Raw Footage of Henry Kissinger on Foreign Affairs in Oregon
So you're happy. Apparently
you have no way your latest peace mission in the Middle East any new of what appears to be growing skepticism it's home about detente. I want to the way you would tell us how you're feeling today about the letter you are satisfied that you perhaps disappointed by the interpretation in Moscow.
Detente has become almost a slogan in public to pay. And I think it is important to summarize again what it means to the United States. Then there is the relation with the Soviet Union and of attempting to ease the tensions between the two great nuclear superpowers derives from the conditions in which we find ourselves the United States and the Soviet Union have the capability of destroying humanity. Their conflicts therefore are different from the conflicts between nations throughout history. They have a special obligation to conduct their affairs in such a manner that the risk of war is minimized. If this is at all. And it is this conviction that has led successive administrations in attempting to find a relationship with its Soviet Union less prone to the dangers of the conflicts that can arise sometimes even without the direct intentions of the two countries. Now this attempt to ease tensions takes place at several levels. It takes place on the level of the control of especially nuclear arms and in that connection the Strategic Arms Limitation talks. The agreement that has been concluded and the agreement that we are attempting to complete are prime significant and it is the problem of the nuclear arms race is a problem that must be dealt with. That will be. Sam. Him and the sooner the better. Secondly we are attempting to bring about restraint in areas of direct confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union such as in Central Europe that has been reasonably successful. Third there is the problem of conflicts disagreements tensions in areas where there is no direct confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States such as the Middle East. In such areas that conflict can develop as a result of the tensions that are inherent in the area.
The lack of restraint of the superpowers and other factors in the conflict in peripheral areas the process of relaxing tensions has not made us much proctors as in the area of control of armaments and in the areas where there has been direct confrontation. In those areas. Further efforts at mutual restraint. Are necessary. We do not believe that relations with the Soviet Union are idyllic. We are ideological opponents. We have conflicting national interests in addition to the ideological differences. Nevertheless we believe we have an obligation to attempt to ease tension if only to demonstrate to people that if there is a conflict. We have done everything in our power to avoid it. So on the whole we believe that the policy of relaxation of tensions is essential. That the that we are going to continue to pursue it. It can be done only on the basis of reciprocity. We will not give up vital American interests. We will resist attempts to exploited but we will cooperate. On the basis of reciprocity of any effort that can ease tensions on both sides on the basis that it is it that the process is a two way street.
You guys are just tensions in the Middle East like you say that the United States won't give up any of its vital interests and presumably the Soviet Union won't give up any of its right or interest in peripheral areas such as aid is it not possible that what is considered progress by one side make and say we consider dangerous provocation by the other and thereby have an adverse effect on your general picture of course when U.S.'s vital interests you also have to remember that in order to vindicate them you have to survive so that the definition that both sides have of litle interests must take into account the realities of the contemporary period.
I believe that it is about I'll come to your question in a minute but in five minutes.
In the middle 80s I do not believe that the essential interests of the United States and the Soviet Union are in any sense incompatible.
I do not believe that there is an agreement between Egypt and Israel is in any sense detrimental. To the interests of the Soviet Union or a unilateral advantage for the United States to significance of the agreement is that it defuses tensions in the area. And if it is implemented properly. It will open one can open a door to a general peace in the area. And if we consider that every war in the Middle East has involved the danger of confrontation of the two nuclear superpowers it is in the mutual interest of both the Soviet Union and the United States to reduce the tensions of war. The United States seeks no unilateral advantage in the Middle East or the United States recognizes. That in a final settlement in the Middle East a draw will be important and they're debating now it's certain procedural questions about this Sylvia drill in the reasoned negotiations rather than a unilateral advantage gained by the United States at the expense of this of the gun officials saying that there is no military role that can be played by the two hundred American civilian technicians monitoring the agreement that could not be played by either airborne or satellite intelligence.
And you say apart from the political or psychological effect of having these Americans in the Sinai passes whether there is any monitoring funks. It is essential to their being there in other words that they have to be physically in the past as well.
