Outgoing NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) General Secretary Joseph Luns has critized the Netherlands Defence Minister, Jacob de Ruiter, for delaying a decision on development of United States cruise nuclear missiles.
1. GV NATO Secretary General Joseph Luns speaking SV as reporters listen and take notes (ENGLISH SOT) (4 shots) 1.09
2. GV US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger, seated beside Luns, speaking (ENGLISH SOT) 1.28
JOSEPH LUNS: (SEQ. ONE): "All ministers who spoke, and there were about eight, expressed concern at the fact that the Netherlands remains completely silent on the decision of December, 79. We stressed the importance of a positive decision by the Netherlands Government. A few of the ministers pointed out that , in order to get a positive result. leadership should be exercised. A ministers who does not speak out and who is completely silent of course gets to the peace movement and all oppose NATO and the NATO policy. Mr Weinberger, in this respect, paid tribute to the Netherlands Foreign Minister and recently to utterances by the Prime Minister.
CASPAR WEINBERGER: (SEQ. TWO): "Every country, I think, has to view with great concern the attacks on unarmed ships carrying vital supplies, and we continue to consult with the nations involved with all these matters in mind. I don't think I can go much beyond that."
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Background: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Outgoing NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) General Secretary Joseph Luns has critized the Netherlands Defence Minister, Jacob de Ruiter, for delaying a decision on development of United States cruise nuclear missiles. At a May 17 news conference, he also attacked the Dutch peace movement for opposing deployment. His criticisms followed a two-day meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels. West Germany, Britain and Italy, which began deploying Cruise and Pershing-2 missiles last year, appealed to Mr de Ruiter to show solidarity with his NATO allies. Several ministers warned that a Dutch climbdown would only reinforce the Soviet Union's refusal to return to the Geneva nuclear arms control talks with the United States. The Dutch Government is to decide the issue next month, but will face strong domestic opposition. Forty-eight Cruise missiles are due to be developed in the Netherlands in 1986, The two-day NATO meeting came within a few weeks of Joseph Luns' retirement as General Secretary. The seventy-year old former Dutch Foreign Minister is due to step down in June. United States Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger led a chorus of praise for Luns' achievements in his thirteen-year stint at NATO, and announced that President Reagan would bestow the American Medal of Freedom on Dr Luns later this month. Turning to the Gulf War, Weinberger expressed concern over intensified missile attacks on Gulf shipping traffic. Five vessels have been in the area this week. An attack on a Saudi super-tanker on May 16 heightened fears of severe disruption of oil supplies. A sixth of the non-communist world's oil passes through the waterway. Mr Weinberger said consultations were continuing with nations "immediately involved" in the crisis, but declined to comment further on the problem.