Brussels — Western Europeans deserve first-class partnership with the United States; therefore, they should refute the doubters in their midst and embrace the planned NATO nuclear missiles.
This -- along with affirmation of the American commitment to arms control -- was the message that Richard R. Burt, the US State Department's director of the bureau of political-military affairs, brought to Europe Sept. 23, Monitor correspondent Elizabeth Pond reports.
Mr. Burt's closing speech at an Arms Control Association conference on European nuclear weapons follows a similar message delivered by Secretary of State Alexander H. Haig Jr. in West Berlin earlier this month.
Reagan administration officials criticize Western Europe for being too timid in confronting antinuclear movements. These groups constitute an articulate, politically significant minority in West Germany, and they have persuaded a popular majority in the Netherlands to oppose the new NATO weapons.
In a vigorous defense of those weapons Burt focused on "a vision of Europe and Europe's place in the world."
He contended that the Soviet Union, in what he called its "patronizing attitude" toward Europe and its "anti-European vision of Europe, sees Western Europe as an appendage of the two superpowers. Europe is relegated to a second-class status, its security a dependent function of the Soviet Union's."