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Public Papers - 1990 - July

Statement on German Membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

1990-07-16

I welcome President Gorbachev's statement, at his press conference with Chancellor Kohl, accepting a united Germany's right to choose to remain a member of NATO. This comment demonstrates statesmanship and strengthens efforts to build enduring relationships based on cooperation. It can be seen as a response, perhaps in part, to the outcome of the NATO summit in London, where the alliance displayed its readiness to adapt to the new realities in Europe and reach out to former adversaries in the East.

Five months ago, in February, Chancellor Kohl and I agreed that a united Germany should remain a full member of the North Atlantic alliance, including its military structures. East German Prime Minister de Maiziere joins us in supporting continued German membership in NATO. The Helsinki Final Act guarantees Germany's right to make this choice. And we think this solution is in the best interests of all the countries of Europe, including the Soviet Union.

Note: The statement referred to Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, and Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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