19. Paper Prepared in the National Security Council1

Proposed Outcome of the Meeting Between Presidents Nixon and Pompidou in Iceland

We would like to reach an understanding to begin the process of drawing up a set of principles of Atlantic relations by the time the Pres[Page 91]ident visits Europe later this year. The principles could be embodied in a document which could be published as a Declaration to which the countries that are members of the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Communities would subscribe. We are, however, flexible as to the precise form that such a set of principles would take or what name to give them. We would be interested in discussing ways in which other countries than those mentioned above (e.g. Japan) could subscribe to some or all of the principles.

We would hope that the two Presidents would agree that the main purposes of undertaking such an effort are to give the European-American relationship a new sense of direction and momentum, to provide for all our countries a new source of commitment to our common interests and goals, and to establish at the highest political level certain criteria with which to conduct more specific negotiations in various forums.

Based on the understanding reached between the two Presidents, we would also like to reach at least provisional agreement on the procedures and the timetable for drawing up the principles. We would envisage a period of intensive consultations following the meeting in Iceland. We are flexible concerning the forum for such consultations but would like to have an agreement that they should be conducted at a high level, ultimately perhaps that of Deputy Foreign Ministers, or their equivalents.

We also believe that progress in developing a set of principles would be facilitated if the four major Atlantic countries—France, the UK, the FRG and the US—could act jointly to guide the process along. An informal steering group could function at the level of Presidential assistants or their equivalents. More formal coordination would take place at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers or their equivalents. We would like to reach provisional agreement on these procedures, subject to the approval of the other two governments involved.

Final agreement on the principles could be reached in the course of the President’s visit to European capitals. We would like to see an understanding reached between the two Presidents concerning the most effective way of arranging this final stage because we feel the event should be one of major political and psychological impact. It should give impetus to more detailed follow-up negotiations on the several aspects of American-European relations in various existing or possibly new forums. Our preference would be for the principles to be promul[Page 92]gated at a meeting of heads of government, either under the aegis of one of the existing institutions or convened especially for that purpose.

We do not think that there will be time, nor have there been sufficient consultations, to attempt to reach agreement in Iceland on the specific contents of a declaration of principles. But we would like to reach some understanding on the categories of topics to be included, e.g.,

—a fresh statement of the values and broad interests shared by the Atlantic nations,

—a definition of common security interests and objectives under the strategic conditions of the seventies,

—basic approaches to East-West relations and to relations with third areas,

—principles of cooperation on such common problems as the environment, energy supply, exchange of technology, etc.,

—and the basic approach to economic relationships, including trade negotiations and the effort to reform the international monetary system.

If we could provisionally agree on such a list of categories, we could then agree to enlist the support of the Germans and British and on that basis proceed with further consultations with the other countries concerned. We could agree, either bilaterally or with the other two major countries, to exchange among us preliminary drafts of principles within four weeks after Iceland. When agreed among the four, at least in general substance, the other countries involved could then join in the drafting.

Since we attach major importance to continued improvement on our bilateral relations, both for their own sake and as a cornerstone of a revitalized Atlantic relationship, we would like to see progress made on any of the outstanding issues. The President would be prepared to reach additional confidential understandings concerning military cooperation which would then be the subject of further contact between our representatives.

We are open-minded about the issuance of a formal joint communiqué.

  1. Summary: The paper outlined the proposed outcome of the meeting between Nixon and Pompidou in Iceland.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 949, VIP Visits, Pompidou/Nixon Mtg., Iceland, PM Johannesson May 31–Jun 1, 1973 (1 of 3). Secret. A stamped notation on the paper indicates the President saw it. In backchannel message WH31448, May 25, Kissinger forwarded this paper to Irwin for transmission to Jobert. (Ibid., Box 424, Backchannel, Backchannel Messages—Europe—1973) On May 17, Kissinger and Jobert discussed the Year of Europe in Paris. (Memorandum of conversation, May 17; ibid., NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 56, Country Files, Europe, General, French Memcons (originals) Peter Rodman, January–May 1973)