Moscow, April 1 1963.
You should meet with R. Kennedy and, referring to your last conversations with him on [date left blank] give voice to the following considerations:
"First. In past conversations we have spoken in a fairly detailed manner about the situation around Cuba. As we understand from statements coming from Washington, President Kennedy is convinced that implementation of the agreement reached during resolution of the Caribbean crisis is the course to be followed. We accord statements such as this an appropriate degree of respect, especially when they express the opinion of the President. For my part, I can confirm that N.S. Khrushchev is also convinced that this course is correct.
It would of course be good if we could bring our discussions on the Cuban question to an end by means of an exchange of mutual assurances. But it seems that the time for that has not yet arrived--neither of us can say that everything here has turned out well. I would like to add, so to speak in hot pursuit of this theme, a few words about recent incidents along the Cuban coast--attacks on Cuban ports by armed vessels of emigrant Cuban riff-raff and gunfire from these vessels aimed at the Soviet merchant ships L'gov and Baku.
The Soviet Government has already expressed in diplomatic notes its views on these piratic attacks. It is nevertheless appropriate to dwell on this question in our present discussion, for, as we both know, contacts through confidential channels played a significant role in the resolution of certain aspects of the Caribbean crisis.
First of all, one cannot fail to note that the continuing armed attacks on the Cuban coast could not have taken place, and this is clear to everyone, unless they had been encouraged in the USA.
It is true that it can be said that the Government of the United States does not approve of such actions and that they take place almost without its knowledge. I thus expect that you will now refer to statements by the Department of State in this regard. We are of course already aware of them. But what is the primary idea behind these statements? Apparently that the USA is against 'brief attacks on Cuba' because they are said to be 'ineffective.' Those who have read these documents could interpret them to mean that if the attacks on Cuba were more solidly prepared and more 'effective,' that would not be at all bad.
We also cannot fail to point out that all statements and explanations made by representatives of the Government of the United States after the attacks on our ships and on the Cuban ports contain efforts to deny U.S. responsibility for these criminal attacks.
Allow me to say to you, however, that the U.S. cannot evade this responsibility. The whole world knows that the bases of the Cuban emigrant counter-revolutionaries are in Florida and Puerto Rico, and that, as before, the Central Intelligence Agency provides sustenance and all their needs to these renegades. The political ground for these bandit-like strikes is prepared by calls similar to those that rang out, in particular, during a parade by traitors to the Cuban people last December in Miami. The attacks on the Soviet vessels L'gov and Baku have revealed, more than anything else in the recent past, the grave danger these policies pose for world peace.
As one who is embroiled on a daily basis with the political life of the American capital, I cannot overlook an obvious fact. When the State Department issued its statement on March 19,/2/ the leaders of the Cuban counter-revolutionaries held a press conference, here in Washington, in which they boasted about having carried out armed raids on the Cuban coast and their objective as having been the killing of Soviet military personnel. As far as we are aware, you, as Attorney General, have responsibility for the investigation of the circumstances surrounding this matter. It is to be hoped that as a result those guilty will receive due punishment in order to discourage others who might plot new and dangerous adventures.
It is perhaps not superfluous to remind you that even during the most difficult moments of the crisis around Cuba there were no shots fired on Soviet vessels, for everyone understood well where that could take the world. One should think that that understanding is not lost on today as well.
Of course, the Soviet Government and N. S. Khrushchev personally have taken note of the joint statement by the Departments of State and Justice on March 30 concerning several measures in regard to Cuban emigrants. If these measures are in fact aimed at putting an end to the bandit-like provocations of these dangerous adventurists, then that will deserve a positive evaluation. The future will show if that is the case and if these measures are those that should be carried out to prevent new tensions in the Caribbean.
In our previous discussions you touched on several aspects of the Cuban question which you said complicated the President's situation in light of the approaching election campaign. You know that we take into account, to the degree we can, the President's situation, and in a number of instances we have accommodated his wishes. The Soviet Government not only faithfully and strictly is carrying out the agreement on the Caribbean crisis, but has undertaken steps which go even further than required by the responsibilities it has assumed. You yourself noted that the Government of the U.S. understands that the Soviet Government is acting in a spirit of good will in matters which have been agreed with the U.S. or about which the U.S. has been informed.
But it is necessary to emphasize that pressure and threats are not appropriate means with which to achieve any result; they produce only a counterreaction. Take only the following question: we are removing our military personnel from Cuba, in considerable numbers, but we are doing that not because the U.S. is exerting pressure on us but rather because we consider for our troops to remain in Cuba would not be to put them to effective use. We have removed several times more people than the figures bandied about in the U.S. press. We have not given you a specific number, for if we had done so, you would have immediately presented that as our giving you an accounting. You would have blared out through all channels that you had forced us to do so. We respond adversely to such methods, which you have tried to use in similar circumstances. We reject them.
To be frank, as we are as a matter of principle in these confidential contacts, it seems somewhat one-sided when the problems and difficulties the President encounters in carrying out his policy toward Cuba are blamed on the Soviet Union or on the Republic of Cuba. But in fact the roots of these problems, as we have repeatedly emphasized, lie elsewhere--in a policy which announces that its objective is to remove, by any means necessary, overt or covert, the new social structure which has established itself in Cuba, although the right to establish order in one's own home belongs only to the people of that nation and to no one else.
On the one hand, we hear assurances that the President of the U.S. intends to uphold the agreement reached during resolution of the crisis in the Caribbean, and that despite pressures on him to do so he will not allow himself to be pushed onto the dangerous road of possible military confrontation with the Soviet Union. On the other, in addition to the continuing attacks on the Cuban coast I already mentioned, measures are being taken to suffocate the economy of Cuba, break off its commercial trade, and erect some sort of police line around Cuba that would fence Cuba off from the other countries of the western hemisphere.
I will try to explain our understanding of why the President is experiencing the difficulties you mentioned by use of the following example. When we shot down the U-2 piloted by the airman Powers, then-President Eisenhower experienced substantial difficulties both domestically and in the international arena. And what was the primary cause of Eisenhower's 'difficulties'? If he had not dispatched American aircraft on spy flights over the territory of a sovereign nation--in this instance the Soviet Union--he would have been spared the 'difficulties' of that time.
If I speak now of these quite sensitive issues, I do so only because you yourself introduced them. Of course, I will not debate with you, by dint of your position the top lawyer in the U.S., matters of flexibility or precision in statements of this nature. What I wish to do is to emphasize a fairly simple idea, that the truest path to ensuring that no 'complications' arise in connection with Cuba is strict and conscientious implementation of the United Nations Charter; that is, carrying out a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other states and respect for their sovereignty and independence.
It is indeed in strict implementation by our Governments of the Charter of the U.N. as well as of the additional obligations we assumed during resolution of the crisis in the Caribbean that lies a good opportunity, in our view, to create conditions, day by day and step by step, for a strengthening of trust and mutual understanding between the Soviet Government and the Government of the U.S., and personally between N.S. Khrushchev and President J. Kennedy, the necessity of which you, as a person close to the President, have often discussed in our meetings.
Second. In our previous discussions we did not avoid, as you will remember, the issue of a ban on nuclear weapon tests. This problem, it is true, occupies the minds not only of government officials but also that of the common man; for even if the latter is far from the making of policy, he is nevertheless concerned about the air he breathes and that his children and grandchildren will have to breathe.
Your comments that the President sincerely wants an agreement banning nuclear tests, and that he has children whom he loves, were transmitted, as you asked, to N.S. Khrushchev. I can say in reply that N.S. Khrushchev fully understands motives of a purely personal nature, which, naturally, should strengthen the resolve of every government official to do everything possible to end test explosions of atom and hydrogen bombs. As you of course know, N.S. Khrushchev has children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, and personal motives are no less close to his heart.
You have said that President Kennedy considers, in principle, that a treaty banning nuclear tests is a very important step toward normalization of the international situation and bettering relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S. You know that the Soviet Government and personally N.S. Khrushchev share this view. It followed from what you have said that the President is ready to use all his authority in the country to achieve ratification of such a treaty, and that it would be more convenient for the President were the treaty considered by the present session of Congress.
Such an effort would of course meet a most positive response from us. We in fact propose such an approach, which would make it possible to bring negotiations on a cessation of nuclear tests to a rapid conclusion.
You must understand us and our position. We understand your position well. N.S. Khrushchev asked me to tell you that. Throughout the world, many people, and especially those who are professionally involved in nuclear weapons and their testing, know that national means are adequate to confirm that any nuclear explosion has taken place. And that has been proven in practice; whenever explosions have taken place in the Soviet Union you registered that fact and immediately made it public. We ascertain when you or other countries carry out explosions. One therefore asks, why is it not possible to come to an agreement banning all nuclear tests and to sign a corresponding treaty?
You explain this as caused by the internal conditions and specific problems existing in your country. We increasingly have to listen to you say that a treaty banning nuclear tests is facing an almost impassable barrier in the U.S. Senate if we do not make further concessions to the United States. You essentially put the problem that way in your statements. But is it not too much to expect from the Soviet Union that it agree to adjust its positions in the nuclear test ban negotiations in April to suit the bad mood of a Senator from Connecticut and in May that of a Senator from Arizona? We have in that way already conceded a great deal to the U.S. on verification of a test ban, taking into account the President's comments that were passed to us confidentially. But you must understand that in international negotiations it is states that participate, not individuals whose views for some reason may differ from the point of view of the participating governments. If governments are not able to raise themselves above narrow group interests expressed by unreasonable politicians within their own country, then they have totally deprived themselves of any chance of concluding international agreements, the usefulness of which they seem to recognize.
An analysis of the specific problems you mention shows that they are nothing more than two parties competing for the White House who are arguing whether to poison the air by nuclear explosions or not to poison it. And you want us to help one of the contesting sides, and to do so by making concessions. But why should we reward you for signing a test ban which, it would seem, should be in the interests of both sides equally, by allowing you, at the expense of Soviet interests, to engage in espionage on Soviet territory?
How are we to understand this, Mr. Kennedy? What kind of partnership is that? You want us to help you in this matter. Well, what if we do not do so, what harm will come to the Soviet Union if we reach no agreement? No more than to the U.S. If we conceded this to you we would in reality gain nothing, only lose. You would gain that which we lost, in addition to the opportunity to carry out espionage on the territory of the USSR, and plus the moral satisfaction of knowing that you pressured us from a position of strength and forced us to make further concessions.
