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1989 Nov 10 Fr
Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (Kohl phones Thatcher) [translation]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Horst Teltschik, 329 Tage: Innenansichten der Einigung [329 Days: Inside Views of the Unification] , Siedler Publishing 1991
Editorial comments: Translated specially for www.margaretthatcher.org. Dr Teltschik was Helmut Kohl’s closest foreign policy adviser.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 263
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Friday, 10 November 1989

When I enter the guest-house, Helmut Kohl has already decided: he wants to complete his programme in Warsaw by four o’clock this afternoon and fly back to Bonn at five o’clock. For tomorrow morning, he has called an extraordinary cabinet meeting. This very evening, or tomorrow morning at the latest, he wants to telephone George Bush, Fran?ois Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. It is clear to the Chancellor that, in this situation, he must agree very precisely with the Four Powers. That can only be organised from Bonn. Here in Warsaw all the important means of communication are lacking. Besides, no-one would understand if the German Chancellor did not return to Germany in this situation. ....

From the airport in haste to the Chancellor’s Office. The telephone conversation with Margaret Thatcher is already announced for ten o’clock. She has today declared in a press conference at the door of No.10 Downing Street: “This is a great day for freedom. Now the Berlin Wall must fall.” On the telephone, the Chancellor first asks the British Prime Minister about support for Poland, before he comes to speak of the events in Berlin. Margaret Thatcher lets Helmut Kohl explain what steps he wants to take next and propose a half-day special meeting of the twelve EC Heads of State and Government before the next meeting of the European Council, as closer contact and a more direct exchange of thoughts will now be indispensable. It is also important for her to learn whether the Federal Chancellor plans to talk to Mikhail Gorbachev.