Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1980-1981

Author: Jimmy Carter  | Date: March 5, 1980

Visit of Chancellor Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany
Joint Press Statement.
March 5, 1980

President Carter and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Schmidt, held a lengthy conversation in Washington, March 5, during the Chancellor’s official visit to Washington, March 4-6. The Chancellor, who last met with the President in June 1979, was in Washington at the President’s invitation. He was accompanied by Mrs. Schmidt. His party also included the Federal Minister of Finance, Hans Matthoefer; the State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery, Dr. Manfred Schueler; the State Secretary and Chief of the Press and Information Office, Klaus Boelling; the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, Guenther van Well; the Chief of the Federal Armed Forces Staff, General Juergen Brandt; as well as the following representatives of German business and labor: The Chairman of the German Trade Union Federation, Heinz Oskar Vetter; the Chairman of the Federation of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Otto Wolff von Amerongen; the Chairman of the German Federation of Industry, Professor Dr. Roll Rodenstock; the Chairman of the Civil Servants and Transportation Workers Union, Heinz Kluncker; and Mr. Philipp Rosenthal, Member of Parliament and Chairman of Rosenthal China.

During his visit, the Federal Chancellor also met with, among others, Secretary of State Vance; Secretary of the Treasury Miller; Secretary of Defense Brown; Secretary of Labor Marshall; Secretary of Energy Duncan; Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Dr. Brzezinski; Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Volcker; and the President of AFL-CIO Lane Kirkland. The Chancellor’s program also includes a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Frank Church, and other distinguished Members of Congress.

The conversation between the President and the Chancellor covered a wide range of political, security and economic issues of mutual interest for the two countries. Their meeting followed an intensive period of high-level consultations between the two governments, including visits to Washington and Bonn by the respective Foreign Ministers and several exchanges between the President and the Chancellor. The President and the Chancellor agreed on the necessity of continuing these close consultations in order to assure full coordination of the policies followed by the two countries on major international issues. They also agreed that intensified bilateral and multilateral consultations between all of the Western Allies were essential, particularly in light of the current international situation.

The Chancellor expressed his highest respect and admiration for the President’s exceptional statesmanship in the crisis caused by the illegal and abhorrent holding of the hostages in Tehran andfor the courage and patience shown by the American people.

In their review of the international situation, the President and the Chancellor agreed that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had created a serious threat to international peace and security. They confirmed their determination, together with their Allies, to take the measures necessary in the circumstances to guarantee their security and defend international stability as also stated in the Joint Franco-German Declaration of February 5, 1980.

They reiterated their governments’ condemnation of the Soviet invasion and called upon the Soviet Union immediately to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. They noted with satisfaction that their assessments of the implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were quite close and they agreed upon the measures which each country should take in response to the Soviet action, including the need for urgent assistance to Turkey and Pakistan. The President noted with satisfaction the decision of the Federal government to coordinate Western assistance to Turkey in 1980. The President and the Chancellor expressed the determination of their governments to make major contributions to the common effort of assisting Turkey and Pakistan. In this connection, the Chancellor proposed a debt rescheduling for Pakistan.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that the independence of the countries of the Third World is an essential element of world peace and stability. They underlined the necessity not only to recognize the independence and self-reliance of the Third World countries, but also to assist those countries economically and politically on the basis of equal partnership.

The President and the Chancellor discussed the importance of increased efforts to strengthen NATO defenses. They reaffirmed their strong support for the NATO Long-Term Defense Program and for the NATO aim of three percent annual real growth in defense spending. The President noted the strong efforts of the Federal Republic in the defense field in recent years and welcomed the Chancellor’s statement that the Federal Republic would achieve three percent real growth in its 1980 defense budget as it has in the past. The President reviewed U.S. defense programs which have been made much more urgent in the light of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Chancellor agreed that it was essential for America’s Allies to share equitably in collective defense efforts to meet the needs of the common defense.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan has also had a seriously detrimental effect on the economic relations of the West with the USSR. They agreed on the importance of taking, in coordination with their Allies, the necessary measures. They also agreed that in shaping economic relations with the Soviet Union care must be taken not to strengthen the USSR’s armament efforts and military potential.

