NATO Wary on SALT II End : Fears U.S. Withdrawal Could Harm Talks
The secretary general of NATO said today that the European allies are worried that arms control negotiations could be hampered if the United States stops abiding by the unratified SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union.
At a news conference the day before the start of a formal NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, Lord Carrington tried to skirt the question of how Europeans feel about the chance President Reagan will decide to undercut the pact resulting from the second round of strategic arms limitation talks.
When pressed, Carrington said, “The European allies are concerned because any decision which is taken will obviously have an effect on other things that are going on.”
Discussion of compliance with the SALT II arms treaty was expected to dominate the two days of closed-door meetings of the 16 North Atlantic Treaty Organization ministers. U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz was to begin sounding out European allies on how strongly they oppose the United States ending compliance with SALT II.
Shultz said he will send President Reagan a cable Thursday night outlining the allies’ views.
Reagan is scheduled to notify Congress next Monday whether he will continue abiding by terms of the 1979 treaty, which never has been approved by Congress.