The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Ottawa
on l8th and l 9th June, l974.
- In this the 25th anniversary year of the Alliance, Ministers
declared their countries' continuing dedication to the aims and
ideals of the North Atlantic Treaty. Ministers emphasized the
desirability of developing and deepening the application of the
principles of democracy, respect for human rights, justice and
social progress. Today in Ottawa Ministers adopted and published
a Declaration on Atlantic Relations. This important Declaration
reaffirms the commitment of all the members to the Alliance and
sets its future course in light of the new perspectives and
challenges of a rapidly changing world.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal gave a report on
developments in his country since the change of regime and on
the efforts of his Government to promote peace in Africa.
Ministers welcomed the evolution towards the establishment of
democratic and representative government in Portugal.
- Ministers reviewed the state of East-West relations. They
reaffirmed the determination of their governments patiently to
pursue policies aimed at reducing tensions and promoting greater
understanding and co-operation, not only between states but also
between people. But they recalled that real and lasting
improvement in East-West relations calls for a constructive
approach by all concerned. At the same time, in the face of
growing Soviet and Warsaw Pact military power and the risk of
renewed tensions the Allies must, through the Atlantic Alliance,
maintain their resolve and capacity to defend themselves.
- Ministers took note of recent developments in relations
between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German
Democratic Republic, including the exchange of permanent
representations between the two states in Germany. They
expressed the hope that relations between these states will be
further improved for the benefit of the German people.
- As regards Berlin, Ministers discussed the further experience
gained in the application of the Quadripartite Agreement of 3rd
September, 1971. In doing so, they stressed the essential
importance of the provisions of this Agreement which stipulate
that traffic between the Western sectors of Berlin and the
Federal Republic of Germany will be unimpeded. Ministers
reaffirmed their conviction that progress towards detente in
Europe is inseparably linked with the strict observance and full
application of the Berlin Agreement.
- Ministers reviewed developments in the Conference on Security
and Co-operation in Europe. They reaffirmed the importance they
attach to increasing security and confidence, to developing
further co-operation between the participating states in all
spheres and to lowering barriers between people. They noted that
in the second stage of the Conference, which should make a
thorough examination of all aspects of the Conference Agenda,
the work has advanced unevenly. Some progress had been made on
certain issues, but much work remains to be done, as for example
on such key questions as the improvement of human contacts and
the freer flow of information, as well as confidence building
measures and essential aspects of the principles guiding
relations between states. Ministers expressed their Governments'
determination to pursue the negotiations patiently and
constructively in a continuing search for balanced and
substantial results acceptable to all participating states. They
considered that, to bring the second stage to its conclusion,
these results need to be achieved in the various fields of the
program of work established by the Foreign Ministers at the
first stage of the Conference in Helsinki.
- Ministers reviewed developments in the Middle East since
their last meeting. They welcomed the recent progress achieved,
in particular the disengagement of Syrian and Israeli forces.
They affirmed the support of their Governments for the relevant
resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and for all
endeavors directed towards a just and lasting settlement
bringing peace to the area; they also welcomed the contributions
made by Allied governments to UN peace-keeping activities.
Ministers took note of the report by the Council in Permanent
Session on the situation in the Mediterranean prepared on their
instructions. They invited the Council in Permanent Session to
continue to keep the situation under review and to report
- Ministers representing countries which participate in NATO's
Integrated Defence Program reviewed the conduct of the
negotiations on mutual and balanced force reductions. These
Ministers continue to believe that mutual and balanced force
reductions achieved through Allied solidarity would contribute
to the lessening of tensions in Europe and to a more stable
peace. They expressed satisfaction at the results so far reached
in the continuing consultations in the Council in Permanent
Session on questions of objectives and policy. They instructed
the Council to continue this work.
- These Ministers noted that the current round of negotiations
is proceeding in a businesslike way. They expressed their
determination to persist in their efforts to bring the
negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion. They recalled that
the general objective of the negotiations is to contribute to a
more stable relationship at a lower level of forces with the
security of all parties undiminished. This objective should be
achieved by establishing approximate parity between the two
sides in the form of a common ceiling for overall ground force
manpower on each side in the area of reductions, taking into
account combat capability. These Ministers reiterated that a
first phase agreement providing for the reduction of United
States and Soviet ground forces would be an important initial
step forward towards that objective.
- In reaffirming their conviction that reductions of Allied
forces in Europe should take place only within the context of an
East-West agreement, these Ministers referred to the statements
contained in paragraph 4 of the Communiqué of the Defence Planning Committee in Ministerial Session issued on 14th June, 1974.
- Ministers expressed appreciation for continuing
consultations on developments with respect to the SALT
negotiations. They noted with satisfaction the efforts
undertaken by the United States towards limitations of strategic
arms and expressed the hope that these efforts would lead to
- The next Ministerial Session of the North Atlantic Council
will be held in Brussels in December 1974.