Germanys Seek a Common Foreign Policy

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

ALTHOUGH reunification is not complete yet, the foreign ministries of both Germanys have decided to begin coordinating their policies. The ministers officially met for the first time in Bonn on April 24. At a press conference, they announced that a joint committee will be set up to handle foreign policy until reunification. They also agreed to the exchange of officials of both ministries.

The goal is to build ``an increasingly common German foreign policy,'' said Markus Meckel, an East German pastor before he stepped into his new job as foreign minister.

Driving this coordination are talks on May 5 between the two Germanys and the four victors of World War II, the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France. The aim of the talks is to dissolve the rights that the four powers still have over both Germanys and to settle the external - especially security - aspects of reunification.

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The two Germanys agree that a reunited Germany should belong to NATO. They also want to strengthen and ``institutionalize'' the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher emphasized continued progress in arms control as key to German reunification.

The two ministers said that they take Soviet economic and security concerns about reunification seriously. A high-level East German delegation is expected to visit Moscow this week. According to press reports, Mr. Genscher wants to meet privately with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze on May 4 before the two-plus-four talks begin.

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