.

Note: The President spoke at 1:25 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House. The Chancellor spoke in German, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Earlier, the President and the Chancellor met in the Oval Office. They then held a working luncheon, together with U.S. and German of officials, in the State Dining Room.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President and Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany Following Their Meetings Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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