In this interview excerpt, Francis Gutmann, an official in the French Foreign Ministry from 1951 to 1957 and Secretary-General of the External Relations Ministry from 1981 to 1985, stresses that France’s withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) did not represent a true breakdown in relations, since the Ailleret-Lemnitzer agreements concluded on 22 August 1967 laid down new arrangements for France’s cooperation with NATO forces. But the Ambassador mentions the deep-seated disagreements between France and the United States with regard to NATO’s missions and scope of action. He also emphasises France’s determination to keep control of its own nuclear deterrent force, particularly in international disarmament agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) signed in 1968 and the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) I and II agreements signed in 1972 and 1979.
In this interview excerpt, Francis Gutmann, an official in the French Foreign Ministry from 1951 to 1957 and Secretary-General of the External Relations Ministry from 1981 to 1985, discusses the origins of François Mitterrand’s address on 20 January 1983 to the Bundestag in Bonn. In his address, the French President confirmed his support of the installation by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) of Pershing II missiles in the NATO Member States in response to the installation by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) of SS-20 missiles. President Mitterrand also emphasised that France reserved the right to intervene with its own nuclear capabilities in the event of a Soviet attack on Germany.