Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (Kohl angry at MT interview but welcomes her efforts to create a good climate between them) [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 Dr Teltschik was Helmut Kohl’s closest foreign policy adviser.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 320
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Thursday, 29 March 1990

In the evening, the Chancellor flies to the Königswinter Conference at Cambridge and the following twentieth German-British summit consultations. Margaret Thatcher greets him at the airport in Cambridge. At Kohl’s wish, they travel separately to St. Catherine's College. His anger about her remarks on German policy in the Der Spiegel this week has after-effects.

Together at the dinner on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Königswinter Conference, Margaret Thatcher in her after-dinner speech congratulates Helmut Kohl on his success in the first free elections in the GDR. In the very next sentence, she welcomes his resolute support for the membership of a united Germany in NATO and the continuance of the American troop-presence. The Chancellor has always been a convinced and reliable advocate of the Atlantic alliance.

Following on, she seeks above all to prove that Great Britain has done just as much for German unity as other countries. She has expressed her views about the consequences of unification for NATO and the EC, for the rights and responsibilities of the Four Powers, and for Germany's neighbours and their frontiers “sometimes all too bluntly ”. It comes as a great surprise to nobody that she is not always “the most skilful diplomat”. Who will contradict her? She stresses today very clearly the necessity of NATO and further adds that nuclear weapons of the NATO armed-forces must remain stationed in Germany. With this, she raises a subject that we would rather not discuss publicly and heightens the danger of the Soviet Union taking it up and demanding it as the price of unity.

All in all, however, she is clearly taking pains to create a friendly and good climate. The Chancellor goes directly to the point and declares that he naturally enjoys the friendly welcome “to the full”.