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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 22, 1989

JOHANN PLATTNER, AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'VISIT OF [MOCK] TO GREAT BRITAIN (19–21 DECEMBER 1989); MEETING OF ENVOY PLATTNER WITH DEPARTMENT HEAD SYNNOTT'

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    The report relays a meeting between Austrian and British foreign ministry officers concerning potential German reunification. It elaborates that both countries are concerned about reunification pushed for by protest movements and happening outside European peace negotiations - potentially compromising USSR Security.
    "Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Visit of [Mock] to Great Britain (19–21 December 1989); Meeting of Envoy Plattner with Department Head Synnott'," December 22, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BMEIA, Austrian Embassy Bonn RES-1990 (1–2), box 63, GZ. 518.02.25/11-II.1/89. Obtained and translated by Michael Gehler and Maximilian Graf. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165717
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165717

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Visit of [Mock] to Great Britain (19–21 December 1989); Meeting of Envoy Plattner with Department Head Synnott[1]

German Reunification

Mr. Synnott mentioned at the beginning that for weeks the majority of his time has been dedicated to the question of German reunification.

After the undersigned[2] had explained the Austrian position on this issue (self-determination for the Germans, unification would have to take place within the European peace process) Mr. Synnott expressed himself as follows:

The British stance corresponds broadly with the Austrian. The British side is worried that reunification could be carried out emotionally by the pressure from the street, without the West or the East being able to do anything about it and that and that, above all, the security interests of the Soviet Union are not being taken into consideration by means of an act. This could compromise the position of Gorbachev and the European peace process. The British are of the opinion that guarantees for the Oder-Neisse line should be made. The British government is holding itself back with criticism of Chancellor Kohl out of solidarity with the CDU, and leaves the criticism up to France and Holland.

[…][3]

Vienna, on 22 December 1989

Plattner m.p.

[1] Hilary Synnott, Head of Western Europe Department at the Foreign Office (1989–1991).

[2] Johann Plattner Head of the Department for Western and Northern Europe of the Political Section of the Austrian Foreign Ministry (1987–1993).

[3] Omitted were summaries on the CSCE, the European Political Cooperation and bilateral issues.