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Statement by Assistant Secretary of State Eagleburger Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
U.S. Policy Towards Europe
On the Importance of the Federal Republic of Germany in United States Foreign Policy
June 2, 1981 Heading

Federal Republic of Germany.
The Federal Republic of Germany (F.R.G.) is a key factor in all aspects of U.S. policy toward Europe. The just-concluded visit of Federal Chancellor Schmidt marked the culmination of a series of high-level contacts here and in Bonn which have established a sound foundation for cooperation between the Reagan Administration and the Federal Republic in the difficult times ahead. This visit demonstrated a high degree of commonality in the basic objectives and policies of the two countries. In view of the crucial importance of the F.R.G. in our security posture in Europe, in relations with the U.S.S.R., and in problems beyond Europe, we were gratified to confirm that we have this broad area of agreement with the Federal Republic.

The Federal Republic is inevitably on the front line in meeting the challenge posed by the Soviet Union. Through its performance over the last 15 years, its leadership role in implementing the dual NATO decision on TNF, and its large and growing contribution to the common defense, the Federal Republic has demonstrated the ability and the will, together with the United States and its other allies, to meet this challenge.

The Chancellor's visit also made clear that the U-S.-German relationship - including its political, military, and economic aspects - has reached a level of maturity at which we can achieve consensus despite differences due to history, geography, and differing roles in the world. We have developed means for dealing with the inevitable points of difference frankly and expeditiously, and in a manner which minimizes the impact of these minor frictions on the overall relationship.

U.S. policy in Berlin continues to be to maintain allied rights and responsibilities for the city as a whole and to insure four-power compliance with the terms and the spirit of the Quadripartite Agreement of 1971. We can thus best defend Berlin against any Soviet or German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) threat to its security, whether that threat is directly against the city's four- power status, rights of land and air access, or the city's developing ties to the F.R.G. Our policy of maintaining the four-power commitments helps provide the calm atmosphere Berlin needs in which to develop and prosper.

Our priorities are to encourage continued Soviet commitment to the four-power regime (done recently, for example, by the conclusion of a four-power agreement in railway tariffs) and to encourage the development of Berlin's economic, cultural, and political ties with the F.R.G. and the West. The major potential problem is how to keep Berlin isolated from increasing East-West tensions created by the Soviet armaments buildup, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the situation in Poland.

Source: Department of State Bulletin, August 1981. P. 68

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Updated: September 2002