Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (Kohl-MT talks at No.10) [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: 186
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Friday, 30 March 1990

In the morning, the Federal Chancellor and the Prime Minister meet for a one-to-one conversation in No.10 Downing Street. It immediately concentrates on the question of the NATO membership of a unified Germany. Margaret Thatcher proposes working out various options even before Bush's meeting with Gorbachev. The alliance must be united on this question. Kohl emphasises that he is not prepared to pay any price for the unity of Germany, especially not that of neutrality.

The following press conference and the luncheon together confirm that these consultations have clearly improved the climate. “Margaret is a wonderful woman,” asserts Helmut Kohl before the British television cameras. As always, she was an impressive and stimulating, if also difficult, partner in talks. Margaret Thatcher knows what she wants, holds to her positions fearlessly, and shows little consideration for the possible sensitivities of her interlocutor. She has great knowledge of detail at her disposal, is mostly very well prepared, inquires precisely, listens carefully to her partners in talks, and responds concretely to them. The famous saying applies to her: England knows neither friends nor enemies, England knows only its interests.