Full Citation

  • Title U. S., Britain and France Approach Russians on Easing Berlin Tension
  • Author Roberts, Chalmers M.
  • Publication Title International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Friday,  Aug. 8, 1969
  • Issue Number 26924
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
Associated Press. President Nixon welcoming West German y’s Kurt Georg Kiesinger in Washington. As Kiesinger and Nixon Meet U.S.9 Britain and France Approach Russians on Easing Berlin Tension By Chalmers M. Roberts WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (WP).— The United States, Britain and France today gave the Soviet Un¬ ion an oblique and cautious reply to Moscow’s hint that it is ready to discuss the problem of access to West Berlin. This was done verbally, rather than in writing, by envoys in Mos¬ cow shortly before West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger met here with President Nixon. The theme of Mr. Kiesinger’s initial private talk with Mr. Nix¬ on, German sources indicated, was that all Western approaches to the Russians, including the stra¬ tegic arms limitation talks (SALT), should be marked by caution and be conducted with patience. Mr. Kiesinger hinted as much in his public remarks to the presi¬ dent after a 19-gun salute among the formal ceremonies on the White House south lawn. A number of tourists were allowed in for a look and handed small German flags to wave. The chancellor spoke approvingly of the president’s efforts for peace and then added that “it is not an easy task and it is not one that one will resolve overnight. What is required is patience and that power of endurance which many people in our hectic times unfortu¬ nately no longer have.” Patience and Power Then, Mr. Kiesinger added: “But I know that you, Mr. President, have that patience and that power.” The approach to Moscow was in that spirit. What it did come down to is this: The three Western allies told the Russians (the four nations have the responsibility for Berlin) that they know that West Germany is ready to talk to East Germany and, therefore, Moscow should en¬ courage East Germany to open such conversations, designed to im¬ prove the situation in and about Berlin. The three envoys, Ambassadors Jacob Beam of the United States, and Sir Duncan Wilson of Britain today and French Chargé d’Af- f air es Yves Delahaye yesterday delivered this coordinated message in calls on Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Semyon Kozyrev. Thus, the Allies avoided suggest¬ ing a Big Four meeting, which is what Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko seemed to be hinting at in his July 10 speech to which the three envoys referred in their oral presentations. Mr. Gromyko had suggested “an exchange of opinions” with the three Allies “on how to prevent complications on West Berlin now and in the future” provided the Allies “take into account the inter¬ est of European security in their approach to this question.” Fur¬ thermore, Mr. Gromyko said Mos¬ cow would not “allow anything to impinge” on “the legitimate inter¬ ests” of East Germany “or to violate the special status of West Berlin.” t b W The Russians, in effect, have turned over access control to West Berlin to their East German allies but the Western Allies hold Mos¬ cow ultimately responsible. The approach to Moscow, if it is ac¬ cepted, could lead to East German- West German talks on such mat¬ ters as access rights for West Ger¬ mans and telephone and postal communication between the two Germanys and the two Berlins. Thus, it appeared that today marked the beginning of what could be a lengthy diplomatic minuet before any substantive talks begin, if they ever do, on Berlin or divided Germany. At the White House, the two leaders met with only one note (Continued on Page 2, Col. 1) As Kiesinger, Nixon Meet U.S., Britain, France Probe Russians Over Berlin Tension (Continued from Page 1) taker each for an hour and a quarter. Mr. Nixon reported on his trip to Asia and Romania and, spokesmen said, they talked about NATO, the SALT talks and East- West relations in general. Second- level officials met separately on the same subjects. Other sources said they agreed the time had come for cautious testing of Soviet intentions and whether Moscow would encourage East Germany to deal with West Germany. They were said to have agreed on the necessity of avoid¬ ing wishful thinking. It was not clear how much wor¬ ry Mr. Kiesinger expressed to the president over the direction the SALT talks might take. The Ger¬ mans are stressing the necessity for the United States not to over¬ look the possible effect on West¬ ern European security, meaning above all West German security. It was noted by German sources that Bonn’s defense council re¬ cently elaborated the German view on SALT and this is understood to have included a need for clarifi¬ cation on whether it would affect stationing of American Pershing missiles in West Germany. These sources also said that the British are now wondering whether the Russians might offer a reduction in their own medium-range mis¬ siles, targeted on Western Europe, in exchange for some cut in Brit¬ ish and French nuclear forces. The effect of this report was to underline the Bonn worry about the SALT talks. However, when asked at a closed-door session with the Senate Foreign Relations Com¬ mittee whether he trusted Wash¬ ington in the SALT talks, the chancellor said flatly that he did, At that session Chairman J. William Fulbright, D., Ark., was critical of the continued presence of U.S. forces in Germany, but Mr. Kiesinger said they are needed for the indefinite future, though he recognized they cannot stay for¬ ever. Sen. Fulbright also wanted to know why in the offset agree¬ ments covering American troop costs West Germany buys arms here instead of other products.