Pentagon officials have not shared their judgments either with me or the president and therefore I don't know who they are and what their opinion is base. The. Monitoring that is going to be done in a limited area in the Sinai that is the area that is geographically bounded to get a pass in the north and the middle of paths in the south. It's about a distance of roughly 20 miles. The monitoring has to strategic warning stations one by Israel and one by Egypt under American. Custody. And there will be American stationed at each of these stations. And secondly that he tactical and the manned tactical unit stationed in the.
Negotiations extending over several weeks that he participated in that if the pot is so odd that these stations that either of these types of stations are dispensible now might also point out that there was a unanimous vote in the National Security Council before I left which included the participation of the Defense Department that said that they had agreed that as a last resort if it was necessary to make the agreement we should go ahead with the American technicians.
The risks that may emerge as a result of the PLO spread the Palestine resolution regarding U.S. military presence in the Sinai as an enemy target and should be shot by every struggler and every nationalist in our Arab nation. How do you plan to come out of that.
There aren't that many stragglers in this sign because it's an substantially unpopulated area. And the American. Warning stations are located in an area between the two armies in an area that contains several thousand United Nations personnel and in which there is no civilian population of any kind.
Secondly we believe that once the immediate passions have died down and the various Arab nations and the various groupings look at the agreement they will realize that it was the only step possible towards peace that could now be taken and that compared to the alternative of a stalemate it was. The best cause for all of the parties in the area. So we believe that that then more so because it's undertake that all of the parties in the area have been returned to the realisation that the process of negotiation. It's the only road by which peace can be achieved.
There's a good deal of backing and selling going on at the Hill about the issue of what is classified and what is secret and how to handle it involved a involving the U.S. commitment.
And there does seem to be some confusion about secret or classified commitments made by the United States either verbal or written in the interim agreement. And I wonder if you could clear this up with answering two simple questions. First will the American people know every detail of any U.S. commitment to the parties and will all of Congress know these commitments and or will full disclosure be made only to committees or to certain members of certain committees.
We have made an unprecedented effort to put before the Congress any American undertaking to either of the parties. We have gotten not only through any written undertakings that may exist but through the entire negotiating record to extract from it any undertaking of the United States. We have put those before the relevant committees. Let me finish and I'll answer both of your question we put those before the relevant committees. In addition we have gone over the negotiating record with other members of the committee is in order to make sure that their definition of what constitutes an undertaking does not differ from ours. Now this respect too and if there is a disagreement we will work it out. Now this respect of what we consider to be undertakings we are now working out with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and we will work out with a House International Relations Committee a forum in which these undertakings can be made public. It difficulty being that if you do not really undertakings in the strict sense but general diplomatic statements of intention by any undertaking that. Will be. Put before the entire Congress and before the public in a manner agreed to between the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the House International Relations Committee and the administration get from 50 years a portion of the diplomatic chance that is not going to be made public under any circumstance and undertaking the United States will be made public. There is however an area of diplomacy that no country has ever made public and that does not involve undertakings commitments the United States. We will go to the absolute limit and we have made an absolutely unprecedented effort in making available documents that have never been made available to congressional committees before. We will then work with these commit is on an agreed method of publication and it will be the fullest disclosure of a diplomatic record that has ever been made.
Committees of Congress that the United States will pay 50 percent of the oil size of Israel is first of all.
That is not a correct statement. May I answer the first question. We have put before these committees and no doubt we will make public. Any commitment any undertakings of the United States with respect to the oil supply of it. The United States has not committed itself to a special to a separate funding of the oil purchases of the United States has agreed that it would take into account in its total aid package the additional that Israel has to spend for foreign purchases of oil. There is no precise. In fact there is no it's attached to this general proposition as will become apparent when documentation becomes available.
Did they tell you that the moment you know that.
Practical way we have maintained and indeed it is part of the agreement that a. That the. Agreement between Egypt and Israel is not a final peace settlement. The agreement states it is considered a significant step towards peace. It is not a final peace agreement. It has always been understood that a final settlement must involve the question of frontiers. When asked about the question of reciprocal commitments to peace it must involve some solution of the Palestinian question. And it must really involve international guarantees of some sort. And this can be pursued either by step by step for example through negotiations between Syria and Israel. Or by 80 convening of the Geneva conference or by votes. The efforts being simultaneous to the United States has repeatedly stated that its commitment to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. We will be prepared to help the parties in a multilateral framework or in a bilateral frame and we believe and we believe that the parties agree that the process towards peace cannot be arrested. So the Syrian and Israeli interest in another step along this process in the immediate future. Israel and Egypt will have to negotiate a practical arrangements involved in their current agreement that will take some weeks. Then the process of implementation will have to begin.
