WEST BERLIN — Defense Secretary Dick Cheney on Saturday reaffirmed Washington's military commitment to West Berlin, saying cuts are unlikely while large Soviet and East German contingents surround the divided city.
Cheney is on a three-week European tour to talk with allied government leaders and visit U.S. troops. He arrived in West Berlin late Friday after two days of talks with West German leaders in Bonn, and later flew to Rome.
During a welcoming ceremony at Charlottenburg Castle, Cheney said Berlin would probably be "one of the last places" where troop reductions would be made under future superpower disarmament agreements.
'My personal view is that we couldn't make any adjustments" as long as West Berlin is surrounded by large numbers of Soviet and East German forces, Cheney said.
Cheney said the U.S. "engagement in Berlin will continue to see Berlin stays free" and he lauded "the courage and determination" of West Berliners in "an outpost of freedom in a sea of communism."