Understand us, we cannot do that. We have already agreed to a minimum, and that in fact is not a minimum but rather a substantial maximum--2-3 inspections. And that, of course, we could not agree to interpret in such a manner that under the guise of these 2-3 inspections intelligence information-gathering could be carried out all over the territory of the Soviet Union, above ground and underground, in and on water, and by aerial observation to boot. These activities are not at all made necessary by the requirements for inspections. No, these demands are dictated by completely different intentions--the same ones that governed President Kennedy's predecessor, Eisenhower, when he demanded the right to flights around the borders of the Soviet Union and to send U-2 spy planes into our air space.
What kind of policy is that? The Soviet Union, after all, is no weaker than you, and U.S. Government officials have more than once in their statements recognized that we are equally powerful. But if you consider the Soviet Union an equal, then why carry out such a policy, why make such demands on us? Such demands can only be made by the strong from the weak, based not on right, but on force.
And the time has also passed when colonial powers could, using force, seize colonies. The colonial powers are still more powerful than the countries over whom they once held sway, but, as a result of changing conditions in the world--and they themselves would have to admit this--they have had to leave them while in one piece, because if they had not they would have left them not in the best of health.
Examples of this were demonstrated in Vietnam, and in Algeria. Now the struggle is being joined in other countries, particularly in the Indonesian region. One can point out many such examples which have shown that the departure of the colonial powers was not voluntary, but rather was made to avoid a kick in a certain area.
And you wish to talk to us in this manner and pressure us to make concessions that do not correspond to the balance of forces between us, to the present times nor to the position we occupy in the world. How is it possible to expect that we would agree to your demands? We cannot agree to them.
You said that your brother does not want to go down in history as a second Wilson if the Senate does not ratify a treaty banning nuclear tests, basing its action on the number of inspections the Soviet Union has offered. Neither do we wish for J. Kennedy to become a second Wilson, and we are exercising maximum good will in the matter of a test ban. We sincerely wish that your brother enter history as the President of the United States of America who was able to place above all else the need for statesmanlike wisdom, and as the government official who, together with N.S. Khrushchev, wrote his name in the great book of peace.
If the President in fact wants to do something useful and establish a claim for his presidency to be noted by history, he will have to work against aggressive circles within the country, against all who urge irrational and aggressive policies. We are convinced that all people of sound mind in America want to live, to raise their children, and want good for themselves and their children, just as you contend do you and the President. Why then do you think that the American people will not support such healthy undertakings against that Rockefeller? The people can only gain from this, for that bunch of shameless people, or as you call them, crazies, is a small group, and in their overwhelming majority Americans are a healthy people that want to live, and can live for their children in the world together with other peoples. Why does the President not want to take advantage of this opportunity?
You in fact are moving the opposite way, trying to get from us even more significant concessions. You want us with our own concessions to satisfy Rockefeller and the other crazies who carry out a frantic and aggressive propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union. Understand us, we cannot do that, and N.S. Khrushchev asks that you pass that message to the President.
Can you, are you ready to move on a sound, equitable basis toward conclusion of a treaty, taking into account the concessions we have already made, though they were not required and had as their sole objective making it easier for the President to move the treaty through Congress? That was a sacrifice by our side, and we cannot, I repeat, do more.
The test ban treaty may or may not be signed. Whether or not really is of no significance to limitation of the arms race, for enough test explosions have already been carried out to perfect nuclear weapons. And as far as the future is concerned, new tests will add nothing, or almost nothing. But you should be clear on what will happen if there is no test ban agreement. You are now carrying out nuclear weapons tests at your test ranges in Nevada even after we have finished our series of nuclear explosions. And now the roar of a nuclear explosion has been heard in the Sahara. It is true, as they say, that in recent times dissimilarities in the architectural styles of the Elysee Palace and the White House have become more noticeable, but fact remains fact; France is your ally, and she is exploding her own nuclear devices. So, if there is no agreement and NATO countries continue testing, and if under these circumstances our scientists and military find it necessary to put the question of carrying out new tests in the Soviet Union before the Soviet Government, they of course will have to be allowed to do so.
It is clear that any new nuclear tests harm the people living on this earth. But what can we do? It is not our fault. Responsibility for that rests on your government. The fate of the agreement banning nuclear weapon tests rests today in the hands of the U.S. Government. What turn further negotiations now take depends on it, and on no one else: will they be swept away by a new wave of nuclear test explosions or crowned by the conclusion of a treaty the people have long waited for.
Third. I would like to touch on a question at this point that has already been the subject of a confidential exchange of opinion between N.S. Khrushchev and the President, and which in light of latest events is worthy of further attention. I refer to various plans for creating nuclear forces within the NATO framework which would include also states that at present do not have nuclear weapons.
We remember the explanations which were passed to us unofficially in the name of the President after his meeting in Nassau with Prime Minister Macmillan. The President assured us that his main concern in deciding the Polaris transfer was to prevent, or at least delay, the development of national nuclear forces. It was also emphasized that practical implementation of this plan lay far in the future, and that it was necessary to win time for further efforts in the disarmament area.
We immediately gave our views on the Nassau agreement. As you know, President Kennedy was informed that N.S. Khrushchev considered this agreement as yet another effort in the implementation of plans for nuclear weapons--weapons, mind you, when peoples expect from their governments and statesmen efforts in quite the opposite direction--to destroy national military machines and all means of killing people.
Events since Nassau have not only not lessened the accuracy of this evaluation but on the contrary have brought new confirmation of the danger these plans pose to peace. Whatever label is pasted on these planned nuclear forces of NATO--'multilateral' or 'multinational', or both at the same time--the fact of the matter does not change. Whether the USA wants that to be the case or not, that is the nature of any plans that allow the 'unconsecrated' to get their hands on nuclear weapons; their implementation prepares the ground for other NATO members, and especially West German revanchists, to break their way into the nuclear club. That is not only our opinion. Many people in other countries share that view. Even, apparently, some statesmen in NATO states themselves are not spared these concerns.
If only one country strays from the path along which the nuclear powers have traveled, and in one manner or another provides nuclear weapons to any one of its allies, then the nuclear arms race will embrace new countries and regions in a powerful surge, and it will be difficult to say where it will stop.
The West is now doing its calculations on how many additional fingers can be on nuclear weapon launch buttons, and at the same time is trying to prove that the risk of outbreak of a nuclear war will not increase. But arithmetic here can deceive. The danger of unleashing a thermonuclear war will steadily rise, and it will rise not just in proportion to the additional fingers on the launch triggers; it will be multiplied many times over by a thirst for revenge and perhaps by irresponsibility on the part of someone.
We would like to trust the statements of U.S. Government leaders that proliferation of nuclear weapons is not in U.S. interests. But they are difficult to reconcile with the fact that emissaries of the U.S. Government are now traveling from one NATO capital to another strongly promoting plans to create a NATO nuclear force.
You have said that the U.S. Government is fulfilling its promise to withdraw missiles from Turkey and Italy and that that would be completed during the first half of April. We of course greet liquidation of these bases. But put yourself in our place, and you will understand that from the standpoint of the security of the Soviet Union this is not liquidation of missile bases, but rather exchanging old weapons for more advanced. In place of having missiles aimed at us from land we will now have missiles of the latest model aimed at us from the seas that wash the shores of that land. That is how it will be if the Mediterranean, as is now being planned, is filled with nuclear submarines and surface vessels, armed with 'Polaris' missiles and cruising along the coasts of Italy and Turkey.
Fourth. Khrushchev asked that the President be informed that he is now becoming skeptical that any reasonable agreement can be reached with the United States. During resolution of the crisis in the Caribbean, N.S. Khrushchev in an exchange with President Kennedy, expressed the view--and the President shared his hope--that after the crisis was over efforts would be continued to resolve issues that are key to a liquidation of tension in the world and normalization of relations between our governments. But as soon as that crisis was over the President apparently forgot what he wanted, and now the United States, in the person of the President, is beginning, judging by all evidence, to test our resistance and to put pressure on us. We indignantly reject such policies. For this reason, we do not want to hear discussions about our having troops where it would be better if we did not have them, and we reject, with considerable displeasure, any claims of that sort. Our opportunities in the world should be equal to yours.
Why are your troops scattered throughout the world and you regard that as your right and obligation? Why do you consider that locating one country's military instructors in another country is a violation of international norms? On what right does that understanding turn? In any case not on the UN Charter, and not on international law.
If you want really good relations--and we want that very much--then let us proceed from the assumption, as N.S. Khrushchev told the President in Vienna, that our states are equally powerful and that we should have the same opportunities.
We long ago proposed and continue to propose that all troops be withdrawn from foreign territories to within their own borders. We propose that we conclude an agreement on that basis. We would greet such an agreement, and then we would have no troops or instructors beyond our own borders. Now, when we sell or transfer armaments, we also send troops to give instruction on how to handle these weapons. But we are ready to agree even not to do that if you take upon yourself a similar obligation.
In a word, do not try to pressure us or urge us to do anything that you yourselves do not do, because that insults us. We are very sensitive about such matters.
We have frequently heard judgments that we should not leave surface-to-air missiles in Cuba, for the Cubans may shoot down an American intelligence-gathering aircraft and then something untoward will happen. Tell the President that if that occurs, then the improbable will have occurred. You want us to understand your pressuring us to allow you to penetrate Cuban air space with your intelligence-gathering aircraft, but we react to this with indignation, for you are violating elementary norms of international relations and the UN Charter. You want us to recognize your right to violate that Charter and international norms, but we cannot do that. We can only confirm to you that we are carrying out the obligations and assurances we undertook before, and gave to, the Cuban Government that in the case of an attack on Cuba we would support her with the means at our disposal. It can be no other way. You yourselves are forcing us to make that statement, and we would rather not make it, because it will not make normalization of our relations easier. We would like to improve them, make them good. But that depends on you.
Do not try to force us to accept your policies, for that will produce a counterreaction--that is, you will receive the same in reply.
The most reasonable thing for the President to do--and N.S. Khrushchev would like the President to consider this if he really wants to benefit mankind--is to stop flights over Cuban territory before the Cubans shoot down an aircraft, for if they continue they will surely do so. If the President wants a crisis, and has in mind using the downing of an American intelligence aircraft as an excuse for an attack on Cuba, then that course of events is apparently unavoidable, for the present situation regarding the flights cannot continue.
N.S. Khrushchev does not believe it is in the interests of the United States to carry out a policy that may return us to a crisis we have already once survived. But if a new crisis is unleashed it may be impossible this time to reach the reasonable resolution that we found then, for the basis on which the agreement was reached last year has been shaken. All this has to be taken into account.
