Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (MT speech to NATO Summit in London) [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: 328
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Thursday, 5 July 1990

Beginning of the special NATO summit in London. After the usual photo-call for the 16 Heads of State and Government, NATO General-Secretary Manfred Wörner and Margaret Thatcher open the general meeting in Lancaster House in London. The British Prime Minister speaks in her welcoming address of a turning point in European history comparable to the year 1949. NATO has guaranteed peace in freedom and security for all these years. Now the chance has arisen to change the European architecture. ....

Margaret Thatcher speaks of great agreement with Wörner and Bush. All would recognise the significance of this NATO summit, which must send out signals. Thatcher analyzes the changes in Europe and the development in the Soviet Union. She does not want to be rated a cold warrior, but she remains very cautious. In an uncertain world, freedom must always be defended, so the nuclear deterrent remains necessary.

She also opines that a united Germany must remain a member of NATO: Germany is the navel of NATO. Equally, the American presence in Germany, both conventional and nuclear, must survive. This applies also to the allied troops in Germany. One should not talk about what to give up through disarmament, but rather about what should remain. NATO cannot renounce first use, because that would heighten the danger of war. This applies also to the reduction of nuclear systems. When one speaks of them as the last resort, that is ambiguous and confusing. The substrategic nuclear systems fulfil an important function, as expressed in the total concept. NATO should concentrate on reductions in troop-strengths. That must proceed however in a co-ordinated fashion. She emphasises that NATO must stay at the forefront of technical development, which is why SDI cannot be given up.

Finally, she maintains that NATO has to move with the times and build up its contacts with east, as well as preparing a joint declaration, which should not, however, be described as a non-aggression pact.