Kissinger Calls for Quiet Diplomacy to Aid Human Rights, but Warns Against Repressive Practices Seen
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Kissinger Calls for Quiet Diplomacy to Aid Human Rights, but Warns Against Repressive Practices Seen

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In the second of two major foreign policy speeches in less than 24 hours, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger stressed today that the United States pursues a moral policy in the interests of human rights but does so "quietly, keeping in mind the delicacy of the problem and stressing results rather than public confrontation." The Secretary made these remarks in his address this afternoon before the Upper Middle West Council at the Madison South Hotel in Minneapolis.

In an address last night in Milwaukee, Kissinger warned against any moves by the UN General Assembly to oust Israel. (See separate story.)

In his address today he declared: "We have used and we will continue to use our influence against repressive practices. Our traditions and our interests demand it, but truth compels also a recognition of our limits. The question is whether we promote rights more effectively by counsel and friendly relations where this serves our interests, or by confrontation and discriminatory legislation."

His remarks were seen as a direct reference to the Jackson-Vanik amendments incorporated into the 1974 Trade Reform Act which links U.S. trade benefits to the Soviet Union and other Communist bloc countries to their emigration practices with regard to Jews and others; and the Stevenson Amendment which set a $300 million ceiling on Export-Import Bank credits to the Soviet Union.

The Secretary declared, "We must also assess the domestic performance of foreign governments in relation to their history and to the threats they face." He said, "We do not and will not condone repressive practices."


But, he said, "The attempt to deal with those practices by restrictive American legislation raises a serious problem, not because of the moral view it expresses–which we share–but because of the mistakes impression it creates that our security ties are acts of charity. And beyond that, such acts, because they are too public, too inflexible and too much a stimulus to nationalistic resentment, are almost inevitably doomed to fail." He said that "painful experience should have taught us that we ought not exaggerate our capacity to foresee, let alone to shape, social and political change in other societies."

The Secretary outlined the "principles that will guide our action." These are: "Human rights are a legitimate international concern, and have been so defined in international agreements for more than a generation; the United States will speak up for human rights in appropriate international forums, and in exchanges with other governments; we will be conscious of the differences between public postures that satisfy our self-esteem and policies that bring positive results; we will not lose sight of either the requirements of global security or what we stand for as a nation."

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