And we are not even addressing the question, a minor one for us from the material standpoint but one of great significance as a matter of principle in international relations, of pressure by the United States on its allies in regard to trade with the Soviet Union. Your representative in NATO insists that sale of steel pipe to the Soviet Union be halted. Is that important for the Soviet Union? Not at all. And what did you get for your efforts? Only West Germany obeyed you, and that only because you support their position in the German question, particularly in regard to West Berlin. But for that reason only. Not selling us pipe is not in their interest. It is no accident that even your own allies did not support you. You pressured them to ignore their own interests, knowing that it was advantageous for them to trade with us.
Even your allies do not understand your policies. Where is good will, where are good relations or any indication of a reasonable approach to righting relations between our states? We do not see them.
If you really want to improve relations, we are ready. Let us sign a treaty banning nuclear weapon tests on the basis of findings approved and confirmed by scientists free from outside pressure.
Let us at long last finally liquidate the remains of World War II, resolve the issue of a German peace treaty, and on that basis normalize the situation in West Berlin. We do not expect any acquisitions as a result, and no harm will come to you. The situation in West Berlin should be normalized by recognizing existing circumstances--and nothing more. We do not even demand withdrawal of foreign troops, but want only that their presence be on another basis, that the troops be of a different composition and that they be under the UN flag.
However, you do not want to do this, even though you lose nothing and we gain nothing. But if we could conclude such an agreement it would have a big payoff--the whole world would gain, and better conditions would be created for disarmament negotiations. After all, without resolution of the German question--you know this yourself, and I ask you to pass this to the President from N.S. Khrushchev--no reasonable resolution to the problem of disarmament will be found. As long as remnants of World War II are preserved that constantly remind us of their presence, we and you will have to pay for our military forces and increase our ability to destroy each other. How, under such circumstances, can we reach an agreement on disarmament? An agreement on disarmament must be based above all on trust.
And what kind of trust can there be when McNamara and Malinovsky take turns speaking, each time annihilating each other? Why do that? Malinovsky has no choice, because McNamara speaks, and not only McNamara. You have now alot of these orators, the so-called specialists in military affairs. We have to reply, but who stands to gain? The militarists and monopolists making millions on the production of armaments. Only they stand to gain.
But if you do not now understand that all of this must be brought to an end, well, then we will continue to live this way. Of course, no good agreement will be reached in such a situation. One side cannot produce that which depends on two.
In Vienna we were told that the President had just come into the White House. A year has passed, two--and now you say that the election campaign has begun. So, the first two years, the President was a newcomer in the White House, learning the ropes, and the next two years are devoted to preparation for new elections. So it turns out that in the first two years the President cannot decide key, vitally important questions and in the following two years he cannot decide them because he might otherwise, we are told, lose the election campaign.
This is a tragedy, but it is the essence of capitalism, of a classical capitalist contradiction. And it is America that appears to us as the glaring example, in our Marxist understanding of things. We do not force this understanding on you; we simply express it.
But we take into account the times in which we live, and understand what the situation now is. One will have to live in this manner until better times come, and we are certain that better times will come, and then we will have mutual understanding.
Fifth. In a recent conversation you touched on the possibility of a meeting between Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR N.S. Khrushchev and President Kennedy. Our point of view regarding the significance of summit meetings is well known. The Soviet Government is a convinced advocate of those methods of carrying out foreign policy that promise the best results in resolving current problems. And reason demands that these problems, some of which you mentioned last time, be resolved at the negotiating table.
As before, we proceed from the assumption that such meetings can be useful if both sides are equally interested in a positive result. We do not believe that one can somehow separate the interest of the two sides in such a meeting, suggesting that, for example, the U.S. is less interested in it than the Soviet Union, or vice versa. And therefore it would seem inappropriate for either side to put forward any considerations which could be construed as preconditions for such a meeting. Interest in such a meeting can only be shared and inseparable, of course, if both sides actually strive to unite their forces in the interest of strengthening peace.
We for quite some time now have not given answers to questions which have remained open during the course of our discussions, and have ourselves not taken initiative in our confidential messages to the President, because American actions are already causing us to lose confidence in the usefulness of this channel. We wanted you to know that. If, nevertheless, we again decide to turn to this opportunity for confidential transmission of our ideas to the President, we will do so in the hope that it will result in better understanding by the President of the position of the Soviet Union and its leader, N.S. Khrushchev."
Decide for yourself, taking into account the actual situation in which your discussion with R. Kennedy is to take place, how best to carry out this conversation: whether to make the statement all at once or do it part by part. In either case you should leave a copy of the text with R. Kennedy.
Confirm delivery by telegram.
Grand Marshal of the 62nd German-American Steuben Parade: Mrs. Emily Margarethe Haber, German Ambassador to the United States
The German-American Steuben Parade Committee of NY is proud to announce that Mrs. Emily Margarethe Haber, German Ambassador to the United States, has been named Grand Marshal of the 62nd Annual German-American Steuben Parade! Immediately prior to being named German Ambassador to the US in June of 2018, Haber, a career foreign service officer, was deployed to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, serving as State Secretary overseeing security and migration at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe. In this capacity, she worked closely with the US administration on topics ranging from the fight against international terrorism to global cyberattacks and cybersecurity. In 2009, she was appointed Political Director and, in 2011, State Secretary at the Foreign Office, the first woman to hold either post. Earlier in her career, she served at the German Embassy in Ankara in Berlin, she has served as Deputy Head of the Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division, as Director of the OSCE Division, and as Deputy Director-General for the Western Balkans. Emily Haber has extensive knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia, having worked both in the Soviet Union Division at the German Foreign Office and, on various occasions, at the German Embassy in Moscow, where she served as Head of the Economic Affairs Section and Head of the Political Affairs Department. Emily Haber attended schools in New Delhi, Bonn, Paris, Brussels, Washington, and Athens. From 1975 to 1980, she studied history and ethnology in Cologne, earning her PhD with a dissertation on German foreign policy during the Morocco crisis on the eve of World War I. Emily Haber is married to Hansjörg Haber. The couple has two sons.
The German-American Steuben Parade is held every year on the third Saturday of September. This year, the Parade will be held on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, from 68 th to 86 th Streets. The Parade honors the many contributions of America’s largest ethnic group: German-Americans.
Comments from previous Grand Marshals:
Contessa Brewer, CNBC Correspondent – “Participating in the German-American Steuben Parade as a Grand Marshal has been one of the highlights of my time in New York. It was such an honor and a pleasure to join in the celebration of all the ways German immigrants have contributed to the success of the United States and all the ways we enjoy the influence of German culture.”
John Muller, Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor of PIX11 News – “What an honor! My great grandfather must have been smiling from above. He left Germany as a tailor for the Prussian Army, before that he was a simple shepherd. Here I am…Grand Marshal! Marching up Fifth Avenue!
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Journalist, Television Personality and Talk Show Host – “Congratulations to a wonderful organization I have been very pleased to be associated with. Alles Gute!”
Message From the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Soviet Ambassador to the United States (Dobrynin) - History
The Secretary welcomed Ministers Sharaf and Ibrahim.
The Secretary proposed first a review of the situation in South Lebanon, which he noted has been a matter of great concern to the United States during the last several days. We have been troubled by the way [Page 571] the situation has developed and have been in constant touch with all the parties to solve it. As of this morning, the Secretary said, he was hopeful that there would be an early cease-fire, perhaps as early as tomorrow morning. It was essential to get a cease-fire and essential that Israeli forces in South Lebanon withdraw. The Secretary repeated that he was hopeful that there would be a cease-fire within 24 hours. He asked Mr. Habib to give further details.
Mr. Habib said that following the Shtaura Agreement the Israeli position was that the Palestinians should withdraw north of the Lithani, which was much further than the 10 kilometers specified in the agreement. The Lebanese could not negotiate that with the PLO it was too much for them. At this point the Christian militia took advantage of a tactical situation and grabbed a hill overlooking the Palestinian positions. For this they had Israeli support. The Palestinians responded and reenforced their positions, but it was difficult for them to do so because of Israeli artillery fire. Fighting developed and there was a danger that the Shtaura Agreement would collapse. If it did the result would be that there would be no cease-fire and that Lebanese sovereignty in the South would not be restored. Mr. Habib said that at this point we began working to get Israeli withdrawal and agreement on a cease-fire that nobody would take advantage of. Mr. Habib said that in our conversations with the Lebanese we have urged them to put their force into the south as soon as possible. General Khoury , the Lebanese Army Commander, has been in Washington and we have been talking with him about this. He says he hopes to have his forces in the south within 10 days.
The Secretary asked how many men would be in the Lebanese brigade that is to be sent into the south. Mr. Habib said about 1,000. The Secretary noted that originally there had been talk of three battalions, i.e., about 1,500 men. Mr. Habib said General Khoury has more men planned but now the figure is about 1,000. The other problem, Mr. Habib said, is that there has to be restraint on the problem of retribution. The Lebanese Government really is not happy with the leaders of the militia in the south, but the Israelis feel an obligation to them. The Lebanese will have to be cautious in dealing with them.
Minister Sharaf expressed appreciation for the briefing on Lebanon and for the helpful actions that the United States has been taking in Lebanon. He noted that General Khoury has also been to Jordan to seek military assistance. Mr. Habib said General Khoury came to the United States to expedite the shipment of arms, and we have assured him we will do everything we can. The Defense Department will meet Lebanon’s needs in the most rapid ways possible.
The Secretary suggested moving on now to review the talks with Dayan and Fahmy . Minister Sharaf said that before we turn to this he [Page 572] would like to convey a brief message from His Majesty King Hussein . His Majesty very much appreciated the Secretary’s invitation and sent the Secretary and the President his best regards and best wishes for success in their efforts in the foreign and domestic fields. His Majesty very much admires the way the President is handling these problems and is very pleased over the mutual confidence and sincerity that exists in relations between Jordan and the United States.
The Secretary expressed appreciation for the Minister’s kind words and said we are very pleased to have the opportunity to sit down with the Minister and share our thoughts on how to solve these problems of mutual interest. The Secretary said he would convey to the President His Majesty’s good words. The President was looking forward to meeting the Minister next week.
The Secretary said that the meetings so far have been a start. They have been useful. We still have a long way to go but at least the two meetings so far have been of a constructive nature and the parties have indicated some flexibility. The Secretary said that in the meeting with Dayan we went over the various aspects of the settlement issue, both substantive and procedural. Dayan stressed that everything was negotiable. We explored each issue in detail with them, but Dayan repeatedly assured that everything was negotiable. The Secretary said that Israel had prepared a draft of a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. 2 He handed a copy to Sharaf , saying he felt that Jordan should have a copy of it. The Secretary said this is the only treaty the Israelis have prepared. The Minister would see that it goes into great detail and covers navigation, trade, and particularly the nature of peace. It is less precise, however, on the territorial issue. The Secretary said we had probed on this issue in our discussions with the Israelis. Their position basically is that territorial issues are for a negotiation at Geneva. At Geneva they will discuss each territorial issue with each of the parties. They foresee a series of bilateral treaties between themselves and each state, with Egypt on Sinai and with Syria on Golan. The West Bank is more complicated, the Secretary said, but primarily the Israelis expected to negotiate on it with Jordan. They propose to deal with the security issue through buffer zones, limited armament zones, and demilitarized zones.