The President expressed his support for the proposal announced February 19 by the Foreign Ministers of the European Community aimed at reestablishing a neutral, nonaligned and independent Afghanistan, on the basis of total and prompt withdrawal of Soviet troops.

The President and the Chancellor agreed that participation in the Olympic Games would be inappropriate as long as Soviet occupation in Afghanistan continues. The President stated that the United States would not participate in the Olympic Games in Moscow. The Chancellor emphasized that it is up to theSoviet Union to create the conditions that athletes from all countries will be able to participate in the Olympic Games, and that at present such conditions do not exist.

The President and the Chancellor reiterated their countries’ commitment to the reduction of tension throughout the world. They agreed that in the current period of heightened tensions it is desirable to maintain the framework of East-West relations that has been built over two decades.

The President and the Chancellor stressed their continuing support for the arms control negotiations. The Chancellor welcomed the President’s recent statement that he planned to seek ratification of the SALT II Treaty by the United States Senate as soon as this was practicable. The President and the Chancellor agreed that the NATO Allies should continue to press ahead with their December 20, 1979, initiative in the MBFR talks in Vienna, their Long-Range Theater Nuclear Force (LRTNF) deployment decision of last December 12 as well as their offer for negotiations in the framework of SALT III aiming at limitations on U.S. and Soviet LRTNF on the basis of equality. They expressed regret that the Soviet Union had responded negatively to the United States’ proposal, based on the December 12 decision within the Alliance, on arms control negotiations involving Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces. They reaffirmed the determination of the Alliance to keep this offer on the table. They expressed their concern that the continuing Soviet LRTNF arms buildup increases the existing imbalance. The President and the Chancellor agreed that at the upcoming follow-up meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe which will take place in Madrid this fall, the Allies should conduct a thorough review of the implementation of all aspects of the Helsinki Final Act and consider proposals aimed at furthering the objectives of the Final Act. In this respect, they reaffirmed the position taken by the Foreign Ministers of the Alliance on December 14, 1979.

Having in mind the need to achieve a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, the President and the Chancellor discussed the latest developments in that region, in particular the autonomy negotiations currently underway between Egypt and Israel within the Camp David framework. They agreed on the urgent need for progress in these negotiations.

The President and the Chancellor reviewed the current international economic situation, with particular emphasis on the energy problem and financial questions arising from the recent sharp increases in oil prices. They agreed that the program adopted by the Seven-Nation Economic Summit in Tokyo last June remained valid and that its objectives should be pursued. They stressed the need for further urgent efforts aimed at expanding alternate sources of energy, in particular coal, nuclear, renewable resources as well as coal gasification and liquefaction, and reducing energy consumption by all means possible. They pledged to cooperate with other nations in taking new medium and long-term actions to these ends in the International Energy Agency and at the Venice Economic Summit.

They expressed particular concern over the worsening economic conditions of the developing countries resulting in large measure from the continued increase in energy prices and expressed the readiness of their governments, together with othercountries, including the OPEC countries, to seek ways to help oil-importing developing countries produce more energy. They agreed that in the present circumstances healthy growth by these countries is essential to a prosperous world economy, and that both the OPEC countries and the industrial countries should help. The two Heads of Government exchanged views about the actions they are taking to overcome inflation and achieve sound and sustained growth. The President described the Administration’s program of fiscal restraint, efforts to reduce energy consumption and to increase energy supplies, and steps to curtail present rates of inflation. The Chancellor expressed confidence in the prospects of success of these actions and described the current stance of monetary and fiscal development and energy policy in the Federal Republic of Germany. The President and the Chancellor stressed the importance of resisting protectionist measures that would impede trade, retard growth and add to inflation.

The two Heads of Government agreed that the key to success in the economic field is to be found in holding to present economic policies over a sustained period. They shared the view that if these policies are continued and strengthened, the main industrial countries can restore non-inflationary growth from which all will benefit.

The President and the Chancellor saw in this visit further proof of their fundamental commitment to the North Atlantic Alliance and of the close friendship and partnership between their countries. They were agreed that it is not only the common security interests that link the two countries together but also their common principles and values, their democratic way of life and their belief in the inalienable rights of man.