and Balanced Force Reductions
- Meeting at Rome on 26th and 27th May, 1970, the Ministers
representing countries participating in NATO's Integrated
Defence Program recall and reaffirm the commitment of their
nations to pursue effective policies directed towards a greater
relaxation of tensions in their continuing search for a just
and durable peace. Thy recall, in particular, the invitations
they have previously addressed to the Soviet Union and other
countries of Eastern Europe to join them in discussing the
possibility of mutual and balanced force reductions.
- The objective of the work on which their representatives
have been engaged has been to prepare a realistic basis for
active explorations between the interested parties at an early
date and thereby to establish whether it could serve as a
starting point for fruitful negotiation. Such exploratory talks
would assist those concerned in developing in detail criteria
and objectives for substantive negotiations to follow at the
appropriate stage in a forum to be determined. They would also
provide tangible evidence of the readiness to build confidence
between East and West.
- Ministers invite interested states to hold exploratory talks
on mutual and balanced force reductions in Europe, with special
reference to the Central Region. They agree that in such talks
the Allies would put forward the following considerations:
- Mutual force reductions should be compatible with the vital
security interests of the Alliance and should not operate to
the military disadvantage of either side having regard for the
differences arising from geographical and other considerations.
- Reductions should be on a basis of reciprocity, and phased
and balanced as to their scope and timing.
- Reductions should include stationed and indigenous forces
and their weapons systems in the area concerned.
- There must be adequate verification and controls to ensure
the observance of agreements on mutual and balanced force
- As a first step Ministers requested the Foreign Minister of
Italy to transmit this Declaration on their behalf through
diplomatic channels to all other interested parties, including
neutral and nonaligned governments. They further agreed that in
the course of their normal bilateral and other contacts member
governments would seek to obtain the responses and reactions of
other governments. Members of the Alliance will consult further
regarding the outcome of their soundings with a view to
enabling the Alliance to determine what further individual or
joint exploration might be useful.