The Secretary said the Israeli treaty does not cover guarantees. However, the question of guarantees did come up in the discussions with Dayan . The Secretary said that in his judgment the question of guarantees would be a very important aspect of the treaties. The current Israeli position is that they do not believe outside guarantees are [Page 573] necessary they say they can take care of themselves. However, the Secretary said he believed that in fact their position was different and that the question of U.S. guarantees of a peace treaty would be extremely important. The Secretary added that the Israelis said they would go along with the idea of UN forces in buffer zones, but the UN forces would be observers rather than peace keeping forces in large numbers.
The Secretary said that on the West Bank we made clear that our position is that it is occupied territory to which the withdrawal provisions of 242 apply. Dayan said the Israeli position is that there should be no foreign sovereignty over the West Bank. They do not suggest that they want to annex the West Bank, but they do not want anybody else to have sovereignty there. We probed him on the question of functional partition of the West Bank how they see the administration working. The Israelis said there are two ways of dealing with the West Bank problem, either by negotiations with Jordan or by negotiations with the West Bank leaders, for example, the mayors. The Israelis have not gone into this problem in detail with us, but they assured us they would do so before Geneva. The Secretary said the Israelis seem to be saying that they believe that day-to-day administration of the West Bank could be turned over to someone other than Israel, for example services could be administered by West Bankers, or by Jordan. The Israelis do not have to play a major role. They could make available medical or other services if the West Bankers wanted, but the West Bankers could also set up their own services if they so desired. On the military question, the Secretary said, the Israelis foresee a limited need for outposts but they stress that these would not affect the daily life of the West Bankers. On the other hand, the Secretary continued, the Israelis say the eastern border should be the Jordan River, so there are some inconsistencies. We will explore this more in depth with the Israelis in the meeting next week in New York, the Secretary said.
The Secretary felt the Israelis do not rule out a solution where there is someone other than Israel sovereign in the West Bank, but they hope that it is far off. Eventually, this has to happen, but their position is let’s not talk about when, but about how the area should be administered in the meantime. The Secretary turned to Mr. Habib and Mr. Atherton and asked for comments. Mr. Atherton pointed out that the Israelis had said that the Jordan should be their security border, not their international border. The Secretary agreed.
The Secretary said that Golan basically poses the same issues between Syria and Israel as Sinai does between Israel and Egypt. However, there is a difference in terrain and the size of the area, and the Israelis maintain that any withdrawal there would have to be small because of the nature of the terrain.
The Secretary said we came down very hard on the Israelis on the issue of settlements in the occupied territories. We restated our position regarding the illegality of settlements and stressed the importance of this issue and the fact that settlements create obstacles to peace. We told the Israelis that this question is of utmost concern to us and the Arab countries.
The Secretary said that on Palestinian representation the position stated by Dayan was that the issue should be dealt with through a Jordanian delegation containing Palestinians. We also discussed with Dayan the possibility of a unified Arab delegation comprising the confrontation states and Palestinians. As we expected, the Israelis were against this, but Dayan said he would raise the question with Prime Minister Begin . The Secretary said he did not know what decision the Israelis have reached on this. He thought we should keep in mind both possibilities, i.e., a unified Arab delegation or separate delegations. The Israelis believe there should be a plenary session in Geneva which should then break up into bilateral working groups. Negotiation of the West Bank issue would depend on how the Palestinian representation question is resolved in the calling of the conference, and whether West Bank mayors are included in the delegation.
The Secretary said he would mention only briefly the talks with Fahmy since Egyptian positions are well-known to the Jordanians. Egypt wants a return to the 1967 borders, a Palestinian entity, and some form of self-determination for the Palestinians. Regarding the nature of peace, their position continues to vary from time to time, but they still see normalization taking place over a long period. They feel very strongly that the peace treaty should take effect only when the last Israeli soldier has withdrawn from occupied territory. On Palestinian representation, the Egyptians would accept a PLO delegation if the problem could be resolved that way. They would still agree to an Arab League delegation to represent the Palestinians. They would also consider a united Arab delegation, but they don’t think that is the best solution.
The Secretary said it is his judgment that if all of the Arab states decided in favor of a united Arab delegation, Egypt would accept that. Egypt would also accept Palestinians in a Jordanian delegation.
The Secretary said Fahmy felt it is important to convene Geneva before the end of the year and told us that Egypt would do all in its power to bring this about. The Secretary then asked Minister Sharaf if he had questions.
Minister Sharaf said that the Israelis speak of a security border on the Jordan. Did they also speak of a political or legal border. The Secretary replied that they had not, and he pointed out that Dayan had said that everything was subject to negotiation, including the West Bank. [Page 575] Sharaf asked if it was correct that the Israelis planned to continue establishing settlements on the West Bank. The Secretary replied affirmatively. The Secretary said we told the Israelis they were wrong in doing this. They have taken note of our deep concern, but have refused to commit themselves to refrain from establishing additional settlements. Sharaf asked if he understood correctly that the Israelis are ready for more withdrawal from Sinai and from Golan and the West Bank. The Secretary said yes. The Secretary asked for Sharaf ’s thoughts on the Palestinian representation question. Sharaf said that Jordan’s position all along was that the rights of the Palestinians are more important than the question of their representation at Geneva.
Sharaf said Jordan is for an Arab United Delegation and had been an early supporter of this idea. The Jordanians had tried to convince their Arab partners that this was the best way. The Syrians support the idea of a united Arab delegation but the Egyptians are hesitant, although Sadat seems more flexible on it than Fahmy . Sharaf said that Jordan sees two ways of solving the Palestinian representation problem: either the PLO is invited, or there is a united Arab delegation including the PLO . Sharaf was doubtful that the PLO would accept 242 or the limited role we envisage for it at Geneva unless the Arabs, including the Saudis, make a major effort with it on the basis of a strong U.S. commitment to work at Geneva for Palestinian self-determination and the right to a homeland.
Sharaf said that while in the past the Jordanians had proposed the presence at Geneva of the PLO in any way agreed, he wanted to make a “radical suggestion” for a breakthrough on this issue. This was that the U.S. make a strenuous effort and take a strong stand on Palestinian determination, declaring publicly the right of all Palestinians to self-determination. Sharaf said that if the U.S. were to do this, the question of PLO representation would be of diminished importance and there might be less requirement for Palestinian representation at Geneva.
Sharaf said Jordan is open-minded about the ways of handling the Palestinian representation problem: it would accept a united Arab delegation, an Arab League Delegation, or a Palestinian delegation. But, he emphasized, Jordan cannot agree to the PLO being represented in a Jordanian delegation. The reason, he said, is that legally Jordan does not represent Gaza or all the Palestinians. In an ultimate settlement, Jordan cannot determine the fate of the Palestinians. Sharaf said also that having the PLO in a Jordanian delegation would in fact legalize the PLO presence in Jordan. Mr. Quandt asked if there were a united Arab delegation with some Palestinians in it, would Jordan object to the Jordanian and Palestinian delegations negotiating on the future of the West Bank. The Palestinians would not be members of the Jordanian [Page 576] delegation but they would negotiate together with Jordan regarding the West Bank.
Sharaf said Jordan proposes a functional division for the negotiations. He foresaw three functional groups: (1) a group for withdrawal and borders (2) a group for peace and guarantees, and (3) a group for the Palestinian problem. All the parties would be represented on all these groups. Sharaf said Jordan felt this would be the best thing to do whether or not there is a united Arab delegation. Sharaf then turned to Mr. Quandt and said that he could answer Mr. Quandt ’s question in this way: Jordan would not object to cooperation with PLO representatives in the negotiations, but, as he had said before, the Palestinians could not be part of the Jordanian delegation.
The Secretary said he wanted to ask a question about the Jordanian position on functional division of the negotiations. Was it realistic to expect to be able to make progress in negotiating territorial issues with such large groups? For example, on Sinai, does it make sense to have all the parties discuss Rafah and Sharm el-Sheikh? Sharaf said Jordan’s concern is to maintain Arab unity. A functional division for negotiations may not be the most practical thing in all instances. But, he added, of course there is no need to force all the parties to attend a discussion of the details of a Sinai agreement, for example. However, the Palestinian question would have to be discussed by the overall delegation. Sharaf repeated that on the territorial question there would be no need for everybody to attend the specific negotiations. Ambassador Pickering asked if it would be convenient to have a group to work on Sinai and Golan that could report to the whole delegation. Sharaf said Jordan would be open-minded on this. Mr. Habib said the important thing is whether the Israeli-Egyptian border would be discussed only between Israel and Egypt or with others. The Secretary pointed out that Egyptians do not want others involved in their negotiations. Mr. Habib noted that the Israelis feel very strongly about this. Sharaf repeated that Jordan will be open-minded on this but it does want to maintain the principle of Arab unity. For example, the question of Gaza and other Palestinian questions must be dealt with by all the Arabs at Geneva. Lebanon, for example, will want to have as much a say as Jordan. However, if Egypt and Syria want to handle their territorial issues bilaterally Jordan would be open-minded on this.
Mr. Habib said he thought Minister Sharaf had provided the answer to this problem. For certain issues, the Arab delegation would meet as a whole, and for others, there would be sub-committees. The Secretary pointed out that the Syrians may not be as flexible on this as the Jordanians. Sharaf replied that the Jordanians have always been more flexible than the Syrians. Mr. Habib pointed out that the Israelis have to be taken into consideration too. They will not want to deal with [Page 577] all the Arabs on all issues. Sharaf repeated that it was important to maintain Arab unity on major issues. He added that he thought it would even be preferable from Israel’s point of view for the Arabs to maintain their unity, since it would make it easier for them to make commitments and keep them, particularly commitments on peace.
The Secretary said that our view is that there should be a unified Arab delegation to handle the procedural problem. On the substan-tive issues, we believe there should be a Palestinian entity, self-determination, a transitional period, and a mechanism for administration during the transitional period. The Secretary said he wanted to talk in more detail about this. Our position as he had just described it was known to the Arab states but we have not stated it publicly in a comprehensive manner up to now. So far we have spoken only of a Palestinian entity and self-determination. At an appropriate time, we will be ready to state publicly the other elements of our position, the Secretary said, but that time is not yet at hand. Mr. Habib pointed out that the Secretary had talked about all these elements of our position in background discussions with newspapermen. Sharaf said that it was unfortunate that the Arab public did not know what our full position is.