But at some point in this process if Syria and Israel are prepared to start negotiations and if it is that judgment that the United States can be helpful be able be prepared to play the player of the interim agreement.
Have any visible effect what other areas of U.S.-Soviet relate but whether it has. Will you give it is that the other day. So you know there are you know what the prospects are for the visit but.
As you know foreign minister Gromyko is going to visit the General Assembly and on that occasion he will pay his customary visit to Washington. I expect to meet with him several times while he's here. The president will need to us for an extended reveal. The situation on that occasion we will certainly to view the situation in the Middle East. And I think the at least from our side we will make every effort to overcome whatever misunderstandings may exist. As far as Salt is concerned the basic issues of principle settle that a lot of our stuff several The other issue is of great consequence have been settled in the meantime. We are not down to two or three issues of great importance and vege has not yet been reached but in which if agreement were reached a big negotiation could become fluid within six to eight weeks after that. We expect to discuss those issues with Foreign Minister Gromyko when he's here and we still expect to receive the general secretary in Washington before the end of this year.
Secretary table would seem awfully late into the year if you say six to eight weeks after your breakthrough. What what is your estimate of a.c able to date even if things would go.
You know I don't want to give an estimate of a date but I have said that we still expect to see Brett NFPA before the end of this year.
Somewhat unprecedented intervention of your African desk when the governor of Delaware on behalf of two members of an African terrorist group without you had diplomatic credentials did this have anything to do with the widely reported resignation of Ambassador Davis.
No because I don't even know what you're talking about Daryn favors or I don't want to offend the press but I think that to say that I'm not familiar with this particular incident but I will think within 15 minutes of leaving it there.
The administration announced it was a policy reassessment taking place regarding the Middle East. We haven't hear of that again or if or not can you give us some tentative conclusions that may have been drawn in as the result of this month's long reassessment.
Did he assessment two aspects of it had the aspect of the diplomatic framework within which to progress towards peace could be pursued in the Middle East in the wake of the failure of the shuttle. And secondly it had the aspect of a the aid levels that were requested. For both Israel and the Arab countries. Both of these issues have a clearly related to each other. In the wake of the march failure we had to assess whether to proceed at this step by step approach was still valid or whether a more comprehensive approach. But the only possibility. I think that the diplomatic framework of reassessment has been settled by the recent negotiate it is negotiation between Egypt and Israel. Similarly the problem of aid levels is in the process of being settled it's been substantially settled and these will be submitted to the Congress in. Before the end of the month.
I would expect it to develop in response to a question a while back.
I got the impression that we still have not made a decision whether step by step from here on in is the preferred approach is that correct that we still have which approach is more if ever which approach should be pursued depends not only on the preferences of the United States but on the preferences of the parties and the issue was not only which of these should be approached but in what management fee approach. I believe that as a result of this examination we had a freeze in months and the events of recent weeks. That there is now a much greater clarity of the limits and the possibilities that exist in moving the process for but towards peace. Similarly as I pointed out so it made eight levels and of course we had the benefit during the reassessment of learning the congressional judgment of appropriate age levels in the lead of the 76 senators and in other approaches. And therefore in assessing the aid levels as I pointed out previously what one has to consider is the difference between what would have been submitted or voted anyway and what is being voted as and what is being requested as a result of the agreement.
And we do not think that that is a very significant significant event. Now concerning the recruitment of American personnel to be sent to the Sinai and if so will these personnel be recruited from the Defense Department or from any of the government intelligence agencies or if not will these personnel reflect that work experience and will the organization established to administer the monitoring function in the Sinai be a private corporation perhaps like the Vinnell Corporation or more like Air America.
I'm not sure I quite get the implication of that last remark and I don't want you to explain it.
We are undertaking a study on an urgent basis of all of these questions. Our preference is to recruit people out of civilian life. We have not yet made a decision as between a private organization or a governmental sponsored one. It is clear that the personnel will not be under the Defense Department. Because we do not want to give them a military. The personnel will report to both sides and to the UN as well as to the United States government.
