West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher yesterday called for the United States, Canada and the 12 nations of the European Community to form a "new transatlantic partnership" bolstered by a treaty to complete the work of ending Europe's East-West divisions.
"I call for a solemn joint declaration on this new transatlantic partnership," Genscher told graduates of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, which awarded him an honorary doctorate.
"This declaration must embrace the political, economic, ecological, technological and cultural aspects of relations linking the United States and Canada with the European community," he said. "This must be followed by a European-American treaty, and both . . . must contribute to the formation of one Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals and pave the way for cooperation between North America and the new democracies in Europe."
Genscher did not go beyond this broad-brush outline to describe how the treaty would work. Nor did he enumerate which countries beyond those now associated with the Atlantic alliance should be parties to the treaty.
However, he put his appeal in the context of describing the EC's move toward political and monetary union in 1992 -- an indication that he envisions the first stage of his partnership proposal as a way to prevent unification from causing strains and rivalries in relations between the United States and its European allies.
"The Atlantic must not grow wider as a result of European unification," he said. "We must establish a framework for consultation and action for the new transatlantic partnership. Other important European institutions, such as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, should also seek new forms of dialogue and cooperation with our American partners."
He devoted much of his speech to reassurances that the unification of Germany will not be a threat to its neighbors and that the new German state will remain anchored solidly in the West through continued membership in the EC and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
He put particular stress on what he called the "understandable questions and concerns" of the Jewish people and those countries in Eastern Europe that suffered greatly from Nazi Germany's aggression. "We Germans understand that the Jewish people cannot forget the suffering they endured and that they continue to recall it," Genscher said. "We do so, too, aware that we cannot master our future by forgetting."
He also confronted concerns in Eastern Europe about the past reluctance of some German leaders, including Chancellor Helmut Kohl, to state categorically that a unified Germany would respect the loss of former German territory incorporated into Poland after the war.