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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 08, 1970

CIRCULAR LETTER FROM GEORGE MACOVESCU TO ROMANIAN CHIEFS OF MISSION

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    George Macovescu describes the meeting held in Berlin, which focused largely on the improvement of relations between Eastern European countries and the Federal Republic of Germany.
    "Circular Letter from George Macovescu to Romanian Chiefs of Mission," December 08, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no volume number, 01/0011298, 10.12.1970. DR, vol.2. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112057
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Letter of George Macovescu, Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister, to chiefs of mission informing them of proceedings of the Warsaw Pact Consultative Political Committee meeting held in Berlin on 2 December 1970.

CIRCULAR LETTER

of 8 December 1970

COMRADE CHIEF OF [DIPLOMATIC] MISSION,

For your and your political-diplomatic coworkers' information, we are letting you know the following in connection with the proceedings of the Conference of the Consultative Political Committee of the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty, which took place in Berlin on 2 December this year, and the documents adopted on that occasion:

I. The first part of the proceedings of the Conference took place in the form of a plenary meeting, where the leaders of the participating delegations took the floor.

Generally speaking, in the speeches of the other participants laudatory appreciations were expressed as regards the conclusion – by the Soviet Union and the Polish People's Republic – of the treaties with the Federal Republic of Germany, and references were made concerning the future development of the relationships between the socialist countries and the FR of Germany.

Moreover, a number of issues concerning security in Europe and the conference of European states were approached.

As to the content of the speeches made, we mention the following specific elements:

W. Gomulka announced the Polish government's intention to establish diplomatic relationships with FR of Germany after the ratification of the USSR and Polish PR treaties with the FR of Germany.

G. Husak insisted on the necessity of FR of Germany recognizing, right from the outset, the invalidity of the Munich agreements, and only afterwards to proceed to the stage of normalizing Czechoslovak-German relations.

W. Ulbricht presented in detail the German Democratic Republic's policy, and the need to recognize this country. He referred in critical terms to the Brandt government's failure to respect its declarations of intentions, and emphasized his concern that the solution to the West Berlin issue be not detrimental to GDR interests.

J. Kádár underscored the priority of the specific interests of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and German DR in the regulation of the relationships with FR of Germany, concurrently emphasizing his country's interest in normalizing relationships with FR of Germany, including the establishment of diplomatic relations.

L. Brezhnev particularly insisted on the need to closely coordinate the foreign policy of the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty, an idea that was also present in the speeches made by the other participants.

As a general feature, the preoccupation was apparent of obtaining the GDR's support for the actions contemplated in the relationships with the FR of Germany, as well as for the settlement of the West Berlin issue.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu presented our party's appreciations with respect to the ratio of forces existing in the international political arena, and analyzed – from this viewpoint – the changes that had occurred in Europe, including the FR of Germany, giving emphasis to the justness of the appreciations made in the 1966 Bucharest Declaration on that score.

Romania's contribution to the process of détente, cooperation, and normalization was given prominence, and – in this context – the establishment of diplomatic relationships with the FR of Germany in 1967 was mentioned. The fact was also highlighted that the first declarations relating to the recognition of the German DR were made by W. Brandt, who was foreign affairs minister at the time, on the occasion of his visit to Bucharest.

In addition, it was pointed out that the recognition of the German DR was a central issue in the normalization of the situation in Europe and that the efforts of all the socialist countries must be intensified for the purpose of determining the recognition, on the basis of international law, of the German DR, and its full affirmation – in conditions of equality – in international life, by its admission to UN and other international organizations as well.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu highlighted the fact that the results obtained in the process of détente, including the conclusion – by the USSR and Poland – of the treaties with the FR of Germany represent a consequence of the modification of the ratio of forces in favor of peace and socialism. These treaties, which have special importance and will exert a positive influence on the development of events, must not be either underrated or overrated, because they are just links in a larger process of achieving détente, security, and collaboration in Europe and in the whole world, to which all of the socialist countries, along with other peace-loving states, can contribute.

