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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990 - June

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere of the German Democratic Republic


The President met for approximately 2 hours today with Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere of the German Democratic Republic, first in the Cabinet Room and then at a working lunch in the Residence. It was the first meeting ever held between an American President and an East German Prime Minister.

The President expressed his admiration for Prime Minister de Maiziere's role in the GDR's democratic transformation and reiterated the goal the United States has long shared with the German people: German unity in peace and freedom.

The bulk of their discussion was on German unification. The President and Prime Minister de Maiziere agreed that a united Germany should enjoy full sovereignty from the time of unification, with no discriminatory constraints on its sovereignty, and that Germany should be free to choose its own alliance arrangements as stipulated in the Helsinki Final Act. They also discussed the future of Germany in NATO and agreed on the continuing vital role of the alliance and of U.S. forces stationed in Europe as guarantors of stability and security.

The President reviewed the results of the U.S.-Soviet summit and discussed Prime Minister de Maiziere's recent meetings with President Gorbachev at the Warsaw Pact meeting in Moscow. The President outlined his proposals for a transformed Atlantic alliance, further negotiations on conventional and nuclear forces, and a stronger role for the CSCE process. He and Prime Minister de Maiziere agreed that these steps were important to demonstrate to the Soviet Union that a united Germany in NATO is no threat to Soviet security.

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