157. Editorial Note

The Multilateral Preparatory Talks for the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe concluded in Helsinki on June 8, 1973. In a memorandum to Acting Secretary of State Kenneth Rush, June 11, Acting Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Wells Stabler stated: “MPT was successfully concluded on June 8, with ad referendum agreement [Page 482] among representatives on a ‘final’ MPT document (no bracketed language remains) and on a procedure whereby participating states will advise the Government of Finland by June 25 of their intention to attend the initial CSCE Meeting of Foreign Ministers on July 3. This notification will signify acceptance of the final MPT document as the basis of CSCE, thus obviating the need for any further gathering prior to CSCE itself. In the absence of an agreed date for the opening of MBFR negotiations, most of our Allies prefer that notifications to the Finns on CSCE attendance be delayed until the question of linkage can be discussed further at the NAC Ministerial in Copenhagen on June 14–15. Consistent with our view that withholding agreement to open CSCE on schedule is not the course most likely to bring the Soviets to agree to open MBFR negotiations by October 30, it is our present intention—subject to the views of the Secretary, following his discussions with Allied foreign ministers in Copenhagen—to notify the Finns, soon after the Copenhagen meeting, of our intention to participate.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 1 EUR) For the Final Recommendations from the Multilateral Preparatory Talks on CSCE, approved in Helsinki on June 8, see Department of State Bulletin, July 30, 1973, pages 181–188.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger discussed CSCE with French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert during his trip to Paris, June 6–10, for talks with the North Vietnamese on the ceasefire in Vietnam. On the morning of June 8, in response to Jobert’s question whether Kissinger was “following what is happening at Helsinki,” Kissinger replied: “No. But apparently Gromyko follows it, and every once in a while comes to appeal to me for help. Then I have to study the problem. I have intervened only once.” Kissinger confided: “Frankly, our attitude toward the [European Security] Conference is one of great indifference, that it doesn’t do too much damage.” The conversation continued: “Jobert: How long will you stay at Helsinki? Dr. Kissinger: I luckily don’t have to go there. The Secretary of State goes. Shall we agree we will make an effort to keep our participation as brief as possible? We have no interest in a long drawn-out meeting.” Jobert then stated: “I don’t think the ESC Summit is such a good idea.” Kissinger replied: “We are not for it. We will cooperate with you to prevent it.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 26, Geopolitical File, France, Chronological File)