Summit acts on terrorism
With time out to feed fish and pose for a group photo, the leaders of the seven summit nations concentrated Monday on the issues of terrorism and nuclear safety. The leaders also gave tentative approval to a United States-designed system that would make the most significant change in more than a decade in the way the world monetary system operates.Skip to next paragraph
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The leaders' detailed statement on terrorism specifically singled out Libya, a clear victory for President Reagan.
However, several of the six measures in the ``statement on international terrorism'' had been adopted by the European Community's foreign ministers at a meeting on April 21. And the document made no mention of economic sanctions -- a method the US views as a key weapon in battling terrorism.
Secretary of State George Shultz said the terrorism package sends a message to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. ``The message is you've had it, pal. You are isolated. You are recognized as a terrorist,'' an ebullient Mr. Shultz told reporters.
The Reagan administration, embarrassed in summit negotiations by the continued presence of US oil interests in Libya, moved toward fixing a deadline for the firms to pull out. US officials said that licenses permitting the firms to operate temporarily in Libya would not be renewed after they expire on June 30.
The summit leaders also released a statement on the implications of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. After expressing sympathy for those affected, the document asserts that every nation is responsible for the ``prompt provision of detailed and complete information on nuclear emergencies and accidents.'' It adds that the Soviets ``did not do so'' in the Chernobyl case.
The statement goes to some lengths to avoid overly criticizing the Soviets on particular issues. For example, it notes ``with satisfaction'' recent Soviet moves to provide more information on the accident. Sources say British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone each wanted to avoid appearing to ``bash'' the Soviets on this issue. The Soviets have accused the US of capitalizing on the mishap for propaganda purposes.
The nuclear-safety and terrorism statements were in addition to a general political document entitled ``Looking Toward a Better Future.'' It covers a wide range of issues -- peace, defense, and spiritual values -- and looks at various angles of each topic. On the issue of arms control, the statement spoke of appreciation for ``the United States' negotiating efforts'' and called on the Soviet's ``also to negotiate positively.''
In the economic realm, tentative agreement has been reached on a plan to expand the economic- and monetary-policy-setting group known as the Group of Five (US, Britain, France, West Germany, and Japan) to include Canada and Italy. Those two additional nations would participate ``when their interests are involved,'' US Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III said.
And the US has won support for its plan to bring new coordination and discipline to the world monetary system. The proposed changes are an effort to avoid or minimize the wild swings in currency values which disrupt trade. ``We've made progress on means for improving the functioning of the exchange rate system,'' Secretary Baker said.
The US-proposed system would monitor various economic indicators, such as overall economic growth, budget deficits, and inflation. If what Mr. Baker called ``significant deviation'' occurred in the path of those indicators for any nation, one of the original members of the Group of Five could call a meeting to discuss the problem and apply pressure for solutions.
The new system, which is subject to change at today's summit meetings, ``imposes more discipline than the current system,'' Baker says.
While the final summit economic communiqu'e will not be issued until tomorrow, it appears the seven nations failed to agree on a date for the start of a new round of multilateral trade talks under the auspices of the Geneva-based General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (known as GATT). The US had sought an early starting date in a bid to stave off protectionist sentiment in Congress and win redress for alleged unfair trading practices of other nations.
Finance ministers did agree on new subjects for GATT negotiations, including services and intellectual property rights. Both fields had been strongly urged by the US.
The antiterrorist provisions the summit nations said they would apply, within the framework of international law, are:
Refusal to export arms to states that sponsor or support terrorism.
Strict limits on the size of diplomatic missions and control of the travel of such diplomats.
Denial of entry to all persons, including diplomats, who have been expelled or excluded from a summit country for suspicion or conviction of terrorism.
Improved extradition procedures.
Stricter immigration and visa requirements for citizens of states identified with terrorism.
The closest possible cooperation between police and security organizations.
A senior administration official said not all of these measures had been agreed on by the European Community.