But the questions you ask which are important ones. We will be able to answer within about 10 days.
Secretary you said that you have to remember incidentally that American personnel will not begin manning these stations for five months after the implementing protocol has been signed and that is about two to three weeks away. So we have about five and a half months. To work out all the details.
SECRETARY I think you said that I think I think you said the find and I think you said that Mr. Binder then you would like to ask you to evaluate the recent events in Portugal with regard to your earlier statements on that country. Also with regard to the role of the Soviet Block in Portugal and with regard to the possibilities for American assistance to Portugal economic assistance.
I have made so many statements about Portugal that I'm not absolutely sure which ones you're referring to. I was concerned as were my colleagues that events in Portugal might be dominated by a minority group the Communist Party distinguished primarily by its discipline and its stock material against their wishes against the expressed wishes of the overwhelming majority of Portuguese people. The United States together with its west European allies repeatedly pointed to its dismay at an evolution in which such a small minority would take over the effective control of Portugal. Now recent events have reduced at least some of the manifestation of this dominance. We are not yet clear what will emerge out of the deliberations both with respect to the formation of a new government and with respect to the organisation of the half of the Revolutionary Council the communist party still remains a significant political force in Portugal and probably out of proportion to its American strength. And we cannot yet fully assess what is taking place within the military movement. But on the whole we believe that the events of the last to be eggs have been encouraging the United States supports the emergence of a pluralistic system there reflecting the. Public view is as David expressed in the election of the constitutional assembly and the working in the close as time went on this problem with European allies so respect to the Soviet Union we have made about possible Soviet intervention in in Portugal and those of us have not changed in any way to Portugal will be pan.
Whether or not we still think that the Communist Party remains a force beyond its numerical strength that will certainly influence our judgment.
This gentleman has been in the Middle East will it be just procedural Could it be more than procedural.
No I didn't say that Soviet Union will play only a procedural role. I said that the Soviet objection. To the reason negotiation between Egypt and Israel seems to me to have concerned procedure more than substance. And.
I also said that in a final settlement in the Middle East Soviet participation. Would be important and not only procedural but sensitive.
Whether you could conceive the possibility that the Soviets could pay play an actual peacekeeping role in the Middle East in the same way we will be in the Sinai passes the role that the United States is playing is at the request of both parties.
It is not it was not proposed by the United States. In fact I am giving away no secrets if I point out that we were not particularly anxious to play it as if both parties should oust the Soviet Union in some other area to play a similar role. That is that would be for both parties to to discuss with the Soviet Union. I do not see that this is the most immediate foreign policy problem before a.
Commitment to consult Israel on the nature of assistance. Just attack yourself.
Why it's necessary. The memorandum of. Understanding between us and Israel which is not incidentally unprecedented because this has been concluded after many previous at many previous diplomatic lot of it. Has traditionally been classified. We will make public as I have stated before all of the essential undertakings and I would rather deal with them as a unit than to deal with the speculative clauses before the committee was fully considered.
But this this will be fully discussed I mean your argument has the Middle East agreement been such a hard sell for you and the administration especially in the Congress.
I I think that I personally first of all let me state my judgment of the agreement. I consider this agreement more significant. Than the previous two disengagement agreements that receive that much less much less criticism. It may if it certainly gain some time for the peace process and it may open the door to a general peace settlement. Now why has it been more difficult to present. I think part of the reason is that it involves in the year of the collapse of our Indochina. A commitment of some American personnel. In a far away part of the verse to be sure the commitment is different from the Indochina commitment it is for a peacekeeping role and not for participation in a military conflict. But I think there may be a sort of a sub countries rebellion against us. Secondly it coincides with our submission to the Congress of a substantial aid at a time when the. Very our country is undergoing a recession. And it is may not be fully realized first that a substantial aid bill would have been submitted. In any event. Even without the agreement and that secondly. Because of a war. Have been demonstrated to be incomparably higher. Than any a pill that will be submitted this year. So for all these reasons it has been somewhat. More complex case to make. That may be the general attitude of suspicion that has befall in this town as a result of Watergate and other of other events but I must say in fairness that the questioning before the congressional committees has been very constructive. We have no complaint about harassment or negativism. I think serious people have made an effort to look. Into the implications for the United States of a major foreign policy move.