The fact must not be forgotten that in the FR of Germany militaristic and revanchist forces continue to act, therefore it is necessary that – alongside a firm determination to fight against such forces, assistance be given to the realistic, democratic, and progressive forces in this country.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu attached importance to the fact that the efforts made so far with the view to convene the conference for security and cooperation In Europe were not commensurate with the real necessities and possibilities, and pointed out that the socialist countries would have to act more intensely to step up the convening of the conference, and to start its practical preparation within the framework of multilateral meetings. With this end in view, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu proposed that the foreign affairs ministers of the participating states be assigned the task of drawing up concrete measures for starting the preparation of the European conference.

In conclusion, the need was underscored of strengthening the unity of all the socialist countries, both those countries participating in the Warsaw Treaty and the others, of the whole anti-imperialist front in the fight for achieving security and collaboration in Europe, for making the international atmosphere healthier and putting the interstate relationships on new, principled bases.

II. The final Conference documents were drawn up on the basis of drafts prepared by the Soviet side and distributed two days before the beginning of the Conference.

The other participants accepted the texts initially presented, without any amendments or proposals for improvement (except for the German DR, which – in the context of the Berlin issue – requested the inclusion of a reference in the sense that its legitimate interests and sovereign rights be observed).

The Romanian delegation formulated amendments and proposals of improvement for all the drafts raised for discussion, thus actively contributing to the drawing up of the final documents.

We pointed out that, at the Romanian delegation's insistence, the four basic documents were not adopted by the Consultative Political Committee as an organ, but by the states participating in the Conference.

As regards the content of the documents, we call attention especially on the following aspects, which reflect the point of view expressed by the Romanian delegation:

1. The “Declaration regarding the issues of strengthening security and developing peaceful collaboration in Europe” does not contain, as it was initially contemplated, formulations as regards the coordination of the foreign policy of the socialist countries. We make the observation that the stipulation in the final paragraph referring to common actions agreed upon is followed by the express mention that each of the participating states will further promote a policy of peace, détente, and broad international cooperation.

The document expresses with clarity the need to recognize the German DR on the basis of international law, and its participation on the basis of the equality of rights in the resolution of existing issues.

The need is underscored to strictly observe the known principles in the relationships between all the states.

The need is also highlighted of going on as soon as possible to the practical preparation of European Conference, and of acting effectively on that score. It is envisaged that this Conference should not be tied to any pre-established conditions.

The fact is mentioned that, at the conference, the position expressed in the Bucharest Declaration of 1966 regarding the issues of European security, détente, and disarmament was reaffirmed. (We restate that in the Bucharest Declaration the need to take steps to reduce military tension in Europe was emphasized, the radical way of doing this being the simultaneous abolition of the existing military alliances, as well as the importance of partial measures such as the removal of foreign military bases, the withdrawal of all [foreign] troops from the territories of other states, the creation of denuclearized zones, etc.).

2. In the “Declaration regarding the aggravation of the situation in Indo-china region”, solidarity is clearly reaffirmed with the just fight of the Vietnamese people against the imperialistic aggression of the USA, for the withdrawal of the USA troops and the troops of their allies, for the settlement of the conflict on the basis of the proposals formulated by the government of the Democratic Republic Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, and a strong stand was taken on the recent bombardments of the DR Vietnam territory.

At the proposal of the Romanian delegation, some improvements of sub-stance were made, among them the inclusion of the reference to Taiwan as a territory of the People's Republic of China, and the affirmation of the sacred right of peoples to decide on their destiny themselves, without any outside interference.

3. The document “Let us put an end to the imperialistic provocation against independent states in Africa”, through the agency of which a firm stand is taken against the recent action of the Portuguese colonialists against Guinea, was improved by including some references to the need for withdrawal of troops and the removal of the military bases of colonialism, and the affirmation of the peoples' right to self-determination.

4. A series of improvements were made to the initial draft of the document “For the instauration of a lasting peace and of security in the Middle East” in order to eliminate the unilateral character of the orientation which the draft expressed.

