French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has arrived in Moscow for talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has arrived in Moscow for talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The talks were expected to deal largely with East-West detente and disarmament.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Giscard d'Estaing arrived on Thursday (26 April) for his fourth meeting with Mr. Brezhnev since becoming French President in 1974. French officials said international problems, particularly the development of detente and disarmament, would be under discussion, as well as bilateral issues. Moscow's relations with France have been closer than with any other Western country since President Charles de Gaulle visited the Soviet Union in 1966. Since then eight other Franco-Soviet meetings have been held at summit level.
East-West detent is of particular interest to France, although President Giscard d'Estaing has ruled out French participation int he Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. Detente was at is height under President Richard Nixon of the United States, and France was a major supporter of moves leading to the 1975 Helsinki European Security Accord. But since then, much of the enthusiasm for detente has gone. This visit is seen by some observers as a French effort to revive interest in rapprochement.
The talks were expected to end with the two sides agreeing a joint programme for the development of cooperation int he interest of detente and peace. French officials have stressed that trade is also important. They said France and the Soviet Union hope to agree guidelines for bilateral trade until 1990.