Sharaf said that on the question of the link between Jordan and the Palestinian entity, Jordan believes in the principle of unity, continuity and very close relations between Palestinians and Jordan. It believes that the Palestinians should make a conscious choice regarding the type of relationship they want with Jordan. If they want their own state, that will be fine with Jordan. If they want unity between the West Bank and Jordan, that will also be fine. But it has to be a conscious act. No outcome should be imposed on the Palestinians. That is our position, Sharaf said.
The Secretary said he thought it would be best if we could agree on a solution for Arab representation at Geneva. His view was that the united Arab delegation is the solution. He asked if Sharaf agreed. Sharaf said yes. The Secretary said the President will want to discuss this with Sharaf . The Secretary said we should now concentrate on getting general agreement on a united Arab delegation. On the delegation’s composition, one way to resolve the Palestinian representation issue would be to have Palestinian mayors and other persons whose credentials would not be examined by the Israelis. They could also be PLO but not so well-known as to make it an issue. The Secretary said he thought the PLO should be able to go along with this. PLO leaders could be present in Geneva (but not at the conference) to give instructions to their people. The Secretary said his point was that the Palestinian delegation should have less well-known PLO members on it but it should be broader than just the PLO . There should be other Palestinians as well.
Sharaf said one difficulty is that there was no flexibility on the part of the PLO . They want some form of recognition and will demand it. They will want to appoint their people for Geneva. Sharaf said he did not see how this problem could be overcome. The Secretary said he realizes there is a problem, but we must find a way to deal with it or a way around it. Mr. Habib said we didn’t have to accept that the entire Palestinian group be PLO . He pointed out that Israel would not accept this. Sharaf said that at some point it would be good if the U.S. could talk with the PLO about this problem. The Secretary agreed but pointed out that so far the PLO had been unwilling to take the necessary steps to make it possible for us to talk to them. Sharaf said he could understand the PLO ’s dilemma. What do they get in return for recognizing Israel? Would they get a U.S. guarantee of a homeland? The Secretary replied that we cannot give them a guarantee of a homeland but we can at some point make a statement regarding a homeland and self-determination. The Secretary asked if such a statement would solve the problem. Sharaf said he thought it would be helpful to focus more on the broad question of a Palestinian settlement than on the specific one of the PLO representation problem. The Palestinians support the PLO when they have no option, but when they know they have other options, they will be more reasonable. Sharaf suggested that if the Palestinians know that they can get a reasonable settlement for themselves without the PLO , they will force the PLO to change its position or they will abandon it.
The Secretary said suppose we say publicly that the Palestinian question must be on the agenda at Geneva and that this means the question of establishing a Palestinian entity through self-determination is to be an issue for negotiation at Geneva. Would that reassure the Palestinians and make them more flexible? Sharaf reported that it would certainly generate pressures on the PLO . Ibrahim commented that it would make a big difference over a period of time. Mr. Habib remarked that we do not have years we are talking about weeks. Sharaf responded that Palestinian opinion cannot be changed overnight, but if there were a U.S. position taking into account the right of the Palestinians, this would force the PLO to become more moderate and help the PLO moderates. Ambassador Salah said that if the Palestinians feel the PLO is standing in the way of a breakthrough which would bring about Israeli withdrawal, the PLO would lose popularity and strength.
Mr. Quandt asked if there were agreement on a united Arab delegation, could Egypt, Jordan and Syria work together to select Palestinians for a united Arab delegation? Ibrahim said no, they would ask the PLO to designate the representatives. Mr. Quandt said that this is what we fear, but was there any possibility of controlling the composition of the Palestinian group. Sharaf indicated that we might be able to [Page 579] get agreement on a Palestinian delegation that would not be entirely PLO . Sharaf repeated that if the U.S. would make public statements reassuring the Palestinians in regard to a homeland and self-determination, this would put pressure on the PLO and encourage Palestinian moderates. Nonetheless, Sharaf said, we shouldn’t minimize the technical problem in this regard. He noted that Jordan does not recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians. It believes that there must be self-determination and a vote. It is important, Sharaf said, that the PLO should know that it will not be able to get power automatically, but that the Palestinians are going to be able to determine their own future.
At this point the Secretary suggested the group adjourn for lunch.
The conversation resumed at the luncheon table. Sharaf asked about the Secretary’s talks with the Soviets. 3 The Secretary said that on the nature of peace the Soviets agree that there must be normal relations. They believe there must be a Palestinian state and that it should have whatever affiliation it wants with its neighbors. They do not oppose the principle of self-determination. They feel that Geneva must be convened before the end of the year and will work with us for that. The Secretary added that the Soviets agree with us on the question of Israeli settlements in the occupied areas. Sharaf asked about SALT . The Secretary said we made some headway on this and narrowed the differences. We will continue working on it.
The Secretary said he had some questions on the Jordanian paper. 4 He commented that the paper was very useful and a positive contribution.
Sharaf said he first would like to comment on another point. Dayan had suggested that it was essential that the West Bank be under Israeli sovereignty. Mr. Habib interjected that the Israelis had not used the word sovereignty they spoke of presence or control. Then under Israeli control, Sharaf continued. Jordan is opposed to this idea because it is clear that the Israelis will never leave the West Bank and Gaza. Jordan does not want to be a party to Dayan ’s proposal because it [Page 580] would amount to helping Israel achieve its goal of staying in the West Bank. What they are doing, Sharaf said, is trying to empty the West Bank. People on the West Bank are becoming increasingly restless. If they see there is no solution, they will move away. They will come to Jordan, since they have Jordanian nationality. Sharaf said that when the Israelis say everything is open to negotiations, what they mean, at least in regard to the West Bank, is that they will talk about it but not give in. The Secretary said he agreed that this may be true of some issues but he felt that on many of the issues Dayan would be prepared to negotiate seriously. Whether or not that would be the case for the West Bank is hard to answer. But on many issues, he felt that Dayan would press for flexibility.
Turning again to the Jordanian paper, the Secretary asked if it were realistic for the Jordanians to say that the minor territorial adjustments should each be on the basis of reciprocity. Sharaf said there need not be reciprocity in every instance but there should be an overall balance. The Secretary asked how the refugees would exercise their choice between repatriation and compensation and how Jordan would define who are refugees. Sharaf said the refugees have been defined by the UN . They are people who carry refugee cards and receive a ration. Ambassador Pickering pointed out that in Jordan refugees are defined as people who left Palestine in 1948. People who left in 1967 are displaced persons. Ibrahim commented that the term refugee is a well defined one. Sharaf noted that Ibrahim is well qualified to speak on this subject, since he is Minister of Refugees. Sharaf said refugees are persons defined by the UN as such. He reiterated that the Jordanian proposal would give the refugees of 1948 a choice between repatriation and compensation. If they chose compensation, they would become citizens of the new entity and participate in self-determination and elections.
The Secretary turned to Mr. Atherton and asked him to get for him the UN resolutions defining refugees.
The Secretary asked who would have the responsibility for compensation. Would it be Israel, or would an international fund have to be created? Mr. Habib pointed out that the Israelis will raise counterclaims for Jews displaced from Arab countries and for their property. Sharaf replied that Israel has already agreed to the principle of compensation. He added that the Arabs are ready to offer all Jews the right to return to the countries of their origin. Ambassador Salah stressed the need for foreign assistance to help build up the economy of the West Bank and Gaza, so that returnees can be integrated.
Sharaf stressed that it is important that the Palestinians be given the chance to express their desires. That is why Jordan has proposed a plebiscite and two options: a demilitarized independent state, or a link with Jordan. It is necessary to make these options clear, Sharaf said. The [Page 581] Secretary asked who would determine whether those would be the only two options in the plebiscite. Wouldn’t this be negotiated by the parties at Geneva? Sharaf said these are Jordan’s preferences for the options. There are of course “hundreds of other options.” The Secretary asked if the Syrians would not insist that the people of the Palestinian entity be able to opt for a federation with Syria and Jordan. Sharaf said this is a possibility Jordan would consider it. Mr. Quandt made the point that the Israelis would not want to withdraw without knowing the nature of the entity that would come into existence on the West Bank. Sharaf said the Arabs would find it very difficult to accept the idea of Israel’s remaining on the West Bank while the plebiscite was going on. Mr. Atherton noted that the Jordanian proposal talks about a package deal. Sharaf confirmed this and said he couldn’t imagine a settlement that did not include all elements, Sinai, Golan and the Palestinians.
The Secretary asked if it is really practical to think of having the UN as the administering authority during the transitional period. Wouldn’t it be more practical to have a state like Jordan administering the West Bank? Or the U.S., Sharaf rejoined. The Secretary said he really couldn’t imagine Israel accepting the UN as an interim administrator. Mr. Habib asked if the Jordanians could contemplate the idea of joint Israeli-Jordanian administration during this period. Sharaf said it would be very difficult to accept this idea or to get agreement on it. After a moment’s reflection, however, he added that everything depends on the atmosphere. If a new atmosphere develops during the talks, the idea might be possible. But at this stage, Sharaf said, it will not pass. Sharaf added that the tendency now among the Arabs would be to call for either the UN or the Arab League to administer the West Bank during the transitional period. The Secretary asked how efficient the Arab League would be. Could they do the job? Ambassador Pickering said he had never heard anyone speak enthusiastically about the Arab League. Sharaf indicated that he did not want to state an opinion on this. During the ensuing discussion it was suggested that there might be a joint Israel-Jordan administration in fact without its being labelled as such.
The Secretary had noted that the Jordanian paper says East Jerusalem should be under Arab sovereignty. Does this mean that it would be part of the Palestinian entity? Sharaf said yes. The Jordanians used the word Arab sovereignty because they didn’t want to specify what kind of an entity there would be. The Secretary noted that there was still a problem on the Arab side regarding normal relations with Israel. Sharaf responded that, as King Hussein had told President Carter , the main problem is that the Arab countries have not thought about this very much. Mr. Atherton pointed out that the Arabs react against the [Page 582] idea. The Secretary noted that the Jordanian paper had used the words “peace documents,” not peace treaty. The Secretary said we thought the Jordanians were agreed on the term peace treaty. Sharaf replied that words are not important and noted that in translation from Arabic, a peace treaty and peace agreement were often used interchangeably. The important point, Sharaf said, is that the Arabs have agreed to make an agreement directly with Israel. The first time they accepted this idea was in 1971 during the Jarring Mission. Before that, they had thought of making agreement only with the Security Council.
