29. Telegram 240920 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Romania, December 8, 1973, 2042Z.1 2

SUBJECT:

  • PRESIDENT' S TALKS WITH CEAUSESCU: MFN, CSCE, MBFR, MIDDLE EAST
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TELEGRAM

Department of State

240920

R 082042Z DEC 73

FM SECSTATE WASHDC

TO AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST

INFO AMEMBASSY MOSCOW

USMISSION NATO

STATE 240920

E.O. 11652:

TAGS: PFOR, OVIP (CEAUSESOU, NICOLAE), RO

FOR AMBASSADOR AND CHARGE ONLY

SUMMARY. PRESIDENT NIXON AND THE SECRETARY HELD TALKS WITH ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU AND FOREIGN MINISTER MACOVESCU ON DECEMBER 4 AND 5. CEAUSESCU STRESSED HIS CONCERN LEST IMPROVED US RELATIONS WITH USSR AND CHINA RESULT IN IGNORING THE INTERESTS OF SMALLER STATES SUCH AS ROMANIA. HE WAS REASSURED BY THE PRESIDENT THAT US WOULD CONTINUE TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE RIGHTS OF SMALL NATIONS AND STANDS FIRM FOR ROMANIAN INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY. CEAUSESCU URGED SEPARATE AND EARLIER MFN LEGISLATION FOR ROMANIA AND WAS TOLD US WOULD WORK CLOSELY WITH ROMANIA TO FIND A SOLUTION. HE URGED CONSIDERATION OF COLLATERAL MEASURES AT CSCE IN VIEW STRONGLY CENTRAL EUROPEAN FOCUS OR MBFR, AND ALSO ADVOCATED A PERMANENT CSCE BODY. PRESIDENT NIXON ASSURED HIM THAT US [Page 2]WOULD CONSULT CLOSELY WITH ROMANIA AT CSCE AND MBFR NOTING HOWEVER THAT THERE WERE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AS TO HOW CSCE SHOULD COME OUT. CEAUSESCU ADVOCATED PALESTINIAN PARTICIPATION AS WELL AS THAT OF ROMANIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFERENCE AND WAS TOLD THAT THESE WERE NOT CLOSED QUESTIONS ALTHOUGH PALESTINIAN PRESENCE AT EARLY PHASE WOULD RAISE TOO MANY PROBLEMS, END SUMMARY.

2. DISCUSSION WITH THE PRESIDENT DECEMBER 4: THE PRESIDENT NOTED HOW MANY CHANGES THERE HAD BEEN SINCE HE AND PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU BEGAN DEALING WITH EACH OTHER IN 1967 AND 1969. CEAUSESCU AGREED, RECALLED HOW ROMANIA HAD WELCOMED THE NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS WITH CHINA AND THE AGREEMENTS WITH THE SOVIET UNION. STATED, HOWEVER, THAT WHILE THE US, CHINA AND USSR, AS BIG POWERS, HAD AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY, OTHER STATES LIKE ROMANIA MUST NOT BE IGNORED. HE HOPED THAT THE IMPROVEMENT OF RELATIONS BETWEEN THE US AND THE USSR ON THE ONE HAND AND THE US AND CHINA ON THE OTHER WOULD BE CARRIED OUT IN SUCH A WAY AS TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHER STATES. HE SAID THESE WERE SENTIMENTS WHICH HE DID NOT HIDE FROM EITHER THE CHINESE OR THE SOVIETS. THE PRESIDENT COMMENTED THAT NEITHER HIS VISIT TO CHINA NOR HIS MEETINGS WITH THE SOVIET LEADER HAD MET WITH UNIVERSAL APPROVAL, BUT THAT SO FAR AS SMALLER STATES WERE CONCERNED, A DEFINITE EFFORT HAD BEEN MADE TO INCLUDE LANGUAGE IN THE COMMUNIQUES OR AGREEMENTS CONCLUDED WITH THE SOVIETS AND THE CHINESE RESPECTING AND PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF ALL NATIONS FROM BEING JEOPARDIZED BY SUCH AGREEMENTS. HE ASSURED PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU THAT HE STANDS ABSOLUTELY FIRM FOR ROMANIAN INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY AND THAT SO FAR AS THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED, NO COUNTRY NEED HAVE ANY FEAR THAT WE WILL USE OUR POWER TO DOMINATE OTHER COUNTRIES OR INFRINGE ON THEIR INDEPENDENCE -- THIS BEING THE CORNERSTONE OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. IN RESPONSE TO CEAUSESCU QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THERE COULD BE DETENTE WITHOUT CONDOMINIUM THE PRESIDENT REPLIED THAT IT IS INDEED POSSIBLE TO HAVE DETENTE WITHOUT CONDOMINIUM.

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3. THE PRESIDENT POINTED OUT THE NEED FOR GOOD RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION, BUT INDICATED THAT NEITHER HE NOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BREZHNEV HAD ANY ILLUSIONS AS TO THE FACT THAT OUR INTERESTS COLLIDE IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD. WHAT HAS TO BE DONE IS TO SEE THAT THESE COLLISIONS DO NOT RESULT IN AN EXPLOSION. THE PRESIDENT STRESSED HIS BELIEF THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED AT LEAST A BEGINNING OF A STRUCTURE WHERE DIFFERENCES CAN BE SETTLED PEACEFULLY.

