107. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

3484. Subj: Gromyko speech to 27th GA.

Summary. Gromyko’s September 26 speech seemed designed to show Third World that basic Soviet policy vis-à-vis US had not changed despite recent encouraging developments in US-USSR relations. Gromyko hit harder at US policy in Vietnam than last year. He pointedly spoke of USSR-French relations before discussing US-USSR relations. Otherwise, he was specifically critical of Palestinian involvement in Munich tragedy2 and said USSR as matter of principle opposed acts of terrorism and meaningless violence. His treatment of other foreign policy themes was routine. Much of speech was devoted to new Soviet item on non-use of force, reported septel. End summary.
US-Soviet Relations. Gromyko downplayed significance of US-Soviet relations by first praising development of Soviet-French relations. He then characterized May summit as start in process of reshaping US-USSR relations and noted USSR attached great significance to its relations with US. Broadening of cooperation between two countries was “beginning to become reality” although political and ideological disagreements of principle would remain. Gromyko added that improvement in US-USSR relations would harm no other state.
SALT talks were discussed in later part of speech. Gromyko noted US-USSR understanding that those states possessing greatest destructive capacity had special obligation to limit arms race and promote disarmament. Agreement on strategic arms was important step; two sides agreed to continue negotiations.
Vietnam. Gromyko’s treatment of Vietnam was more lengthy and hard-hitting than last year. He stressed alleged gap between US words and deeds, charging that despite many declarations about pulling out of Vietnam US was expanding acts of war and their cruelty and inhumanity. In reality, US policy was aimed at eliminating provisional revolutionary government and at preserving puppet Saigon administration as sole legitimate authority in SVN. Real state of affairs was that two systems of authority and two armies as well as other political forces existed in SVN. Therefore necessary to set up provisional [Page 215]government in SVN on tripartite basis to deal with all matters in “transitional period” and organize general elections on truly free and democratic lines.
Middle East. Gromyko called for withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Arab territories, announced USSR’s support for legitimate demands of Arab countries, for Jarring Mission and for just struggle of Arab people of Palestine. He added, however, that it impossible to condone acts of terrorism committed by certain elements in Palestinian movement which led in particular to recent tragic events in Munich. Such criminal acts dealt blow to national interests of Palestinians and were used by Israeli criminals to cover their bandit-like policy against Arab peoples.
In addition to criticizing Munich tragedy, Gromyko stated that USSR as matter of principle opposed acts of terrorism which disrupted diplomatic activity of states and normal course of international contacts and meetings. Also opposed acts of violence which served no positive ends and caused loss of human life.
Other topics. Gromyko spoke briefly on CSCE as means of replacing military blocs with collective security and made brief plug for ensuring security in Asia. He gave standard pitch on importance of holding WDC, value of SIS item, Moon Treaty and DBS satellite item. He made brief reference to earliest possible admission of GDR and FRG and strongly opposed Charter review. Finally, he criticized those in UN who categorized states (i.e., USSR) according to size, population or wealth. Except for such veiled references, he did not discuss PRC.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 GA. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Moscow, Brussels for USNATO, London, Paris, Rome, Bonn, Saigon, Tel Aviv, Beirut, and the Interests Section in Cairo.
  2. Reference is to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Black September terrorists on September 5 during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.