The Secretary said he gathered Jordan has no problems about others guaranteeing the borders agreed upon by the parties. Sharaf said that in principle that is correct. The Secretary said his guess is that when we come down to it Israel may want there to be a separate bilateral agreement between itself and the U.S. guaranteeing the new borders. The Secretary said the Israelis have not suggested this, but he foresees it as a possibility. Sharaf replied that Senator Fulbright had proposed that the U.S. guarantee Israel’s pre-1967 War borders.
The Secretary asked about the local civil service and police on the West Bank. Sharaf said that all these services, i.e., health, administration, public works and education exist on the West Bank. Some are functioning now and others could easily be reactivated. The Secretary said he gathered the Jordanians really didn’t think there would be a major problem in establishing the structure necessary to administer the West Bank following Israeli withdrawal. Ibrahim replied, “None at all.” Mr. Quandt observed that the West Bank can run itself. Mr. Habib remarked that is also Dayan ’s point the West Bank can run itself.
The Secretary said he would have to excuse himself to go to the airport he was already late. He said he looked forward to seeing the Minister on September 28 during his meeting with the President.
Madeleine Albright connection
As of November 2020, Linda Thomas-Greenfield is on leave from a senior vice president position at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
Headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the Albright Stonebridge Group has extensive ties to China. [v] The group employs more than a dozen Chinese nationals in senior positions, mainly through its offices in Washington DC Shanghai and Beijing.
The Albright Stonebridge Group‘s Leadership Team includes Principal Jin Ligang, who formerly served as China’s Ministry of Commerce as Deputy Director, Director, and Deputy Director General. While at the Ministry of Commerce, he was part of the Chinese delegation for talks on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization and was directly involved in a series of bilateral talks including U.S.-China market access consultations, IPR discussions, and GATT negotiations. [vi]
Mr. Jin is a member of the Chinese Communist Party. [vii]
Other prominent Chinese nationals on the Albright Stonebridge payroll include:
Dai Yunlou is a Senior Advisor at ASG. From 2000 to 2010, Mr. Dai served as the Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to the United States. Previously, he served as Deputy Director General of the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as the First Secretary of the Economic and Commercial Affairs Office at the Embassy. [viii]
Harry Hu is a Director in ASG’s China practice, where he advises clients on policy and regulatory issues.
Prior to joining ASG, Mr. Hu spent nearly ten years working at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), a high-profile research institute and think tank affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).. [ix]
Jia Mingru is a Senior Advisor at ASG, where he advises clients on intellectual property and regulatory issues.
Previously, Mr. Jia held several senior positions in the Chinese government, including as Assistant Minister of Culture and Director General at the State Council Legislative Affairs Office. Mr. Jia served as a Chinese representative in U.S.-China Intellectual Property Rights negotiations. [x]
Mu Lan is a Senior Advisor at ASG, where she works to expand relationships with local governments, institutions, and Chinese state-owned-enterprises. From 2001 to 2012, Ms. Mu served as Chief Representative in China for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. She also held multiple leadership roles in the Council of American States in China (CASIC), including the organization’s Executive Secretary. Prior to her career with the Port Authority, Mu Lan worked as Deputy Director of the Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, an organization dedicated to cultural exchange between China and other countries. [xi]
Giving their influential backgrounds most of the Albright Stonebridge Group‘ Chinese personnel are probably Chinese Communist Party members or at least subject to party discipline.
Other concerning Albright Stonebridge Group personnel include:
Yevgeny Zvedre is a Moscow based Senior Advisor of ASG. Mr. Zvedre spent more than 35 years serving in Soviet and Russian diplomatic services, both in embassies abroad and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Zvedre served as Science and Technology Attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, D.C. and as Head of Office at the North America Department and at the Department for International Cooperation in Science and Technology of the Foreign Ministry. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was involved in the disarmament negotiations for START 1 and ABM Treaty compliance. [xii]
Joschka Fischer is a Senior Strategic Counsel at ASG, where he advises clients on issues relating to Germany and the European Union from his Berlin office. Mr. Fischer served as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1998 to 2005. He is also currently Managing Partner of Joschka Fischer and Company, a global strategy firm. [xiii]
As a young man Mr. Fisher studied the works of Marx, Mao and Hegel and became a member of the militant group, Revolutionarer Kampf (Revolutionary Struggle). Fischer was a leader in several street battles involving the radical Putzgruppe (literally “cleaning squad”, with the first syllable being an acronym for Proletarische Union fur Terror und Zerstorung, “Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction”), which attacked a number of police officers. [xiv]
Carol Browner is Senior Counselor in the Sustainability practice at ASG,
Ms. Browner served as Assistant to President Obama and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, where she oversaw the coordination of environmental, energy, climate, transport, and related policy across the U.S. federal government [xv]
From December 8-12, 2013, the pro-Havana Center for Democracy in the Americas DA organized and led a delegation to Cuba for Carol Browner. [xvi]
CDA gave Caro Browner and award at their 8 th Anniversary the following June. [xvii]
Until late 2008 Browner was a member of Socialist International‘s Commission for a Sustainable World Society.
According to the Washington Times:
“Until last week, Carol M. Browner, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick as global warming czar, was listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for “global governance” and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change”. [xviii]
At the time the Socialist International included many “former” communist parties on its membership roster, including the Socialist Party of Albania, Angola’s MPLA, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Mongolian People’s Party, Mozambique’s FRELIMO, Namibia’s SWAPO, Poland’s Democratic Left Alliance, and the communist controlled African national Congress.
Even the terrorist Palestine FATAH was a full Socialist International member [xix]
The Chinese Communist Party was listed as a “guest” at the XXIV Congress of the Socialist International, Cape Town, 30 August-01 September 2012. [xx]
Incidentally, Madeleine Albright also chairs the board of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, which is listed as an Associated Organization of the Socialist International. [xxi]
U.S. Relations With Turkmenistan
The United States established diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan in 1992 following its independence from the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan occupies a critical geographic juncture, sharing long borders with Afghanistan and Iran, and acts as a transportation, humanitarian, and economic link to Afghanistan and the South Asian subcontinent, advancing regional stability. Turkmenistan is a closed society with an authoritarian political system and centralized economy. Turkmenistan’s energy resources hold the potential to alleviate regional energy bottlenecks and improve Turkmen society, if developed with diverse export routes and in accordance with international transparency and anticorruption norms for the extractives industry. Progress toward reforms has been sporadic, and improvements will require significant time, effort, and resources.
The Government of Turkmenistan engages with the United States in many areas, including cooperation in border and regional security programs, educational and cultural exchanges, and English-language training. The government’s overall human rights record remains poor, including re-designation in 2020 as a Country of Particular Concern for its restrictions on religious freedom and re-designation as a Tier 3 country in the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.
U.S. Assistance to Turkmenistan
U.S. foreign assistance objectives include strengthening Turkmenistan’s capacity to manage its international borders and cooperate on regional security issues, encouraging the Government of Turkmenistan to loosen restrictions on civil society, increasing access to quality higher education and health, and promoting private sector development and economic reforms.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Turkmenistan’s vast natural gas and oil resources continue to attract foreign companies to explore doing business in the country, but the Government of Turkmenistan has yet to implement reforms needed to create an inviting business climate, such as allowing onshore natural gas production-sharing agreements, where foreign investment and foreign investors are truly welcomed. Turkmenistan has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the United States and other Central Asian countries establishing a regional forum to discuss ways to improve investment climates and expand trade within Central Asia.
The United States and Turkmenistan have a most-favored-nation trade agreement. The U.S. government considers the Soviet-era dual taxation convention to continue to be in effect and applicable between the United States and Turkmenistan. In July 2017, the Government of Turkmenistan signed a Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States to improve international tax compliance and implement the provisions of the FATCA.
Turkmenistan’s Membership in International Organizations
Turkmenistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and International Atomic Energy Agency. Turkmenistan is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Partnership for Peace.
The U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan is Matthew Klimow other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Turkmenistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 tel: (202) 588-1500.
Russia’s ambassador to United Nations falls ill, dies at 64
NEW YORK (AP) — Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, a veteran diplomat known as a potent, savvy yet personable voice for his country’s interests who could both spar and get along with his Western counterparts, died suddenly Monday after falling ill in his office at Russia’s U.N. mission.
Vitaly Churkin was taken to a hospital, where he died a day before his 65th birthday, said Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov. The cause of his death was unknown. As Russia’s envoy at the United Nations since 2006 and a diplomat for decades, Churkin was considered Moscow’s great champion at the U.N., where he was the longest-serving ambassador on the powerful Security Council.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Churkin “an outstanding diplomat.” “Ambassador Churkin served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with distinction through some of the most challenging and momentous periods of recent history,” Guterres said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin esteemed Churkin’s “professionalism and diplomatic talents,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the state news agency TASS. Diplomatic colleagues from around the world mourned Churkin as a master in their field: a passionate and effective advocate for his country an intellectual with a doctorate in history who was also a onetime child actor with an acute wit a formidable adversary who could remain a friend.
“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. Her predecessor, Samantha Power, described him on Twitter as a “diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man” who had done all he could to bridge differences between the U.S. and Russia.
Those differences were evident when Power and Churkin spoke at the Security Council last month, when she lashed out at Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and for carrying out “a merciless military assault” in Syria. Churkin accused Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration, which Power served, of “desperately” searching for scapegoats for its failures in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Churkin died weeks into some major adjustments for Russia, the U.N. and the international community, with a new secretary-general at the world body and a new administration in Washington. Meanwhile, the Security Council is due this week to discuss Ukraine and Syria.
From Moscow’s vantage point, “Churkin was like a rock against which were broken the attempts by our enemies to undermine what constitutes the glory of Russia,” Tass quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.
Churkin’s U.N. counterparts “experienced and respected the pride that he took in serving his country and the passion and, at times, very stern resolution that he brought to his job,” said General Assembly President Peter Thomson, of Fiji.
But colleagues also respected Churkin’s intellect, diplomatic skills, good humor and consideration for others, Thomson said. Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, recalled “a diplomatic giant and wonderful character.” Former French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud, now French ambassador to the U.S., described Churkin as “abrasive, funny and technically impeccable.”
Churkin emerged as the face of a new approach to foreign affairs by the Soviet Union in 1986, when he testified before the U.S. Congress about the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. It was rare for any Soviet official to appear before Congress.
In fluent English, Churkin provided little new information about Chernobyl but engaged in a friendly, sometimes humorous, exchange with lawmakers who weren’t accustomed to such a tone — or to a representative in a fashionably well-fitting suit and a stylish haircut — from the U.S.S.R.
