385. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the Department of State 1
Brussels, July 29, 1971, 1905Z.
3170. Subject: Italian, Netherlands and Belgian Views on Chirep.
- Summary: Italian UN expert strongly implied his govt has all but decided it will oppose any form of dual representation. Netherlands expert said matter still open, but we cannot assume new govt will see its interest served by supporting continued representation GRC. Belgian expert said Harmel will work to convince his govt Belgium should continue support representation GRC, but there is considerable resistance in light growing conviction US and Belgium likely be virtually isolated among NATO members. End summary.
- Following NAC meeting reported septel,2 De Palma talked privately with UN experts from Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. Reiterating that President has made no decision, he asked each whether he thought that, given otherwise satisfactory Chirep resolution (i.e., one dealing with Peking as his govt might wish), his govt would find it possible support continued representation GRC in UN.
- Alessi (Italy) said there was definite tendency his govt to adopt Canadian view that it could not support any form of dual representation since this will prevent Peking’s entry. When asked if matter could [Page 760]be kept open for further discussion, Alessi said only that he was reasonably sure his govt would not announce its decision before discussing it with us.
- Vixseboxse (Neth) said matter will be considered Aug. 12 by Foreign Ministry with view to recommending position to new govt. He felt there is definite trend away from former Dutch support for continuing GRC representation as consequence of renewed interest in regularizing Dutch relations with Peking. Matter thus still open but one cannot assume new govt will maintain view of past govts. He felt firm Canadian and UK opposition to any form of dual representation will also influence new govt. He implied Foreign Ministry recommendation will not foreclose possible support for continued GRC representation but also said it might be put in terms which are not likely be acceptable to GRC. He felt his govt would appreciate knowing final US decision before adopting firm position of its own.
- Belgian expert (Fourdin) reiterated Harmel’s intention seek support his govt for continued representation GRC. He felt there was still considerable popular support for this position in Belgium, but added there is growing sentiment in govt to avoid going down with lost cause. Harmel will be eager to know US decision soonest.
- Fourdin also said he was virtually convinced Italy has for all practical purposes already decided adopt Canadian-UK position, and probably Austria as well. He guessed that Turkey would also move in that direction. He was concerned Belgian Govt decision will be complicated by fear that Belgium and US would be virtually isolated among NATO members. While regularizing relations with Peking has not been priority Belgian objective, it might become so in such circumstances. However, he concluded by saying Harmel is man of principle and “still has some influence”.
- Each expert understood discussion was off the record and their views should be protected.