349. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

[Omitted here is material unrelated to non-proliferation.]

4. Gerard Smith’s Meetings in Paris: Gerard Smith has just completed an initial day of consultations in Paris with Foreign Minister de Guiringaud and other key officials on non-proliferation and nuclear policy questions.2 The French reiterated strongly the importance they attach to their present nuclear power program.3

The discussion produced understandings on spent fuel retransfers, and on renegotiation of the US/EURATOM agreement. The understandings remove these issues as impediments to French participation in the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE). However, the French indicated great distress over Canada’s insistence that it have a veto over reprocessing of any fuel Canada supplies. It is not yet clear whether the French participation in INFCE will be conditioned on solution of this problem. The French government will make its decision after the next experts meeting, now scheduled for the end of July.

Ambassador Smith also reiterated our concern over the reprocessing plant sale to Pakistan and our interest in full-scope safeguards. There is no new French position on these issues yet.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to non-proliferation.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 22, France: 1–12/77. Secret. In the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the memorandum, Carter wrote “Cy, J.”
  2. The Embassy transmitted a report of the meeting in telegram 19861 from Paris, July 8. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D770243–0334)
  3. In the left-hand margin, Carter wrote “We’ll form a policy, along with others, either with or without the French.”