Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Disposition of Nuclear Weapons Deployed in the Federal Republic of Germany


August 26, 1987


As you know, Chancellor Kohl has made a statement concerning the future status of the German Pershing 1 - A missiles. We strongly support his reaffirmation that the German Pershing 1 - A's have not been and will not be a matter for discussion in U.S.-Soviet negotiations, which are bilateral.


We have emphasized at the same time that the disposition of these missiles is a matter for the Federal Republic of Germany to decide, in consultation with NATO. We therefore understand and support the statement on future disposition of the Pershing 1 - A's which was made today by the Chancellor. As we understand it, the conditions for not modernizing and eventually dismantling the Pershing 1 - A's include the following key elements:


 -- U.S.-Soviet agreement on global elimination of U.S. and Soviet INF missiles;


 -- resolution of outstanding INF verification issues in a satisfactory way for all concerned;


 -- ratification and entry into force of the U.S.-Soviet INF agreement; and


 -- actual elimination of these U.S. and Soviet INF missiles in accordance with the agreed U.S.-Soviet timetable.


With respect to nuclear forces of less than 500-kilometer range (SNF), I wish to reaffirm U.S. support for the NATO position -- as reflected in the June 1987 NAC communique of NATO Foreign Ministers -- concerning the sequencing and priorities for negotiations beyond those currently underway at Geneva. As the communique from that meeting indicates and as the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, General Galvin, has emphasized, NATO must retain a robust, modern, and survivable nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future.