Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus



Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. J. Luns.


East-West relations - Current economic implications upon defence efforts - CSCE - MBFR - Vladivostok agreements - Berlin - Middle East Greek-Turkish relations- CCMS.

    The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Brussels on 12th and 13th December, 1974. At the close of the year which marked the 25th Anniversary of the Alliance, Ministers noted with satisfaction that member countries remain firmly committed to the Alliance and that this had found solemn expression in the Ottawa Declaration.

  1. Ministers reviewed developments in East-West relations. They noted the progress, albeit uneven, towards detente over the past six months. They stated their readiness to continue their efforts to make progress in their negotiations and exchanges with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries aimed at steady improvement in East-West relations. Noting, however, the increase in the military strength of the Warsaw Pact countries, and bearing in mind that security is the prerequisite for the policy of detente, they expressed their determination to maintain their own defensive military strength.

  2. Ministers had a broad discussion on the implications of the current economic situation for the maintenance of Alliance defence and noted the efforts made at both the national and international levels to overcome the difficulties confronting the economies of the Allied countries. They reaffirmed their determination to seek appropriate solutions in the spirit of co-operation and mutual confidence which characterizes their relations. Ministers decided to continue to consult on the repercussions of economic developments on areas within the direct sphere of competence of the Alliance.

  3. Ministers noted that at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe there had been enough progress to show that substantial results were possible. Nonetheless, important questions remain to be resolved. Ministers expressed the undiminished determination of their governments to work patiently and constructively towards balanced and substantial results under all the Agenda headings of the Conference, so as to bring about a satisfactory conclusion to the Conference as a whole as soon as may be possible.

  4. Ministers of the participating countries reviewed the state of the negotiations in Vienna on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions. These negotiations have as their general objective to contribute to a more stable relationship and to the strengthening of peace and security in Europe, and their success would advance detente. These Ministers were resolved to pursue these negotiations with a view to ensuring undiminished security for all parties, at a lower level of forces in Central Europe. They reaffirmed their commitment to the establishment of approximate parity in the form of an agreed common ceiling for the ground force manpower of NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the area of reductions. They considered that a first phase reduction agreement covering United States and Soviet ground forces would be an important and practical first step in this direction. They noted that the negotiations have, so far, not produced results and expressed the hope that a constructive response to the Allied proposals would soon be forthcoming. They reaffirmed the importance they attach to the principle to which they adhere in these negotiations that NATO forces should not be reduced except in the context of a Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction agreement with the East.

  5. Ministers heard a report from the United States Secretary of State on the continuing United States efforts towards the further limitation of strategic offensive arms in the light of President Ford's recent talks with Mr. Brezhnev. They noted with satisfaction the significant progress towards limitation of strategic nuclear weapons achieved in Vladivostok. They expressed the hope that this progress will lead to the early conclusion of a satisfactory SALT II agreement. They also expressed appreciation for continuing consultations within the Alliance with respect to the SALT negotiations.

  6. The Ministers reviewed the developments concerning Berlin and Germany which have taken place since their last meeting in June 1974, especially as regards the application of those provisions of the Quadripartite Agreement relating to the Western Sectors of Berlin. They considered, in particular, traffic and ties between the Western Sectors and the Federal Republic of Germany and the representation abroad of the interests of those sectors by the Federal Republic of Germany. They emphasized the importance to the viability and security of the city of all the provisions of the Quadripartite Agreement. The Ministers also emphasized that there is an essential connection between detente in Europe and the situation relating to Berlin.

  7. Ministers expressed their concern about the situation in the Middle East which could have dangerous consequences for world peace and thus for the security of the members of the Alliance. They reaffirmed the overriding importance they attach to fresh progress towards a just and lasting peace in this area. They likewise welcomed the contributions which Allied governments continue to make to United Nations peace-keeping activities. Ministers noted the Report on the Situation in the Mediterranean prepared by the Permanent Council on their instructions. They found the instability in the area disquieting, warranting special vigilance on the part of the Allies. They invited the Permanent Council to continue consultations on this subject and to report further.

  8. As regards Greek-Turkish relations, Ministers heard a report by the Secretary General under the terms of his Watching Brief established by the Ministerial Session of May 1964. They expressed the firm hope that relations between these two Allied countries would rapidly return to normal.

  9. Ministers noted the progress of the work of the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society, especially on solar and geothermal energy resources as well as on coastal water pollution, improved sewage disposal, urban transport and health care. Ministers also noted the start of projects on the disposal of hazardous wastes and action to follow up completed CCMS studies on the prevention of ocean oil spills, road safety improvement, cleaner air and purer river water, thus enhancing the quality of life for their citizens.

  10. The Ministers directed the Council in Permanent Session to consider and decide on the date and place of the Spring session of the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council.

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