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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 18, 1984


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation, Carnegie Corporation

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    On the eve of the trip of American Secretary of State George Shultz to Brazil, the American officer responsible for the Brazilian desk at the Department of State conveys to the Argentine Embassy in Washington that the United States would appreciate an initiative toward the implementation of a system of mutual inspections or a joint declaration in which both countries would renounce the development of a nuclear device, the same two points proposed by American Congressman Paul Finley in 1977.
    "Note, Argentine Ambassador Garcia del Solar to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, on US Secretary of State George Shultz's Visit to Brazil," January 18, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMRECIC. Obtained and translated by Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
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From: Argentine Embassy in Washington

To: Argentine Foreign Ministry

January 18, 1984

Referring to the visit of the Secretary of State George Shultz, which will take place soon in Brazil (5/6 February), the US State Department official in charge of Brazilian affairs made the following comments to this embassy:

1. Importance of agreements reached by bilateral working groups (which will be reflected in the respective reports). [He] also cited intrinsic importance [of] understandings which constitute significant progress in bilateral relations, where the good will and interest of both President Figueiredo and Reagan have been of utmost importance.

2. From a particular standpoint, he said, further progress [in Brazil-US relations] was noted in military cooperation—contrary to original expectations which were not optimistic about Brazil's level of interest—while in space and scientific and technological cooperation (mainly in the energy field) there is sufficient groundwork to pursue cooperation between the two countries. Regarding economic issues, he said that possible conclusions resulting from the working group will have no impact, because it is a matter of concern on a multilateral level.

3. He stressed that the working group on industrial cooperation allowed reconstructing and strengthening military ties between their armed forces, which has allowed - for example - military exchange visits, noting that the US Navy chief of staff will travel soon to Brazil.

However, [he] dismissed the idea that these positive developments between Brazil and United States will result in military strategic agreements, indicating that neither Brazilians nor Americans want to engage in this field. He also suggested that there is nothing real about US cooperation in the Trindad Island naval base, considering that this is an old speculation from the press (in earlier discussions with other state department officials they were not aware what its purpose was).

4. In nuclear matters, the official observed that the state of the US-Brazilian relationship is similar to its relationship with Argentina. He said that significant improvement could be achieved with both countries if they were to make a public statement declaring that neither country would manufacture a nuclear explosive device, noting that this would also present an important “moral argument” which would influence nuclear powers. [He] also considered that a positive step [taken in this field which would be] welcomed by Brazil and the United States, regardless of the adherence of the Tlatelolco regime, [is] if Argentina and Brazil agree to a mechanism for mutual inspections of [their] nuclear facilities. On the other hand, [he] emphasized that progress between US, Argentina and Brazil in the nuclear field could be attained if both countries didn´t think that this resulted from US pressure.

5. Regarding everything stated above, an American expert on Brazil consulted by this embassy noted that working groups would have worked more in line with US expectations if [the] attitude [of] Brazilian diplomats had not been directed in order to keep their Foreign Ministry with every control as possible on bilateral relations at the expense of public and private sectors´ interest, as well as the military sector, under the predicament that in such way Brazil would preserve a greater deal of independence regarding the United States. Nevertheless, the analyst stated that the tendency moves towards a Brazilian-American rapprochement. [He also] confirmed that bilateral military channels are functioning actively.

García del solar


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