During seven hours of summit talks on Thursday (May 31st), President Nixon and President Pompidou made considerable progress on clarifying French-American differences over money, trade and political relations.
During seven hours of summit talks on Thursday (May 31st), President Nixon and President Pompidou made considerable progress on clarifying French-American differences over money, trade and political relations. But they made no appreciable progress towards solving those differences.
President Pompidou summed up the results of the summit today (Friday) as the talks ended. He remarked: "All in all there was a far greater area of agreement than disagreement."
The principal sources of agreement the previous day had been on the urgent need for revising the world monetary system and that there should be no withdrawal of American forces stationed in Europe.
At a dinner on Thursday evening, given by Iceland's President Kristjan Ildjarn, President Nixon made much the same point as President Pompidou -- declaring that the ties between the Untied States and France were much stronger than any issues which temporarily divided them.
The biggest sign of division were outside the Reykjavik Art Museum where the summit talks were held. Icelandic demonstrators marched past quietly protesting on several scores -- about the fishing dispute with Britain, against the NATO military presence in Iceland, and against the coming French nuclear tests.
The security problem posed by the visiting leaders presented Icelandic authorities with a major headache. Since the regular police force was stretched to the limit, the Reykjavik police chief enlisted 100 wrestlers and athletes to beef up his tiny force.
SYNOPSIS: Where heads of state go, the demonstrators seem to follow. These Icelanders found plenty to protest about, but they remained orderly and didn't threaten the security at Thursday's summit. Placards drew attention to the "Cod War" fishing dispute with Britain, to the NATO military presence in Iceland, to American and French imperialism, and to the coming French nuclear tests. But there was no indication that the two Presidents discussed any of these topics during their meetings.
At their session of talks on Thursday, Mr. Nixon and M. Pompidou had been joined by Dr. Henry Kissinger, the American National Security Adviser -- his presence came as a complete surprise as the talks had been billed as private. During the first day, discussions centred on international matters. President Pompidou later remarked that the talks had achieved a far greater area of agreement than disagreement. Differences over money, trade and political relations were clarified. But there was no appreciable progress towards solving those differences.
Later on Thursday, the leaders and their advisers gathered at an Icelandic hotel. Dr. Kissinger and Secretary of State William Rogers preceded Mr. Nixon, on their way to attend a banquet given by the President of Iceland. The Icelanders had been hoping to gain American and French support in their fishing dispute with Britain. But the Americans, for their part, made it clear they wouldn't take sides.
Nevertheless, both French and American leaders had talks with the Icelandic government. And while they were there, a new incident in the "Cod War" emphasised the danger of the situation. Iceland accused British trawlers of ramming an unarmed coastguard vessel.
During the banquet, President Nixon declared that the ties between the United States and France were much stronger than any issues that temporarily divided them. M. Pompidou later summed up the seven hours of talks by remarking: "We have very similar attitudes to life and peace."