After he returned to the foreign ministry in Moscow, he ably dodged questions and parried with Western correspondents, often with a smile, at briefings in the early 1990s. Within the government, he proved himself an able and flexible presence who survived numerous course changes after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He held ambassadorships in Canada and Belgium, among other posts.
Churkin told Russia Today in an interview this month that diplomacy had become “much more hectic,” with political tensions rising and stability elusive in various hotspots. At the time, he looked in good health, reporter Alexey Yaroshevsky tweeted Monday.
Lederer reported from London. Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New York, Cara Anna in Johannesburg and James Heintz and Brian Friedman in Moscow contributed to this report.
Ambassador Rosenblum’s Independence Day Remarks
(In Uzbek: Members of the diplomatic community, Ministers and other officials of the Government of Uzbekistan, distinguished guests, thank you for joining us to celebrate the 243 rd birthday of the United States of America! It is a great honor for me to be here with you today.)
Thank you all for coming to celebrate America’s 243 rd birthday with us here today in this beautiful hall.
I have celebrated many July 4ths in my life (I won’t say exactly how many!) — have spent the holiday eating hot dogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob, picnicking with friends and family in Cleveland, Ohio where I grew up. Over the past few decades, I have often spent the 4 th of July in Washington, DC listening to concerts by our National Symphony Orchestra and watching spectacular fireworks shows on our National Mall. This is my first 4 th of July holiday in Tashkent, and I am so glad to be here, even without hot dogs and fireworks. Today I have something better: the honor of representing the United States in beautiful, hospitable Uzbekistan, and the privilege of working alongside the best team of American diplomats I have served with in 22 years at the Department of State.
I feel especially lucky to be serving here in Uzbekistan right now, right at this moment, because it is a time of tremendous dynamism in this country. The past two and a half years in Uzbekistan have been a time of unprecedented positive change, as President Mirziyoyev and his government have begun a fundamental reform of Uzbekistan’s foreign and domestic policy.
As I reflect on the meaning of July 4th for Americans, I can’t help but see some interesting parallels between our history and the history of Uzbekistan. We are celebrating the 243 rd anniversary of our independence today — in a few months, Uzbekistan will mark its 28 th anniversary as an independent state. We realize that, in the sweep of human history, America is still a relatively new nation, while the people of Uzbekistan are directly connected through their ancestors to much, much older civilizations. But even in our paltry 243 years, there are at least two important lessons Americans have learned: first, that independence and sovereignty are precious and should never be taken for granted and second, that independence is not enough — without freedom, and without good government, based on the consent of the governed, a nation will not thrive.
Our Founding Fathers realized this when they composed the first of our treasured national documents: the Declaration of Independence, published on this date in 1776. Most of the document is an itemized list of their complaints against Great Britain, all the reasons why they could no longer tolerate the rule of King George. But the document starts by asserting why they had a right to declare a new independent and sovereign country: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In other words, independence is wonderful – but it is a means to an end: creation of a governing structure that has been chosen by the people, and that aims all its efforts at preserving security, protecting freedoms, and promoting a happier life for its citizens.
It took our nation another 13 years after that Declaration to figure out how best to organize its governing system. And when our Constitution was adopted in 1789, our Founding Fathers explicitly said it was being written, “in order to form a more perfect union.” Not a perfect union, but a more perfect union. And in the 230 years since, we have continued trying to improve, to perfect that union. American democracy always recognizes that it has shortcomings, weaknesses, problems – and constantly strives to get better.
Uzbekistan today is also striving to do better for its people. As President Mirziyoyev has frequently said, the people don’t serve the state — the state must serve the people. Nearly 28 years after its own declaration of independence, Uzbekistan is going through its own process of figuring out how best to organize its governance and how best to protect the rights of its citizens.
I am delighted to be here as the American Ambassador to share the irreversible journey of our Uzbek partners and friends toward prosperity and democracy. We have pledged to support the President’s reforms in any way possible, sharing what we have learned through our own journey, our own 230-year struggle “to form a more perfect union.”
Today we also mark the 50 th anniversary of the first human landing on the surface of the moon, which took place in July of 1969. If you haven’t already done so, please stop by our booth out front to meet NASA scientist Camille Alleyne and learn more about the space program. Also, take a look at our very special lunar landing cake – before it gets sliced and eaten!
The moon landing was a huge achievement and it didn’t happen by accident. It happened due to the vision of political leaders, including President John F Kennedy, who in a famous speech in 1962, set what seemed at the time an impossible goal of “putting a man on the moon in this decade.” And it happened because of the hard work and creativity of literally thousands of men and women who worked for our space agency, NASA. This lunar landing anniversary is especially meaningful for me today because my own father, Louis Rosenblum, who passed away three months ago at age 95, was one of those people.
My father was a member of what Americans sometimes call, “The Greatest Generation.” He grew up in the middle of the worst economic depression our country has ever known. He served our country with honor in World War Two, earning a Bronze Star in the Battle of Okinawa. After getting his PhD in Chemistry, he worked as a scientist at NASA for 30 years, researching the fuels that launched our rockets into space, and later pioneering solar technology for use in space and here on earth. In his free time, as a volunteer, he and a group of likeminded citizens launched a human rights movement in the United States on behalf of Jews in the Soviet Union, who were persecuted for their religious beliefs. His citizen activism eventually led to changes in U.S. foreign policy that helped ensure freedom of conscience and freedom of movement for millions of people.
Inspired by my father’s example, I became deeply aware, first, of the impact one person can make on the world. But I also learned of how the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution — freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience — are the fundamental basis for the achievements of our democratic society, how they empower our citizens to achieve their dreams. Technological advances, economic growth, and the advancement of human rights, equality, and dignity — all of these things are made possible by the “enabling environment,” if you will, of a democratic society. Only when people are encouraged to express, engage, and create to their fullest potential can nations achieve their greatest heights. That is what my father taught me. That is what America means to me.
Of course, every nation’s path is unique. And as Uzbekistan is discovering under President Mirziyoyev’s leadership, as we have discovered over 243 years of trying to achieve a more perfect union, the path to democracy and prosperity is not a simple or a straight one. The important thing is to have a vision for a better future, and every day to try getting closer to that vision. You will never walk that path alone. Uzbekistan has many friends, the United States among them. We will walk alongside you, as a stable and reliable partner for many years to come.
Los Angeles: Dr. Emily Haber, German Ambassador to the United States, and Ambassador John B. Emerson, Chairman of the American Council on Germany
The Los Angeles Warburg Chapter will host a discussion and luncheon with Dr. Emily Haber, German Ambassdor to the United States, in conversation with Ambassador John B. Emerson, Chairman of the ACG and Vice Chairman at Capital Group International.
There will be a $49 charge for members and a $59 charge for nonmembers to attend. RSVP here by August 8.
Dress Code: Business attire. Valet parking is available to $12 per car.
Ambassador Emily M. Haber became the German Ambassador to the United States in June 2018. A career diplomat, she was previously deployed to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, where she served as State Secretary overseeing security and migration at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe. In 2009, Ambassador Haber was appointed Political Director and, in 2011, State Secretary at the Foreign Office, the first woman to hold either post. Earlier in her career, she served at the German Embassy in Ankara. In Berlin, she has served as Deputy Head of the Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division, as Director of the OSCE Division, and as Deputy Director-General for the Western Balkans. She has extensive knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia, having worked both in the Soviet Union Division at the German Foreign Office and on various occasions at the German Embassy in Moscow, where she served as Head of the Economic Affairs Section and Head of the Political Affairs Department.
Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming accepted the interview with the BBC's "Sharp Dialogue"
China News Service, London, May 1 (Xinhua) On April 28, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming accepted an online interview with the senior host Stephen Sack of the BBC's "Sharp Dialogue" column to clarify his position and clarify China's fight against the new coronary pneumonia epidemic The facts are irritating. BBC Domestic News (BBCNews) and the international TV channel "International News" (BBCWorldNews) broadcast the above-mentioned 10 interviews to the UK and the world. BBC's domestic news station broadcast special interviews in prime time news programs, and extended reports through the BBC website and new media platforms. The interview record is as follows:
Moderator: Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, welcome to "Sharp Dialogue".
Ambassador Liu: Thank you! Really happy to see you again.
Moderator: I am very glad that you can accept our interview in this difficult time. Let me ask a simple and direct question: Do you agree that the new Pneumococcal pneumonia virus originated in China?
Ambassador Liu: The virus was first discovered in Wuhan does not mean that it originated in Wuhan. According to multiple sources, including reports from the BBC, the virus may have originated from anywhere, even in aircraft carriers or submarines, in some countries that have little contact with China, and among people who have never been to China . So we cannot say that it originated in China.
Moderator: This answer confuses me a little. Obviously this is a brand new virus, it originated somewhere. According to immunologists and virologists, viruses are transmitted from animals to humans. There is no doubt that the first case occurred in China. You just said that the virus has spread all over the world, and some people who have never been to China are also infected. Obviously the virus has caused a global pandemic, but the crucial question is, where did it come from?
Ambassador Liu: I think this question should be answered by scientists. As far as I understand, the first case in China was reported by Dr. Zhang Jixian to the local health authority in China on December 27, 2019. I also read reports that some cases outside of China even predate this. A report in a British newspaper yesterday said that British scientists and medical experts had warned the government earlier last year that there may be an unknown virus. Therefore, I can only say that the first reported case in China occurred in Wuhan on December 27, 2019.
Moderator: I think there is no doubt that the experts are convinced that the first confirmed case was found in Wuhan and its surrounding areas. Do you also think that we have to figure out what happened in the early stage of the outbreak, and where it was done incorrectly and which steps were taken wrong, before the virus evolved into a global pandemic?
Ambassador Liu: I think this is still open to discussion, and we have to admit that we have different views. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, but it cannot be said that it originated in Wuhan. I think this question should be left to scientists.
Moderator: Ambassador Liu, the virus did appear in person-to-person in Wuhan first, and the outbreak was concentrated. What I want to ask is, is it not important to conduct an in-depth independent investigation of what has happened and to understand the truth? We can use this information to prevent the tragedy from happening again.
Ambassador Liu: Let me introduce you to the Chinese anti-epidemic timetable. Dr. Zhang Jixian first reported a case of unexplained pneumonia on December 27, 2019. Four days later, the Chinese health department and the CDC notified the World Health Organization and shared information with other countries in the shortest time on December 31. China also shared pathogens with WHO for the first time, and shared viral gene sequences with WHO and other countries for the first time.
