Courtesy Reuters

German Policy Toward the East

Our foreign policy toward Eastern Europe is concerned with two closely linked areas: the Soviet Union, and the European states to the east and southeast of Germany which are connected with the Soviet Union in many ways. Although our foreign policy toward these states is called "East European policy," this term is relative. Countries like Poland or Czechoslovakia may lie east of Germany, but they have perfectly good geographical, historical and cultural reasons for regarding themselves as part and parcel of Central Europe.

A third area indissolubly linked with this East European policy is the other part of Germany. This does not involve foreign policy in the exact sense of the word, for neither part of Germany is a foreign country to the other. However, the East German régime is so completely interlocked with the group of states led by the Soviet Union that any East European policy disregarding the German problem would be unrealistic.

In all three areas our goal is one and the same: to safeguard peace, reduce tensions, improve relations and contribute to a system of peaceful order in Europe. Particularly since the two great democratic parties formed a coalition government, several changes have occurred in Bonn with regard to how these aims may be better realized; and these changes are not merely ones of form or degree.

This is not acknowledged in the East. It is claimed there that our policy is a smokescreen behind which we cling all the more relentlessly to a "denial of realities," a "policy of strength" and a striving for nuclear weapons and continuation of the cold war. This is mistaken. Naturally, there are certain basic features in our policy-as in those of any state- which cannot be altered. Anyone who thinks of foreign policy in terms of a swinging pendulum fails to comprehend its underlying laws. Even in Germany's present situation, our policy is grounded in a set of facts and requirements which cannot be forfeited. We will persevere in

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