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Admit Error, Shultz Urges Peace Groups

December 14, 1987|Reuters

OSLO — Secretary of State George P. Shultz urged peace groups today to admit they were wrong in opposing deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe.

"If the peace movement had had its way, there would be no INF treaty," he said referring to the pact scrapping 2,800 missiles that President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed last week.

"It's only by doing what the peace movement didn't want that we were able to obtain the result they presumably want," he told a press conference.

Peace groups throughout Europe and the United States campaigned against a 1979 NATO decision to deploy U.S. cruise and Pershing 2 missiles in Europe as a counterforce to Soviet SS-20 missiles.

Protesters demonstrated in front of missile bases, and some camped out at these locations for months at a time.

Gave U.S. Leverage

But Shultz said it was NATO's commitment to the deployment that gave Washington the leverage to negotiate successfully with Moscow to remove all intermediate-range nuclear forces missiles.

"So I would hope that the people in the peace movement would take a second thought and admit that they were wrong and those who advocated a strong approach were right," he said.

Shultz met reporters after talks with Norwegian leaders, including King Olav V and Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

He briefed the officials on the Reagan-Gorbachev summit and also discussed a case of high-technology transfer to the Soviet Union involving the Norwegian firm, Kongsberg-Vaapenfabrikk, and Japan's Toshiba Corp.

Shultz told reporters that the lesson learned in negotiating the INF treaty could also be applied to Nicaragua, where the United States has been aiding Contra rebels fighting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government since 1981.

'Parallel ... Interplay'

Shultz said that in the last year, when the Contras received $100 million in aid, they were more successful in pressuring the Sandinistas and winning fellow Nicaraguans to their cause.

The Sandinistas only signed a peace agreement with the four Central American democracies at Guatemala City last Aug. 7 because of pressure from the Contras and the United States, he said.

"I think that we see here an interplay exactly parallel to the kind of process that brought us the results that we're all happy about in the INF case," he said.

"It's (the) same interplay of strength and diplomacy. If you don't have the one, you're going to have a hard time with the other," he said.

Shultz will fly to Bonn on Tuesday for a few hours of talks with West German officials, then stop in London before returning to the United States on Wednesday.

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