Moderator: Mr. Ambassador, let me interrupt, you have overlooked a very important point. On December 30, Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang told his doctor colleagues in WeChat group that a very worrying new disease appeared in Wuhan and suggested that his colleagues must wear protective clothing to avoid infection. A few days later, he was summoned by the Public Security Bureau and forced to confess to spreading false information and seriously disrupting social order. From then until January, the Chinese government has been trying to cover up the truth.
Ambassador Liu: Now I understand why some people advocate the so-called independent investigation. In fact, they are trying to excuse Luo Zhi to criticize China for covering up the truth. But the fact is that Dr. Li Wenliang is not a "whistle blower". As I said earlier, Dr. Zhang Jixian reported to the health department three days earlier than Dr. Li, and the Wuhan city health department immediately reported to the central government. Four days later, one day after Dr. Li sent the WeChat message, the Chinese government shared this information with WHO and other countries. There is no such thing as covering up the facts.
Moderator: Mr. Ambassador, in fact the information shared by China is very limited. According to internal information obtained by The Washington Post and the Associated Press, Ma Xiaowei, director of the China National Health Commission, made a very severe assessment of the situation at the internal meeting on January 14, 2020. He said that the complicated and concentrated case shows The virus is "person-to-person". But the next day, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the risk of continuing "person-to-person" is very low, and the epidemic is preventable and controllable. Therefore, I once again believe that there is ample evidence that China has not told the truth for several weeks.
Ambassador Liu: You have n’t given me enough time to answer the questions. I have n’t finished answering the questions about Li Wenliang. The so-called "cover up facts" do not exist. Dr. Zhang reported to the health department through normal channels, but Li Wenliang spread relevant information in the circle of friends. In any country, extremely dangerous unknown viruses may cause panic. I think the police summoned Dr. Li and warned him to stop the online spread. This cannot be called "concealment". The epidemic situation has been reported through regular channels. In this case, panic should be avoided as much as possible. At present, the British government is also cracking down on the use of fake news to create panic to achieve personal ends. There have been conclusions about Dr. Li Wenliang. After receiving the report, the Chinese central government sent an investigation team to Wuhan. The Wuhan Municipal Public Security Bureau decided to withdraw the admonishment to Dr. Li. Dr. Li was regarded as a martyr and was awarded a high honor.
Moderator: Dr. Li was indeed regarded as a hero by the Chinese people when he died.
Ambassador Liu: Not only the Chinese people, but the Chinese government as well, they cannot be distinguished.
Moderator: I think the Chinese people are very clear that the government is not frank with them and other countries in the world. On January 14th, internal documents of the China Health and Safety Commission stated that there was evidence of human-to-human transmission and aggregate infection, and the situation was severe and complicated, and requested that the relevant content should not be made public or be online. How do you explain this?
Ambassador Liu: I think all your information comes from the "Washington Post", you are too dependent on the American media. I sincerely hope that you will adopt the WHO information. We shared all information with WHO. I read your exclusive interview with Dr. David Nabarro, WHO's new envoy, and China always insists on being open, transparent and sharing information with WHO as soon as possible. On the one hand, within China, we must maintain a high degree of vigilance and adopt the strictest prevention and control measures. At that time, we did not fully understand the virus. On the other hand, we shared information and our knowledge of the virus with WHO and other countries.
Moderator: Ambassador Liu You are a senior diplomat. You should understand that many people in the world do not believe in the Chinese version of the story. A few hours ago, Trump said he was not satisfied with China ’s position, saying that China can control the epidemic at its source, and he also said that the United States is conducting a comprehensive investigation. US Vice President Pence also listed a series of reasons to prove that China did not tell the world the truth and was responsible for the spread of the epidemic worldwide and caused massive deaths and economic losses. China is now facing huge problems.
Ambassador Liu: I disagree with this statement. This is the saying of some western countries. After the outbreak, China cooperated with WHO and other countries for the first time. We sent technical assistance and medical expert groups and provided medical supplies to more than 150 countries, which were highly praised by these countries. I think that the United States cannot represent the whole world. Even many Western countries, including Britain, France, and Germany, appreciate China. You quoted President Trump ’s position, and I would also like to quote a few words about China ’s position. On January 24, about a month after China notified the epidemic, President Trump said, "The United States highly appreciates China's efforts and transparency." Six days later, he stated that he is "working closely with China." At the beginning of February, he again stated that "President Xi Jinping has done an excellent job and handled the epidemic well."
Moderator: Since the end of January, the situation has changed a lot. China said that we have done a lot of good things and provided medical supplies to countries all over the world, but in the eyes of the outside world, China has set off a fake news and propaganda offensive in the world in recent weeks. You mentioned that China and France have a good relationship, but the French government has just summoned the Chinese ambassador to France, accusing the Chinese embassy in France of spreading false news. The embassy website stated that the French old man was abandoned in the nursing home, suffering and solitary. Officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spread “conspiracy theories” on social media, claiming that American soldiers secretly brought the virus to China. Why should China promote such fake news?
Ambassador Liu: I think you have chosen the wrong target. It ’s not that China disseminates fake news. If you compare the positions of Chinese leaders, Chinese diplomats and Chinese ambassadors with US leaders, American diplomats and American ambassadors, you will find out who is spreading false news.
Moderator: Do you agree with Zhao Lijian's statement that "American soldiers smuggled the new crown virus to China"? Do you believe?
Ambassador Liu: Zhao retweeted some media reports. I do n’t understand why you seized the words of an individual in China, but turned a blind eye to the fake news issued by US state leaders and senior officials, especially the highest-ranking US diplomats and secretaries of state? As long as he talks about China, there are no good words China reaches out to the United States in the fight against the epidemic, but it becomes a wicked man. I really can't understand it.
Moderator: In your opinion, how serious are the various accusations due to the epidemic that have brought China and the United States a diplomatic crisis?
Ambassador Liu: China certainly hopes to maintain good relations with the United States. I have been resident in the United States twice. I have always believed that China and the United States are harmonious and harm each other. We have every reason to maintain good relations with the United States, but this should be based on mutual trust, cooperation, and not confrontation. Need to meet each other. Since the outbreak, President Xi Jinping and President Trump have maintained close communication and made two phone calls to discuss international cooperation in the fight against epidemics. What I want to emphasize is that China is not the enemy of the United States. The enemy of the United States is the new crown virus. The United States should find the right target.
Moderator: You sent a very important message. So in response to the request made by the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and many other countries that China should permanently close the "wet market" engaged in wildlife trading instead of temporarily, will China make some positive gestures to improve relations with these countries?
Ambassador Liu: First of all, I disagree with your statement about the problems in China ’s relations with many countries. China has more friends, fewer opponents, and fewer enemies. As I said, a few Western countries cannot represent the entire world. China has good foreign relations and is actively promoting international anti-epidemic cooperation. As President Xi Jinping said, unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon for the international community to overcome the epidemic.
Moderator: We are running out of time, Ambassador Liu, can you give a specific and clear answer to the "wet market" question? Is the market closed or not?
Ambassador Liu: In fact, there is no such thing as a "wet goods market" in China. This statement is very strange to many Chinese people. It is a Western or foreign statement. It is often said that the farmers' market and the live poultry and seafood market mainly sell fresh vegetables, seafood and other agricultural and sideline products, and there are very few markets that sell live poultry. What you are talking about is the market for illegally selling wild animals, which has been completely banned. The National People's Congress of China has passed a decision to comprehensively ban illegal wildlife trade.
Moderator: Does this mean that the Chinese government is aware of the dangers of these wild animal markets, that is, they do cause viruses to pass from animals to humans?
Ambassador Liu: We finally reached an agreement. Please note that the illegal wildlife market is completely banned here, and hunting, trading, and eating wild animals are illegal in China.
Moderator: If the Chinese side can issue a ban early before the spread of the new coronary pneumonia virus, it will not cause such great harm to the world. Will China apologize for this?
Ambassador Liu: You are back to the question at the beginning of the interview. I want to say that it is wrong to blame China because the epidemic was discovered in China. This is wrong. China has found an epidemic, and it has also been found in many places that have no contact with China. China cannot be blamed for the outbreak of the epidemic. China should see that China does its best to fight the epidemic. China is a virus victim, China is not a virus maker, and China is not the source of the virus. For this, it must be clear.
Moderator: However, some important politicians in China said that China should be responsible for the epidemic. For example, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the lower house of parliament said that the Chinese government implemented a former Soviet-style and harmful system that harmed the health and well-being of the Chinese people , Betrayed the Chinese people and betrayed the world. They called on Britain, the United States and some other countries to cut off close economic ties with China. In the UK, the core of this problem is that Huawei should not be allowed to continue to participate in the construction of 5G networks in the UK. As the Chinese ambassador to the UK, are you worried about decoupling China's economy?
Ambassador Liu: I ’m worried, not worried. The politician you talked about does not represent the official position of the British government. I believe that under the leadership of Prime Minister Johnson, the British Government is still committed to developing strong Sino-British relations. In two telephone conversations with President Xi, Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his commitment to advancing the "Golden Age" of Sino-British relations. During the epidemic, in addition to close communication, China and Britain also actively cooperated. I have been China ’s ambassador to the UK for 10 years. I have never seen leaders and senior leaders of the two countries maintain such close ties. Apart from the two calls between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Johnson, Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, and Wang Yitong, state councilor and foreign minister The British Prime Minister ’s national security adviser Sedwell and Foreign Minister Rab maintain close communication. I also maintain close contact with Foreign Minister Rab, Health Minister Hancock, and Minister of Commerce, Energy and Industry Strategy Sharma. Strong. As for your mention of someone comparing China to the former Soviet Union, this is entirely "cold war" thinking. We have lived in the third decade of the 21st century, and these people are still stuck in the past "Cold War" period. China is not the former Soviet Union. The common interests between China and Britain far outweigh the differences, and I have full confidence in China-UK relations.
Moderator: Ambassador Liu, we are about to end the interview. I once again thank you for being a guest of "Sharp Dialogue" during difficult times.
Oxana Domenti - Ambassador to the UN and an official at the WHO at the same time
The most serious fact is that the official residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Geneva was not returned to the real estate agency but was kept with the state money even if no one lives there for 2 months, this money, thousands of euros per month could be redirected to buy medical supplies for the sick citizens of COVID 19, but not to provide them with a warm bed for the Ambassador back to Geneva if the trial period did not pass at the WHO.
Who is responsible for the state spending taxpayer money to make sure Oxana Domenti has an international job?
How is it justified by the Prime Minister, former Minister of Finance and very good friend with Ambassador Domenti these huge unnecessary and illegal expenses in the context of which the provisions of the Labor Code and the Law of the diplomatic service were violated not only by Oxana Domenti, but also by the former Foreign Minister Aurel Ciocoi.