In Lisbon the foreign Ministers of the fifteen North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries today (Thursday) began a two-day meeting.
In Lisbon the foreign Ministers of the fifteen North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries today (Thursday) began a two-day meeting. It was formally opened by Portugal's Prime Minister, Mr. Marcello Caetano in the National Assembly building. Later the ministers drove to the 19th century Palacio de Ajuda where the discussions began in earnest.
The main topic under discussion was what response NATO should make to the recent Soviet call for talks on the reduction of armed forces in Europe. NATO offered three years ago to discuss troop reductions but the Soviet Union made no response until a month ago.
A few hours before the NATO meeting got under way an explosion rocked Lisbon's main communications centre and cut off the Portuguese capital from the outside world. Portuguese officials said they believed the explosion was the work of a left wing underground organisation known as Armed Revolutionary Action in protest against the NATO meeting being held in Lisbon. Later a second explosion damaged an electrical distribution cabin near the capital.
SYNOPSIS: In Lisbon the foreign ministers of the fifteen North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries began a two-day meeting on Thursday. The opening session was held in the National Assembly building. It was formally opened by the Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr. Marcello Caetano.
America's Secretary of State, Mr. William Rogers, was one of the first to arrive. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss East-West relations and questions of European security. A few hours before the meeting began an explosion rocked Lisbon's communications centre. Officials said they believed it was the work of a left wing organisation protesting against the NATO meeting.
After the formal opening the ministers drove to the 19th century Ajuda Palace. It was here the talks got under way in earnest.
The Ministers went straight into discussions on how to respond to the recent Soviet call for talks on the reduction of armed forces in Europe. NATO made the first offer for discussions on the subject three years ago. This was virtually ignored by the Eastern bloc until last month when Mr. Brezhnev suggested talks between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries on the subject. Later in the meeting Mr. Rogers suggested that the NATO deputy Foreign Ministers meet to map out proposals for possible negotiations with Warsaw Pact countries on military reductions. But he said that for the time being he favoured the continuation of bilateral contacts between NATO and the Eastern bloc.