The State Department said yesterday that the United States does not see itself or the other members of the NATO alliance automatically committed to an East-West disarmament conference under the terms of the NATO communique issued in Ankara.
Taking issue with a story in yesterday's Washington Post, a State Department press statement said the NATO communique "reflects the longstanding alliance position that certain conditions would have to be met before such a conference could be agreed to."
According to the release, those conditions are:
The conference "must be firmly and explicitly tied to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe." (The Helsinki Agreement).
It must be part of a "balanced outcome at Madrid." The reference is to a follow-up meeting of the Helsinki Conference to be held in Madrid in November.
It must deal only with "confidence-building measures and not forced [arms] reductions, and these measures must be militarily significant, verifiable, and apply to all of Europe, including the European part of the U.S.S.R."
In addition, the State Department said, the NATO communique makes it clear that "international conditions will be a determining factor in whether such a conference can be held or not."
The international political climate will also be the deciding factor in United States participation or non-participation, the release said.