4. CEAUSESCU EXPRESSED HIS GREAT SATISFACTION WITH WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAD SAID, REITERATED HIS UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BIG POWERS, BUT CAME BACK AGAIN TO THE NEED FOR BIG POWERS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE INTERESTS OF OTHER COUNTRIES LEST MISCALCULATIONS BE MADE OF THOSE COUNTRIES INTERESTS.

5. AT MEETING OF DECEMBER 5, THE FOLLOWING TOPICS WERE COVERED:

  • A. MFN - CEAUSESCU EXPRESSED THE HOPE THAT AN INTERIM SOLUTION COULD BE FOUND FOR GIVING ROMANIA MFN PENDING ADOPTION OF GENERAL LEGISLATION. THE PRESIDENT INDICATED THAT MFN POSED A VERY DIFFICULT-POLITICAL PROBLEM, BUT HE ASSURED CEAUSESCU THAT THE US WOULD WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH ROMANIA TO FIND A SOLUTION. HE ALSO MENTIONED THAT WE WOULD ENCOURAGE AMERICAN BUSINESS TO TAKE FAVORABLE ATTITUDES TOWARD ROMANIA.
  • B. CSCE AND MBFR - CEAUSESCU ASKED THAT THE US AT GENEVA ENCOURAGE MEASURES OF MILITARY DISENGAGEMENT AND ALSO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT BODY. ON MBFR, HE EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT THINGS WERE NOT GOING THAT WELL BECAUSE NOT ALL OF CENTRAL EUROPE IS BEING DISCUSSED AND BECAUSE THE REDUCTIONS BEING CONSIDERED ARE ONLY SYMBOLIC. THE PRESIDENT COMMENTED THAT DISCUSSIONS ON MBFR ARE GOING TO BE DIFFICULT BUT THAT WE WILL BEAR IN MIND THE CONCERN FOR COUNTRIES LIKE ROMANIA. SIMILARLY, WITH CSCE WE ARE SENSITIVE TO THE INTERESTS OF ROMANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES WHICH HAVE SUPPORTED THE CONFERENCE BUT IT IS CLEAR AT THIS STATE THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AS TO HOW THE CONFERENCE SHOULD [Page 4]EVENTUALLY COME OUT. THE PRESIDENT ASKED THE SECRETARY TO SEE THAT THE CLOSEST CONSULTATIONS TAKE PLACE WITH ROMANIA ON BOTH SUBJECTS.
  • C. MIDDLE EAST - CEAUSESCU URGED THAT PROVISION BE MADE FOR PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATION AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE. THE SECRETARY COMMENTED THAT SUCH PARTICIPATION AT THE BEGINNING, IN THE OPINION OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS, RAISED TOO MANY PROBLEMS, BUT THE QUESTION COULD BE DISCUSSED DURING THE FIRST PHASE. HE ADDED THAT FROM OUR VIEWPOINT SUCH PARTICIPATION IS NOT EXCLUDED. CEAUSESCU ALSO RAISED THE DESIRABILITY OF OTHER STATES ASIDE FROM THE US AND THE SOVIET UNION TAKING PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE. AMONG SUCH STATES MIGHT BE ROMANIA. HE ARGUED THAT WHILE THE MAIN THING WAS, OF COURSE, TO REACH RESULTS DURING THE CONFERENCE, NONETHELESS, PARTICIPATION OF OTHER COUNTRIES MIGHT KEEP ALL THE BLAME, IF THINGS DIDN'T GO WELL, FROM BEING PUT ON THE SOVIET UNION AND THE UNITED STATES. THE PRESIDENT COMMENTED THAT PARTICIPATION OF OTHER COUNTRIES WAS NOT A CLOSED QUESTION. HE NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT SO FAR AS WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WERE CONCERNED, THEY HAVE TAKEN A PAROCHIAL VIEW AND HAVE NOT BEEN HELPFUL, HAVING THOUGHT MORE ABOUT THE FRUITS OF THE CONFERENCE THAT ABOUT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES. THE SECRETARY POINTED OUT THAT EVEN AMONG EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ROMANIA HAD BEEN THE ONLY ONE TO HAVE MAINTAINED RELATIONS OVER THE YEARS WITH BOTH PARTIES TO THE CONFLICT.

6. DISCUSSIONS AT LUNCH DECEMBER 4 WITH SECRETARY SCHULTZ, AND HUMPHREY CENTERED ON MFN. SENATOR HUMPHREY THOUGHT IT MADE SENSE STILL TO TRY TO HAVE A GENERAL BILL BUT THERE WAS “OUTSIDE POSSIBILITY” OF SEPARATE BILL FOR ROMANIA AND “WE WILL HAVE TO LOOK INTO IT.” SECRETARY SHULTZ SUGGESTED THAT “EQUALITY IN TRADE” WOULD BE BETTER TITLE THAN MFN. CEAUSESCU RAISED THE QUESTION OF LOW INTEREST LONG-TERM CREDITS AND SECRETARY SHULTZ DEFLECTED HIM TOWARD EX-IM AND IBRD PROVIDING NO PROMISE OF CONCESSIONARY RATES. CEAUSESCU RETURNED TO THE ISSUE INDICATING THAT HE WAS THINKING IN TERMS OF 500-600 MILLION DOLLARS WHICH WOULD BE USED FOR PURCHASES IN THE US.

RUSH
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 703, Country Files—Europe—Rumania. Secret; EXDIS. Drafted by Barnes; and approved by Kissinger, Armitage, and Sonnenfeldt. Sent for information to Moscow and the U.S. Mission to NATO.
  2. The Department summarized President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger's meetings with President Ceausescu during his state visit on December 4 and 5.