And we think that the debate is on the whole a healthy part of the Middle East. Do you think there's a compromise possible between the administration and Congress on their projected 14 missile batteries to Jordan.
First of all the issue is not between the administration and the Congress so much as between Jordan and the Congress in the sense that a compromise must be acceptable to the government of Jordan in order to be viable.
We are prepared to discuss this with the congressional committees. Whether. We can find some formula that would ease their concerns. They are definite limits to what can be done because King Hussein has pointed out on innumerable occasions that he will not compromise on the numbers now that any compromise is possible this effect the deployment rate of delivery or similar matters. We are now exploring with these we the congressional committees in both the House and the Senate and then of course we will have to discuss it with the government of Georgia.
I mean American women you know it's a deficits making balance of payments disappear.
Well I think it is no secret that you have chancellor it's not an unqualified admirer of upset agreement. We have had some discussions on that subject and we have not yet reached any conclusion.
The nomination of relations with Cuba specially in view of the recent Koran being held in have and I thought the so-called independent of what we call.
We have pursued a policy with respect to Cuba by moving. But it's typical steps towards an improvement of relations.
This policy has shown some progress and we are prepared to continue this policy. At the same time meeting in that Anna can only be considered as an unfriendly act. And as a severe setback to this process.
And there's a totally unwarranted interference in our domestic affairs grain shortfall is estimated by U.S. government agencies is anywhere from 20 to 60. Million times and there's already been considerable opposition to shipping 10 million times that they purchased. How do you see that the Soviet greenies relating to US foreign policy and detente as you described it this morning.
Fifty million tons is Obama's exaggeration.
I haven't seen any estimate like that but we.
Are. At this moment we are not undertaking any new contracts for sale to the Soviet Union until until the market until the crop returns for October. We're also interested in discussing with a Soviet Union the possibility of a long term agreement which would avoid the fluctuations and the sudden invasions of our market and which would enable us to play a more extended period of time and which what they. Want a minimal impact on prices. All of these are now under consideration and they are not directly related to detente being discussed on a general level.
Very very strange situation given to a long term agreement which would involve a trade off for oil or other Soviet resources.
Has there has been a very general discussion on that subject there are no negotiations on that subject going on right now. In fact there are no negotiations going on either about a long term agreement or about a possible use of Soviet resources.
But if a long term negotiation should begin That is one of the factors that might be considered to have evidence that the CIA violated right from Iraq to the destruction of biological talks or what. Diplomatic consequences of this. What did you first learn.
I frankly I first learned about it on television this morning but recalled to testify tomorrow that this does not mean I would assume that death has been some discussion between the why does the Church Committee under this subject. But I've been as I've been away slowly in recent weeks. I'd have to know the client is that out in the thought I can make a judgment. We committed ourselves by treaty to destroy biological warfare.
Momentum and certainly the Egyptian discussing the momentum on the other. Release all of the public statements since you've pretty much been here they have virtually nothing for you in your life. You hundred yards in this case so have you perhaps simply postpone the inevitable or perhaps the Israelis are posturing.
But I don't want to speculate about a negotiation that has not even been agreed to in principle.
At this moment and in which I have not heard a detailed position of either side inevitably somewhere along the line there must be further progress towards peace and therefore any progress that has been made. But even if it gains only time permits time for the peace process to occur under conditions of less pressure and less tension what will develop in a Syrian-Israeli negotiation. I would have to leave to the beginning of such a negotiation and I don't want to prejudge and say thank you very much.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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- This raw footage is a recording of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a press conference. He talks to reporters about foreign affairs, including America's relations with the Soviet Union vis-a-vis the risk of all-out nuclear war, a terrorist group in Africa, and Communist Party activities in Portugal.
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- Chicago: “Raw Footage of Henry Kissinger on Foreign Affairs in Oregon,” 1956-01-18, Oregon Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 16, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_153-44bp0159.
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- APA: Raw Footage of Henry Kissinger on Foreign Affairs in Oregon. Boston, MA: Oregon Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_153-44bp0159