Thus, unlike the initial draft, references are made in the document to the policy of the ruling circles in Israel, which are not to be mistaken for the Israeli people, and the direction in which the efforts of the Arab countries towards a peaceful, evenhanded settlement are supported is precisely indicated. The document also contains provisions in concert with the stand consistently taken by our country: political settlement of the conflict by applying all the provisions in the Security Council's resolution of November, 1967; withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the occupied Arab territories; insurance of the right to exist freely and independently for all the states in the region.

We mention that a number of formulations could only be agreed upon after direct discussions between the heads of the Romanian and Soviet delegations (presentation of documents on behalf of the participating countries, not as an emanation from the Consultative Political Committee; improvement of the document on the situation in the Middle East; inclusion of a reference to Taiwan in the document on Indochina).

We mention as well that the Romanian delegation also put forward other suggestions on the improvement of the documents' content, but – at the request of the other participants, and taking into account the fact that for the main issues formulations were obtained in accordance with the stand of our party and state – they did not insist on them. These suggestions were made with a view to characterize the Pnom Penh administration as being a puppet régime and expressly back the [Norodom] Sihanouk government; the need to continue the efforts to ensure the re-establishment of China's legitimate rights with the UN; the withdrawal of American troops from [South] Korea; the affirmation of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian population, including the setting up of a national state; the union of the progressive forces in the Arab countries and their independent development, without any interference from outside.

III. The Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party has totally approved and highly appreciated the activity carried out at the Conference by the party and governmental delegation of Romania, headed by comrade Nicolae Ceausescu.

The proceedings of the Conference unfolded in a good, working atmosphere, and allowed the achievement of a useful exchange of opinions on the issues of common interest.

Though, just as in similar cases in the past, the organization of the Conference was rushed, without appropriate preparation, documents were however adopted which reflected the participating countries' desire to act towards the settlement of major international issues, in the interest of détente and collaboration in Europe and in the rest of the world.

On the occasion of the Berlin Conference, comrade Nicolae Ceausescu and the other members of our delegation had meetings and discussions with the party and state leaders from other participating countries, and exchanged opinions and information, thus contributing towards a better understanding and the development of mutual relationships.

IV. We ask you to organize the thorough study and familiarization, by all of the Romanian delegates, of the documents adopted at the Berlin Conference of the Consultative Political Committee of the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty, paying all your attention to the nuances the documents contain. More-over, the article “In the interest of détente, security, and collaboration in Europe and the rest of the world”, published by the “Scânteia” (”The Spark”) newspaper on 5 December this year is to be studied.

In discussions with the official persons and the diplomats from the socialist countries taking part in the Conference, satisfaction with the results of the Berlin Conference, and the appreciation contained in the communiqué – that is to say this conference proceeded in an atmosphere of friendship, fraternal collaboration, and complete understanding – will be expressed.

In the discussions with interlocutors from the other socialist countries, the characteristic aspects of the party's and government's position on the issues dealt with in the documents will be especially highlighted.

The discussions with other interlocutors will be held in light of the content of the communiqué and of the documents adopted, using the appreciations in the article published by the “Scânteia” newspaper, and insisting on the aspects of special interest for the discussion partners on the basis of the position consistently and actively promoted by Romania. The appreciations contained in comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's speeches and in other party and state documents relating to these issues will be used to a large extent.

In the discussions with representatives from European countries the need will be specially emphasized to intensify the efforts of all the states taking an interest in stepping up the convening of the European Conference; to the interlocutors from countries in the Middle East an exposé will be presented on our country's expressed position and the active support lent by Romania to the Arab countries with a view to solving the conflict, including the observance of the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian population.

We mention that the elements under points I and II are intended for the strict information of the Romanian diplomats and they will not (we repeat not) be used in discussions.

Send information operatively about the significant appreciations and commentaries relating to the Berlin Conference and the adopted documents.

George Macovescu