INTRODUCTION: The United States plans to go ahead with the deployment of new nuclear weapons systems in Europe, unless the Soviet Union dismantles a large number of its missiles.
SCU Caspar Weinberger, US Secretary of Defence, speaking
SV Weinberger being asked question. (2 SHOTS)
CU Weinberger answering (3 SHOTS)
WEINBERGER: "They might very well drag their feet under any circumstances. I think that we have to differentiate between the demonstrations and the actions of the government. The actions of the governments have been almost uniformly supportive of the deployment of the missiles planned in Europe, and have been since the December '79 resolution of NATO, reaffirmed as recently as two months ago at Gleneagles in Scotland. There are demonstrations, there are demonstration in this country, but I don't think the deployment of the missiles in Europe is moving on a path that can only be interrupted, and frankly, I hope will be interrupted, by Soviet agreement to dismantle their SS20s and fours and fives that constitute such a threat to Europe"
PANELLIST: "Do you see no possibility of the talks themselves depaying actual deployment of the missiles?"
WEINBERGER: "Well, I see some possibility of the talks themselves resulting in the .. eliminating the need to deploy the missiles if the Soviets will remove their 20s, fours and fives which constitute, as I say, a major and continuing threat to the people of Europe. We have had, and are continuing to have, discussions with the Israelis over a number of years, and I will continue to have, I hope, over a number of years with discussions of ways in which the defence of the entire Mid-East region can be strengthened and improved against the possible attack by the Soviet Union.
...The oil fields of the world would be involved, and the security and safety of nations that share a great many values with us would be involved so it is vitally important to have a strategic agreement, strategic discussions, strategic plans worked out in ways that can strengthen all of that very volatile and very vital region against outside attack. Those talks have been going on for some time. Mr. Sharon, the Defence Minister of Israel and I, met in September; we will meet again the end of this month and those talks will be continued. I don't know that it would involve because we haven't had the talks yet. But it is very likely that we would sign a memorandum of understanding that would set forth some of the things that we plan to do. One of the things that we are concerned with is that, in the event there should be some hostilities in that...in that region, that there should be adequate medical and hospital facilities and those are things that we've talked about in the past with the Israelis. But I would assume that there would be some kind of agreement signed that would certainly provide for continuation of those discussion to safeguard and defend the entire region against outside assault."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The United States plans to go ahead with the deployment of new nuclear weapons systems in Europe, unless the Soviet Union dismantles a large number of its missiles. This was announced by US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger on the "Meet the Press", television programme in Washington DC, on Sunday (22 November). Mr. Weinberger also spoke of the US government's reaction to anti-nuclear protests in Europe, and was asked if this opposition might encourage the Soviets to "drag their feet" in the talks.